Dispatch from the opening of AiOP in rainy Manhattan
Thursday, October 11th, 2018
By Alexandra Hammond
Today I quite literally took shelter from the remnants of global-warming-fueled Hurricane Michael in Westbeth Gallery, the indoor extension of BODY, this year’s manifestation of the Art in Odd Places festival. Most performances, which would have taken place outdoors at various locations from Avenue C to the Hudson River, were postponed due to intermittent warm downpours. As I leapt over the curbside reservoirs in the Meatpacking District, I contemplated the effects of the rising sea level on the newly-restored cobblestone streets of this high-gloss neighborhood and headed southwest to the gallery.
We are absolutely thrilled to see the countdown for Art in Odd Places nearing closer and closer. Soon BODY will come to life in so many tremendous forms. The festival curator, Katya Grokhovsky, recently announced an AIOP kick-off party at 14th Street's iconic Beauty Bar on Wednesday, September 26th. So mark your cal for a pre-festival bevie celebration. We've outlined a few must see moments for you below. Just add them to Google Cal, we've made it easy for you.
Also, the AIOP team has proudly released the schedule and project details for all 45 participants this year on their newly designed website body.artinoddplaces.org. In the words of Katya, "It's purple, it's pretty" and is an incredible celebration of female identifying and non binary artists. <3
So there you have it, get to event adding and we look forward to cheering with you September 26th @ Beauty Bar!
WHAT ARE YOUR PRE-PERFORMANCE RITUALS?
I write all of my performances in a notebook, and I'm typically still editing and refining what I've written the day of. I replace the notebook once or twice a year even if its not full, and I've gone through at least a dozen notebooks at this point. I used to write super detailed descriptions of my pieces, but these days I can get away with just putting down some bullet points and a basic score. I also spend the first half of the day of buying last minute props, editing my soundtrack if I’m using one, and forgetting to eat. When I’m at the space I’ll usually begin to move around the area I’m planning to perform in before the show starts. I’ll take big steps and swing my arms and try to just pick up on what the general feeling and energy of the room is. I’m not sure when I picked up this habit, but it helps put me in the moment and keeps me grounded, otherwise my thoughts tend to race a mile a minute. If I’m one of the last people performing that night, I’ll sometimes take a few moments to move around the space and get reacquainted with the feeling of it in between performances. Sometimes people will notice me doing this and will get weirded out, but I don’t mind that because it's just a necessary part of the process at this point.
I don't eat, don't drink and meditate.
For me, it’s not pre-show rituals that are important, but how I’m living my life on a daily basis. Am I honest and brave outside of art making? Am I doing things that connect me to something greater? If I am, my work will reflect that. If I’m not, my work will reflect that, too. So, my goal is to keep myself honest and brave outside of art making so that when I sit down to make work, the honest and brave thing will already be in motion.
Tonight, one of Brooklyn’s prominent performance art spaces, Grace Exhibition Space initiates their fall programming within the walls of their new home on Avenue C (and 11th St.) This move marks a historic transition for the nonprofit gallery space that has fostered the growth and community of Brooklyn-based performance artists and organizations since 2006. Co-Directors, Jill McDermid and Erik “Hoke” Hokanson continue charging forward with the promotion of and “glorification of performance art.”
The news of a Brooklyn space moving to Manhattan is quite rare, especially for a nonprofit organization focused on performance art. But one Bushwick rent increase demand after another led to a clear need for an address change. McDermid hopes to forge relationships between the Brooklyn performance community and the East Village through regular performance programming paired with exhibitions and workshops.
Tonight, Grace at 182 Avenue C features performance work from 5 artists hailing internationally and locally: Martin O'Brien, Miao Jiaxin, Jaguar Mary, Esther Neff and Oya Damla.
Location: 182 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009
Performances begin at 6pm. We look forward to this event kick off and hope to see you there!
From my experience, the time period prior to a live performance includes intentional times of reflection and often ritual. Pre-performance time is sacred. Non-performers can often feel alienated and confused when trying to engage. The truth is, most of us just need to do, our own thing. But what is... that thing? What are y/our pre-performance rituals? I thought this was a perfect topic for our first #PerformanceIsRevealing Series. Throughout this series, we will pose unique questions to current performance practitioners as a way to archive and share y/our practice.
My pre-performance rituals involve days of replaying the performance over and over and over again in my mind until I can actually reach a half-way point. I never see the end of the performance but you better believe I know the color of the room, the smell and my proximity to the audience. I also like to scour Home Depot or Art Supply stores for inspiration and never buy anything.
I am pleased to begin this post series with three artists well known to the Performance Is Alive community: Ernesto Pujol, Kara Rooney and Christopher Unpezverde Núñez. I hope you enjoy the series and consider revealing your process with us too.
We are delighted to collaborate with Satellite Art Show again this year during Miami Art Basel Week (December 6-9, 2018). This year, Satellite Art Show moves to its largest location thus far and will be located across from NADA Art Fair (Miami, FL). Over the past 2 years, we have presented the most comprehensive performance art program available and look to present the same for 2018.
Check out our programming from 2017 here.
Artists are invited to submit performance, performance art, live art, action art, durational and performance based video projects to our #AliveAtSatellite Open Call. Projects with complex technical needs may not be well suited for the space. Performances will be held outdoors and throughout the fair grounds from 3pm-10pm. Consider lighting, power and tech needs within your proposal.
There is no application fee. Submission deadline is September 1st, 11:59 EST. Selected artists will be notified in mid-October.
Performancy Forum: Civic Reflex / Reflejo Civico
by Luke Mannarino
Over the course of six evenings from April to November of 2018, Panoply Performance Laboratory will be programming artist’s who will be “sustaining and framing ‘civic’, ‘civil’, and ‘reflexive’ performance practices and performance theories.”
The first two installments of Civic Reflex / Reflejo Civico took place in April and May of this year. Some necessary time has passed since the two evenings have happened, and taking the time now to reflect upon them has been an important part of the process. I will be covering each of the performance evenings not only to generate written documentations of each performance but with the intention of placing them all into context with each other.
Awilda Rodriguez Lora is a performance choreographer and cultural entrepreneur. Born in Mexico, raised in Puerto Rico, and working in-between North and South America and the Caribbean, Rodríguez Lora's performances traverse multiple geographic histories and realities promoting progressive dialogues regarding hemispheric colonial legacies, and the unstable categories of race, gender, class, and sexuality. Rodríguez Lora has been an invited guest artist at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD), Brooklyn Museum, New York University, the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College Dance Center, University of Michigan and Universidad de Puerto Rico, among others.
Rodríguez Lora’s work was recently included in “Comfort Level,” a show at Field Projects Gallery, on view May 3-June 9th, and in “Tool Box” a limited artist’s edition and fundraiser for Agite-Arte, both co-curated by Alissa D. Polan and me, Sarah G. Sharp, and performances at La Mama Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music among others. We asked Awilda to create a performance for the “Comfort Level” closing party, La Mujer Maravilla: 4654, which was incredibly moving. I sat down to discuss creating that performance and her creative influences just two days before she performed La Mujer Maravilla: Cuerpa at The Brooklyn Museum, which was part of the Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985 exhibit.
Our community continues to grow with the addition of Luke Mannarino to our correspondence team. Luke is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, writer and facilitator with a curiosity for the human/technology relationship and passion for LGBTQ activism. We discussed the local performance community and subtlety of performance writing in our interview conversation here. Please help me welcome Luke to our global community! I hope you enjoy learning about Luke's live art perspective. - Quinn