FRI 02 JUN | Metaphor: With or Without Recourse?
SAT 03 JUN | Re-Imagining/Re-Imaging
SUN 04 JUN | Embodied Politics
Manuel López [RP16] | Raquel Punto [RP13] | Willem Wilhelmus [RP12] + Arianne Foks [RP12] | Victor de la Rocque[RP15] | Francesca Fini [RP13] | Arianna Ferrari [RP13] | Tales Frey [RP12] | Jai Du [RP16]
01-01 JUN | retrospect installation
videos will play on a continuous loop in the main gallery
Alejandro Acierto [RP16] | Scott N Andrew [RP14] | Arahmaiani [RP13] |Jeremiah Barber [RP13] | Heidi Wiren Bartlett [RP16] | Anna Berndtson [RP13] | Monet Clark [RP12] | Jai Du [RP16] | Michael Dudek [RP12] | Beverly Fre$h [RP13] | Ryan Hawk  | Michael H Hall [RP13]| River Lin [RP16] | Shana Moulton [RP12] | Bernardo Stumpf [RP15] | Weeks + Whitford [RP15] |Tori Wrånes [RP15]
Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival is pleased to present several video programs throughout the festival. Adapting the theme “RETROSPECT,” new work from several Rapid Pulse Alumni will be displayed continuously throughout the festival inside Defibrillator Gallery. Each evening also features a thematic video screening curated by Giana Gambino. Friday June 2nd features, “Metaphor: With or Without Recourse?,” Saturday June 3rd, “Re-Imagining/Re-imaging,” and “Embodied Politics” on Sunday June 4th.
Rapid Pulse looks at performance as both a catalyzing influence and the essential medium from which the video works are derived. Although the performing body can be understood as the impetus for expression and production, the camera becomes an integral component that functions as partner, forging a conduit between live art actions and the audience. Each of the video programs were organized from alumni submissions, where the only guideline was just this, ‘‘Performance for the Camera.”
Rapid Pulse aims to showcase a vast range of styles and forms of performance art, especially those that are innovative and experimental; the video program does just this. The inclusion of performance work made for the camera expands the boundaries between what is or can be considered performance art. The series questions notions of presence, liveness and mediation with works that touch on a myriad of themes from established as well as emerging artists, whose practices integrate and reinvigorate both mediums.
Alejandro Acierto | Arahmaiani | Scott N Andrew | Atom-r | Jeremiah Barber | Heidi Wiren Bartlett + Barber | Anna Berndtson | Jeffery Byrd | Monet Clark | Jess Dobkin | Jai Du | Pascal Lievre + Michael Dudeck | Arianna Ferrari | Francesca Fini | Tales Frey | Beverly Fre$H | Francisco-Fernando Granados | Michael H Hall | | Ryan Hawk | Jon John | River Lin | Manuel López | Shana Moulton | Endam Nihan | Raquel Punto | Victor De La Rocque | Sandrine Schaefer | Bernardo Stumpf, Daniel Figueiredo, Mariana Rocha, + Darlene Lepetit | Lechdevirgen Trimegisto | Andrei Venghiac | Weeks And Whitford | Willem Wilhelmus + Arianne Foks + Tomasz Szrama | Tori Wrånes + Skylar Haskard
FRI 02 JUNE
Metaphor: With or Without Recourse?
The Blood Tree
Love On Me
SAT 03 JUN
Kjell Ør They
JULIA PELLO + ANATOMICAL THEATRES of MIXED REALITY (ATOM-r)
Between Self and Other
Restless Leg Saga
The Gaze Folding Into Itself (Action Transfers | Flesh Archive)
In My Bedroom
SUN 04 JUN
V de Vagina
Somehow This Looks Familiar. Does It?
WILLEM WILHELMUS in collaboration with ARIANNE FOKS + TOMASZ SZRAMA
SYMPHONY FOR LEFT and RIGHT
Victor de la Rocque
Non Tocarre/ Do Not Touch
Will To Power As Disappearance
Atendo ao Molde
The following videos will play on a continuous loop in the main gallery from June 1-4
Totem und Tabu
PASCAL LIEVRE + MICHAEL DUDEK
An Anonymous Mo(ve)ment
Rehearsal for the building of mutual support, or, the display of persistence in a moment of silencing through the continual act of presence and becoming
Other Half Orbit
For Love or Money
WEEKS + WHITFORD
Passinho da passiva
BERNARDO STUMPF, DANIEL FIGUEIREDO + MARIANA ROCHA, DARLENE LEPETIT
MICHAEL H HALL
Narcissister is You
SCOTT N ANDREW
Shadow of the Past
HEIDI WIREN BARTLETT + BARBER
Desert Troll Technique
TORI WRÅNES in collaboration with SKYLAR HASKARD
The Sweet Sweet MTNDEW
Phase 1: Morning Ritual
Untitled (Big Toe)
Metaphor: With or Without Recourse looks at the work of Jon John and Lechedevirgen Trimegisto, who both confront illness through the lens of a metaphor. Whereas, Jeffery Byrd and Francisco-Fernando Granado’s both utilize symbolism from which their imagery has taken on a different meaning in this screening context.
Inspired by Jon John and Pulling from Susan Sontag’s seminal work, Illness as Metaphor, this screening looks at how metaphors give a name to something it may not belong to, specifically regarding illness. Though Sontag regards this naming as erroneous, metaphors have been commonly used when discussing the body in sickness or in health. Both Lechedevirgen and Jon John engage in this discourse through autobiographical works that confront their own serious, physical illnesses. Each work can be understood as a purification ritual in which the physical and emotional are inseparable, intertwined.
Lechedevirgin de Trimegisto’s The Blood Tree, plays with an analogy where a bleeding tree of life symbolizes artist, Felipe Osornio’s body, as it is literally being drained of his blood during dialysis. This video details the personal experience of coping with terminal renal failure, and exposes “the mental, emotional and corporeal manifestations of severe chronic illness and its relationship with medical science.” The poetic exposé depicts Osornio as a tree, as a body, as machine, yet literally as a human whose blood is being purified.
Jon John directly referenced Sontag’s work while facing the reality of his own battle with cancer. He and Ron Athey, a self-described “living-corpse,” (having survived decades with HIV), discussed how to draw strength from living with a dying body. Jon John recognized the comfort within a metaphor yet still questioned it like Sontag. Through performance, installation, and now, the resulting video, Love On Me confronts the metaphors often associated with cancer head on, in a fashion reminiscent of offering an oblation. Jon John provides an emotional purification, with openness and pure gratitude. His ability to engage with people and share his experience with illness exposes a deeply authentic desire to connect through his artwork. He asks, “If cancer is a disease of passion, will love aid my struggle with this disease?”
Byrd and Granados offer visual poems that both present an act of pure intention and from which perseverance becomes the message. Byrd’s simple action, which he described as “the detoxification of masculinity,” can be read as a celebration of life. Having recently survived a heart attack, Byrd moves forward silently across salt flats. Granados’s Selenography is filled with symbolism, while literally addressing the moon and its misconceptions, the artist mimics the desire between abstraction and body. Ending with a poem that urges us to “turn around”…. “put out a fire” …. “see the other side of the world”…. and “find comfort”….
The purification rituals (with varying degrees of literalness) of each of the artists, reveal the process of facing insurmountable odds and the transient nature of being human. The body’s strength or fragility is articulated by the artists in response to their own personal circumstances around mortality. Within this screening context, Byrd’s and Granados’ videos provide hope and urges us to keep moving. It offers a counterpoint or perhaps even resolution to Jon John and Lecherdevirgen’s work. Osornio survives through reliance on medical equipment and science, whereas Jon John now lives on through his work, displayed on machines and evoked through the memory of witnesses and participants in the previously live performance works. Though loving on him may not have been the antidote for his illness, it proved to be form of recourse. Jon John wrote, “My heart bursts with gratitude from our shared ritual. My family, friends, artists, and lovers, free from the artificial constraints of this body, this place, and this time, you have healed my spirit – we are together, always.”
Re-Imagining/Re-imaging focuses on works that play with layered realities. Either engaging in discourse involving the mediation or manipulation of an image, persona, artwork, story or song, the artists in this series present a surreal exposé that questions the original. Real vs. Performed, Memory and Story-telling, are at the forefront of the following explorations; whether re-imaging or re-imagining media, each of these artists render it anew.
Atom-r re-images Kjell Theøry as if it were remembering a forgotten theatrical production, and juxtaposes the writing of Alan Turing with Guillaume Apollinaire’s algorithmic mutations to present an augmented reality. Visually stunning and poetic, “Atom-r blurs boundaries between physical and virtual, past and future, male and female, human and machine.”
Sandrine Schaefer’s The Gaze Folding Into Itself (Action Transfers | Flesh Archive), from a series of videos that re-imagine performances she witnessed firsthand between 1999-2011, re-images them into her own body from her memory. Addressing the role of documentation within performance art, Schaefer questions the role memory plays and how actions read on different bodies and within new discourses, specifically regarding authorship.
Endam Nihan’s In My Bedroom, also addresses authorship through the use of manipulated Turkish news coverage. Nihan both re-images and re-imagines the media experience circumscribing the Gezi Park protest of May 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey through the use of a green screen to dances seductively in front of a penguin TV special. A calculated distraction tactic used by the media to redirect mass-attention. Nihan’s use of replacement becomes a tool by which she criticizes, mocks and re-imagines the event in a humorous fashion to actually present the reality, her reality, or a perceived reality of the situation.
Shana Moulton, known for expressing concepts through the persona Cynthia, also explores mass-mediated pop culture and reveals associated anxieties. Pharmaceutical ads are re-imagined as she embarks on a surreal journey inward filled with magical landscapes, new-age poetry, relaxing music, and animated dancing among her domestic world.
Andrei Venghiac plays with the duality of self versus persona. “Understanding their separate roles within their fictional narrative, the self becomes an imperceptible entity within the depiction of the persona.” Venghiac re-images the self and other as the hero and spectator.
Jess Dobkin’s Flowers, re-imagines Streisand and Diamond’s hit duet, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” The original song went through a series of manipulations before becoming an official duet. Dobkins plays with the history of the song by performing it “together” for the first time. This event was mediated through several screens within the performance and documented relentlessly by spectators. The use of multiple lenses tells a particular story live and varies in the resulting video. This work also leaves viewers to question the myriad of other iterations, stories, or re-images that may still be in existence.
Embodied Politics looks at work that explores the marriage between politics and performance art, where the role of the camera and the performing body become crucial. The artists in this series present visual examinations of the self in relation to global cultural politics of varying ideologies. The camera becomes a silent witness to and a mediator of these acts of rebellion or repose.
The screening title plays with ideas around body politics, taking into account the literal definition (group of citizens) and metaphorical usage (corporate entity compared to a human body). In this regard, the artists’ performing body is likened to a body politic to represent ways in which we experience political constraints or exercise political authority. To embody a politic could be seen as a personal act meant to provoke change through challenging power structures at local sites. Each of the artists expose a power relation in which they test their bodies’ resistance to, or complicity with, opposing forces, especially in regard to race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Provocative or demure, Manuel López, Raquel Punto , Willem Wilhelmus & Arianne Foks , Victor de la Rocque, Francesca Fini, Arianna Ferrari, Tales Frey, and Jai Du show how visual culture can manifest through personal interventions to generate resistance, critique, or provide a form of catharsis.
The collaboration between Willem Wilhelmus + Arianne Foks creates a lively dialogue between camera and performance. Their mediated action displays a struggle between performing body and object, and between performer and performer. What chokes Foks literally strangles Wilhelmus, a power-play of sorts, where it is impossible to discern clout.
Tales Frey pushes his bodily limits to the max by assimilating to a new form, revealing the impossibility of embodying an object. The elements work to antagonize Frey’s effort, as the burning wax in his hands exposes an oscillation of energy between flesh and fire. Ideas on objectification are also addressed by Raquel Punto, who looks at the fetishization of bodies and the inherent power relations through difference, and likens it to cultic worship.
Arrianna Ferrari puts her body through extreme conditions with the use of alternative substances to attempt to resist outside influence. Where as, Jai Du’s poetic narrative follows a self-imposed manipulation or doping, as she speaks on intolerance, absurd legislation, conflict and the influence of creating a standard political body.
Victor de la Rocque uses video to engage with the audience to guide them through an understanding of Brazilian politics. Commanding the audience to perform several actions, participants begin to manipulate their bodies, make changes to their position, and eventually end up where they began. Through the use of video, he turns the personal experience of embodying a politic into a humorous shared experience of the concepts.
Manuel Lopez deconstructs sexuality by playing with objects, language, body, and action with irony to present a sexed body in a new form, in opposition. Francesca Fini also works with language as an act of denial. Unable to see the keys of the typewriter, as they are covered by nails, when she types, her fingers are punctured. Despite this challenge, Fini creates a speechless letter of blood and pain to assert the importance of action over words. Leaving the audience to wonder, is there a threshold for self-expression?
RAPID PULSE 2017|sponsors
Rapid Pulse is made possible by the generous support from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Sullivan Galleries and SAIC Departments of Performance, Visual and Critical Studies, and Arts Administration and Policy; Lagunitas Brewing Co; Awake Cafe; Lovely Kitchen and Cafe; Five Star Bar; Opart Thai; Andrés Lemus-Spont/Building Brown Workshop; Kokorokoko; Standing Passengers; The Dill Pickle Food Co-op; Vincent Restaurant; Rosekill/Grace Exhibition Space; Spread Art; David Getsy, Jane Wenger; Daniéle Wilmouth; Cream; Jumptwist; Mr. Vibe; Ohio Art and Design; Felis Major Letterpress & Bindery. Defibrillator is made possible with support from the Martha Strutters Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation; DFBRL8R Board of Directors; and generous contributions from our loving community.