Artist Talk: (Fo Wilson)
Wilson will present a few examples of her work within the context of furniture and domesticity that question the role that objects play in domestic space and how we project our own identities and desires on them. She’ll also discuss how objects can not only have function, but exhibit behavior as a reflection of the human condition.
Lecture: Talk Shows: Talk as Performance Material (Ira Murfin)
This lecture introduces the cross-disciplinary history and possibilities of talk as a performance genre. It is based in a comparative historical project exploring the use of ordinary, extemporaneous talk by artists from disparate disciplinary backgrounds working in the post-1960s American avant-garde. These artists used talk to both position themselves within disciplinary structures where their work could be received and circulated, and to remain outside the formal limitations of disciplinary traditions and expectations. By putting their minimalist tendencies into tension with the institutional and media formations that articulated and circulated their work, Murfin argues that these artists were able to both keep open and foreclose the expansive possibilities promised by avant-gardes of previous decades. The talk surveys this idiosyncratic cross-disciplinary history and gleans from it models for materializing talk in performance practice and re-imagining the role of arts categories, while also hinting at a an interrelated repertoire of talk performance circulating outside the art world in performance genres that define public life, like pedagogy, popular culture, and public discourse. Ultimately, Murfin asks if talk can be distinguished as a performance media apart from cognate examples such as dramatic text, and traces how talk performance has been identified and deployed across genres.
Performance: Our Theatrical Future: A Talk Duet Between Hong Kong and Chicago (Re-Performed)
Conceived by Ira S. Murfin
Created by Ira S. Murfin with Aaron Kahn + Guest Artists
Performed by Ira S. Murfin + Guest Artist (Fo Wilson)
Ira is a graduate student in Chicago. Aaron is a yoga instructor in Hong Kong. They have been making theatre together and not making theatre together for over 20 years. On December 10th 2014 in Chicago and December 11th 2014 in Hong Kong they had a conversation via video chat over the internet, in the way it is possible to do now. They talked about theatre they have made together and theatre they have not made together and theatre they might make together someday. At each performance of Our Theatrical Future a different Guest Performer from a distinct artistic background joins Ira onstage to re-perform his conversation with Aaron, and Ira and the guest have a conversation of their own about making art and not making art, or whatever else comes up.
About the Participants:
Ira S. Murfin is a Chicago-based writer, theatre artist and scholar. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre & Drama at Northwestern University, where his dissertation examines talk-based performances in the post-1960s American avant-garde. He also holds degrees in writing from New York University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Critical and creative writing has appeared in Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, Review of Contemporary Fiction, 491, elimae, Fiction at Work, Chicago Art Criticism, Chicago Arts Journal, and Requited, where he is now also the Performance Editor. His solo and collaborative performance work has been seen at MCA Chicago, Links Hall, the Rhinoceros Theatre Festival, and the Chicago Cultural Center, among other places. Ira is a member of two ongoing theatrical laboratories: The Laboratory for Enthusiastic Collaboration (LEC), a collective concerned with the unique phenomenon of the performance event, and the Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials (LDSM), which makes collaborative performances about cities and science. He is currently a Chicago Shakespeare Theater PreAmble Scholar and a Graduate Affiliate of the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, this summer he will be a 2015 Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Fellow.
Fo Wilson is a maker, educator, independent curator and writer. She uses furniture forms to create experiences that reposition historical objects and/or aesthetics in a contemporary context, and offers audiences new ways of thinking about and interacting with history and objects. Fo received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design’s Furniture Design program in 2005 with a concentration in Art History, Theory and Criticism and is an Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago. She has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and her design work is included in the collection of The Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design in New York.