The Dead Weight Performance Series

featuring Jesse Malmed, Carlos Martiel, Jefferson Pinder, & Amelia Charter

December 18, 2014 @ 7:30pm | Amelia Charter & Jefferson Pinder  | Doors open @ 7pm

CHICAGO, 2014 — The Dead Weight Performance Series will present two evenings of performance by four invited artists, bookending the inaugural exhibition group show The New [New] Corpse, at Sector 2337. The exhibition regards a return to the figure. This trend echoes the earlier “crisis of the figure” theme in representational painting, while also resonating with newer questions of posthumanism, capitalist critiques, and the transformation of hierarchies, precipitating a “return” of a figure that seems distorted, grotesque, modified, or emphatically absent.The performance series, in conversation with the exhibit, considers the human as a non-human event. Philosopher Isabelle Stengers defines humans as “those whose souls are moved by the erotic power of Ideas. What makes us human is not ours: it is the relation we are able to entertain with something that is not our creation.” An Idea, writes Stengers, causes us to “think, feel, and hesitate.” The word cause does not imply a simple formula of cause and effect. Rather the nonhuman element (Idea), accessed by way of a practice, engenders the thinking, feeling, and hesitation that define us as human to and for ourselves. In the sense that these nonhuman elements can be said to, as apprehensions, inhere “inside” the human body, we propose the theme of the human as nonhuman event. Conversely, the body, like an anti-Idea, at times becomes as a physical encumbrance, what Emerson called the giant I always take with me. Performance, like the body in this formulation, may carry a similar weight of responsibility, often seeming to be more trouble than it’s worth – maximal effort for minimal returns – but inescapable. The law of the body is the law, like the law of gravity. If the human can be considered a nonhuman event, is the weight of performance living or dead? Does it oscillate between the poles of animate and inanimate? How will these four artists reveal that oscillation as apparent, visible, necessary, and performable?

DECEMBER ARTISTS

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Amelia Charter is a performance artist, teacher, and writer. Her interdisciplinary practice cultivates a bridge suspended between human presence, matter, and site. Her performances arrive out of embodiment investigations, body-mind practices, improvisation, sculptural configurations, and experimental writing. Her garments, furniture and installations hybridize functional and poetic qualities, bringing multiple meanings to everyday objects through sonic and tactile play. Her work often concerns motherliness, disobedience, dwelling, and the utilitarian. Charter regularly performs one-on-one, and both her solo and collaborative work has been featured at Defibrillator Gallery, Mana Contemporary, Co-Prosperity Sphere, with Second-Floor Rear, and at the Bits and Pieces monthly Salon in Chicago, and in artist-run organizations and larger curations in New York, Philadelphia, Denver and internationally in India. She earned her BA in Performance and Directing, was co-founder of Denver Performance Research, and received an MFA and fellowship in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Charter is currently working with artists KJ Holmes, Precious Jennings, and Elizabeth Watt, and is a sponsored artist this fall at Links Hall. She also offers private creative restorative sessions, and for over four years has coordinated a movement improvisation laboratory.

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Jefferson Pinder, a Chicago based video/performance artist, seeks to find identity through the most dynamic circumstances. His experimental videos and films feature minimal performances that reference music videos and physical theatre. Pinder’s work provides personal and social commentary in accessible and familiar format. Inspired by soundtracks, he utilizes hypnotic popular music and surreal performances to underscore themes dealing with Afro-Futurism, physical endurance and blackness.

His work has been featured in numerous group and solo shows including exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, Showroom Mama in Rotterdam, Netherlands, The High Museum in Atlanta and the Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, Poland. Pinder’s work was featured at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery exhibition Recognize. In the spring of 2012 his action packed endurance performance Ben-Hur was featured at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Most recently he’s been grappling with segregation and music in Alabama with a large ensemble performance titled Belly of the Beast in downtown Birmingham, a commission sponsored by The
Birmingham Museum of Art.

Jefferson received his BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland, and studied at the Asolo Theatre Conservatory in Sarasota, FL. In 2001, Jefferson returned to the University of Maryland to receive his MFA in Mixed Media. Currently he is an Associate Professor in the Contemporary Practices department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

OCTOBER ARTISTS

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Jesse Malmed is an artist and curator working in video, performance, text, occasional objects and their gaps and overlaps. His various pre-occupations include: Choir Conductor, Loveable Slouch, Paranoiac Research Assistant, Comic Concierge, Junk Shop Salesman, Re-Titler, Poet-Comedian, Traffic Caller, Bootlegger, Idiot’s Idiot, Infinite Gesticulator, Pro Bono Closed Captioner and Imaginary Television Host. He has performed, screened and exhibited at museums, microcinemas, film festivals, galleries, bars and barns, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Portland Art Museum’s Northwest Film Center, Light Industry, the Shanghai Biennial, Crossroads, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival and Chicago Underground Film Festival. In addition to his own work, Jesse programs at the Nightingale Cinema, co-directs the mobile exhibition space and artist bumper sticker project Trunk Show and has programmed work in a wide variety of contexts individually, as a member of Cinema Project and as the peripatetic Deep Leap Microcinema. His writing has appeared in Incite Journal, YA5, OMNI Reboot, Big Big Wednesday, Temporary Art Review, Bad at Sports and Cine-File. A native of Santa Fe, Jesse earned his BA at Bard College and his MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was named a “2014 Breakout Artist” by Newcity and is a 2014-15 Artistic Associate at Links Hall.

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Carlos Martiel (born in Havana) is a controversial Cuban artist specializing in performance. His works focus on specific political events and on social injustices that occurr inside and outside his country of origin. Martiel’s performances reflect on the relations of power between the individual and the different contexts in which he or she operates. He graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts “San Alejandro,” Havana in 2009. Between the years of 2008-2010, he studied in the Catedra de Arte Conducta, directed by the artist Tania Bruguera. Martiel’s works have been included in: Havana Biennial (2009), Pontevedra Biennal (2010), Liverpool Biennial ( 2010), Biennial “La Otra,” Bogotá ( 2013); International Performance Art Biennale, Houston,(2014). He has had solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center “Wifredo Lam,” Havana (2012); Nitsch Museum, Naples (2013); Axeneo 7, Montreal (2013); Lux Gallery, Guatemala City (2013); and Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles (2014). He has received several awards, including “CIFOS Grants & Commissions Program Award” in Miami, 2014; “Arte Laguna” in Venice, Italy, 2013; “Close Up Award” in Vallarta, Mexico, 2012. His work has been exhibited in Estonian Museum of Art and Design in Tallinn, Estonia; Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires in Argentina; Bellevue Museum of Arts, Washington; The 8th floor in New York, Arocena Museum in Mexico, among others.

PRODUCERS

Every house has a door was formed in 2008 by Lin Hixson, director, and Matthew Goulish, dramaturge, to convene project-specific teams of specialists, including emerging as well as internationally recognized artists. Drawn to historically or critically neglected subjects, Every house creates performances in which the subject remains largely absented from the finished work. The performances distill and separate presentational elements into distinct modes – recitation, installation, movement, music – to grant each its own space and time, and inviting the viewer to assemble the parts in duration, after the fact of the performance, to rediscover the missing subject. Works include Let us think of these things always. Let us speak of them never. (2009) in response to the work of Yugoslavian filmmaker Dušan Makavejev, Testimonium (2013) a collaboration with the band Joan of Arc in response to Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony poems, and the on-going project 9 Beginnings based on local performance archives. In 2014, Hixson and Goulish shared a Foundation for Contemporary Arts fellowship in recognition of their work with Every house, and expanded their mission to
include curation.

Founded in 2005, The Green Lantern Press is an artist-run, non-profit press focused on emerging or forgotten texts in order to bridge contemporary experience with historical form. Head quartered at Sector 2337, the press produces contemporary art exhibitions and unique print publications that are noncommercial in nature. We celebrate the integration of artistic mediums. We celebrate the amateur, the idealist and those who recognize the importance of small independent practice. In a cultural climate where the humanities must often defend themselves, we provide intimate examples of creative thought.

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The New [New] Corpse Film Screening

Curated by Christy LeMaster

Friday, December 19th:: Doors open at 7pm / Program begins at 7:30 / All Sector 2337 events are free

There are three types of possible bodies in the cinema. There is the subject body onscreen, there is the camera as an imaginary body- a conduit body made up mainly of eyes choosing what we will see, and there is us, the audience bodies that do the watching through a system of involuntary physiological processes and cognitive responses that make up human perception.

 

To celebrate the closing of SECTOR 2337’s inaugural exhibition The New [New] CorpseChristy LeMaster of The Nightingale curates a program of the same name and inquiry featuring six moving image works that frustrate our usual experience of bodies onscreen. These works subvert the traditional mode of watching bodies in narrative action, or as objects of sexual desire, or as merely characters. Rather these works use body as conceptual site, performative metaphor, or abstracted modular component.

Program Details: 
THE NEW NEW CORPSE: (1971-2014, various formats, TRT 59 min)
>> BOUNCING IN THE CORNER #36DDD by Dara Greenwald (1999, USA, video, 3 min)
>> BABY ! LOVE YOUR BODY ! EPISODE 1 (ENGLISH) by Poussy Draama & Fannie Sosa (2014, France, HD video, 7 min)
>> AFFECTION by Blair Bogin and Danya Gross (2014, USA,HD video, 1 min)
>> CUT by Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet (2013, Germany, digital, 13 min)
>> DEEP SLEEP by Basma Alsharif (2014, Malta/Greece/France/Palestine. HD video, 13 min)
>> NINE GATES by Paweł Wojtasik (2012, United States,  12 min)

>> TWO FACES by Hermine Freed (1972, United States, 6 min)

Special Thanks to VIDEO DATA BANK for their support in presenting this program.