THE GREAT AMERICAN PERFORMANCE ART FESTIVAL!
Theme: Borders (text by Laura Bluer)
with Matthew Silver, Gerlado Mercado, Anaze Izquerdo, Kalan Sherrad and songs from Marita Isobel Solberg
ABOUT THE GREAT AMERICAN PERFORMANCE ART FESTIVAL
Fstival text by Laura Blüer
What does it mean to be American? American in the sense of what it is to be living, working, and creating in the Americas: a broad and fluid definition of this hemispheric region and the people who identify with it—people of first nations, South/Central/North America, Canada, the Caribbean. The Great American Performance Art Festival is a series of performance art events curated around this question and its implications, most specifically the notion of borders and barriers. Borders are an arbitrary social construct reminiscent of colonization, war, and exploitation. The population of the Americas has grappled with issues regarding borders and migration, and barriers such as those between languages, political ideologies, religious beliefs, identities, races, ethnicities, demographics, privileges, communities, individuals, governing and law enforcement bodies, and countless other tensions that arise as a part of living in, working in, and identifying with the Americas.
Grace Exhibition Space Brooklyn and this horizontally organized group of curators and artists invited erformance art pieces that respond to the problematics of borders and barriers within the Americas. We seeked proposals for embodied art that reinterpret and reimagine the diverse social, cultural, and economic landscape of the Americas. We encourage proposals for pieces that extend to include broad cross-sections of communities and demographics, and especially those which include participatory elements that address the natural performative barrier between artist and audience. The Great American Performance Art Festival welcomes any interpretation, however abstract, of its proposed theme.
The Great American Performance Art Festival will take place from March-August 2015. Events will be held every other weekend at Grace Exhibition Space for March-May, and every other weekend at the Grace Performance Art Farm in Rosendale, NY from June-August. We will curate roughly 4-5 artists per event.
My role as a clown, trickster and village idiot is to parody excessive seriousness by playing with taboos, rules, and social norms. My inspiration comes from my heart. I perform for smiles and laughter, loosening people’s armor, and opening up a portal for imagination, creativity and love.
Some people see me as a raving lunatic, pompous “artistic” hipster, or attention-starved 9 year-old, but people don’t consciously understand the role of a clown in society. Read between the lines and you will start to see things from a different perspective. By breaking down boundaries, I provide you, the viewer, with permission to open your mind and realize it’s okay to act silly from time to time. We may trick ourselves into believing we know everything, constantly striving for perfection in a society that requires a civilized, job-holding, serious individual. We cannot be perfect. If we allow ourselves the chance to be flawed perhaps we can let the obstacles humble us, rather than make us rigid. In the end we can let our guards down to attain our most basic need of giving and receiving love.Matthew Silver:
An important node in the gROUPSELF Kollektive, Kalan Sherrard is a giant [defacialized] beetle moon who lives in a hole with 17 dogs.
For the past several years, the Kollektive has been developing a series of Not-Happenings in the streets and public arteries that function (or fail to function) as a kind of social glitching, an evangelical otherness interrupting the patterns and flows of *-capitalist subjectivity, often staging interventions into Art Fairs and other Policial Events (going to jail). Their Nomad Rhizome residency program and guerrilla free school network provide a backdrop of happy intellectual cancer and problems.
A professional anti-socialite, she also a does kind of non-narrative nihilist puppet show about anarchist philosophy and literary theory for a living mostly underground, has won an unprecedentedly astrological number of phamousse accolades, contests and fancy awards, and can be found pushing the Extremely Problematic "Performance Cart" up the length of Manhattan in tribute to various historical radicals.
The tactility and object-heavy quality of the work is amplified Kalan's dedication to cross-disciplinary sculpture-drawing and textualization, a thickness of kinetic non-narrative performance-landscapes, dynamic-statues that amalgamate relationships between human bodies and inanimates - props, sculptures, beings. Rooted firmly against the discourses of "Self-Expression", "Viewership", "Representation", it wants to seed exponential cosmic difference into a politics beyond hope - "pessimism of the intellect/optimism of the will" - a What outside of a Why.
Research for Amerika was conducted as the now-comatose group Lxs Huerfanos/Putos/Crios hitchhiked the length of the "New World" Hemisphere dressed as conquistadors, delivering a series of Pseudo-Religious Infomercials and Mystical Orgiastic Fight Clubs from Buenos Aires to Montreal - and almost everywhere in between: Everything known-unknown-known.
Other current projects range from the inverted reconstruction of the tower of babel as a massive anal hole(), to a miniature underwater opera, and a documentary from the future heralding the arrival of a strange reverse-hikikomori virus seeded by the film itself.
Themes may include: Non-Goal-Oriented Street Fighting, Nihilist Joy, Ghost Dance, Anti-Fascist Fashion, Speculative Realism and Object Ontologies, Whiteness Pathos, Direct-Action Consumer Obsolescence, Fauxtography, Squatting Stealing and Garbage-Life.
We are happy to answer any questions will not be tolerated.Kalan Sherrad:
Geraldo Mercado is a Brooklyn based Puerto Rican artist. Through the medium of performance art, Geraldo seeks to transform his body into an empathetic zone; to become a catalyst for your self-reflection. He creates performative works that are confrontational, funny, aggressive, and high energy.
Born in Yauco, Puerto Rico and raised in Westfield, Massachusetts; Geraldo moved to New York City in 2008 to work as the Video Production Manager at Exit Art, a pioneering Manhattan Art Space that closed its doors in 2012 after thirty years. Having complete access to their digital archives introduced him to the world of performance art. Since then, Geraldo has performed nearly non-stop, exhibiting works at Grace Exhibition Space, Panoply Performance Labs, DC Arts Center, JACK and many more. In 2013 Geraldo was one of the artists-in-residence at Animamus Art Salon: A Living Gallery London. Geraldo is a member of the Social Health Performance Club, a loose collective of artists creating performative works that directly confront systematic social issues.
Geraldo holds a Bachelors of Science in Directing for Film from Fitchburg State University. In 2014 his non-narrative short film “The Land Scape” was a part of El Museo Del Barrio’s retrospective show “MUSEUM STARTER KIT: Open With Care”.Geraldo Mercado:
ANAZE IZQUERDO (LIVE INSTALLATION FROM PERU)
Anaze Izquierdo (Ana Carolina Izquierdo) : is a peruvian genderqueer brooklyn based visual, performance artist-activist and organizer born and raised in Lima, Peru. / February 23, 1990 /
Anaze as an organizer is the founder of "Encuentro / Espacio abierto a libre performance", an international performance art festival in Lima, Perú. Organizer and founder of "Dinámicas de Intercambio", open debate and lectures about performance art and semantics.
Anaze completed an artist-activist fellowship at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics at NYU, an investigation in technique, somatics, improvisation, composition and other areas in MELT Program in Movement Research NYC, and now completing a fellowship of political theatre in Theatre of the Oppressed to design and develop an after school program in public schools in Brooklyn. As an artist is excited to remain close as possible to non-conforming dynamics in society as personal practices, political activism, social justice, queerness and topics related with identity & gender, also work with memorable experiences and analysis and critique towards morality and ethics within their environment with the hope that it will inspire or excite the next wave of performance, here and around the world.Anaze Izquerdo:
Born in New York City, Morelo is a Colombian/American artist based in New York City. He is a painter and performance artist, best known for his prolific output of chalk faces drawn on the sidewalks of New York City. It is estimated that he has drawn over 15,000 chalk faces since 2009 thus far. Morelo is represented by Ideal Glass Gallery in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Felix Morelo: www.felix-morelo.com
MARITA ISOBEL SOLBERG AKA STRANGE MARA (singing)
MARITA ISOBEL SOLBERG is a musician and visual artist. A nomad of the world. Focusing on Performance Art and installation. A multifaced corossover artist she experiments and engages many different media in her work such as sound/music, performance, photography, video, clay/ceramics and sculpture. Interweaving elements from Sámi, Northern and Japanese Culture and subculture she embodies personas or charachters of varied but particular properties; The seer, the witch, the sage or the jester. Equally understated and burlesque, minimal and expressive, sarcastic and blissfull, blunt and evasive, the works explore a world of challenge and strangeness, violence and melancholy, loneliness and desire where narrative passages or content. At times autobiographical, she mixes with more symbolic and ritual elements.
Marita has had singing lessons since the age of 7, she has ventured through soul, opera, rock and jazz.
She finished her Masters degree in 2007 at the National Academy of The Arts in Oslo and has since then been in residence stay at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan, The Watermill Center in New York (Robert Wilson), The Performance Studio in London (David Thorp) and participated in several art and music-related stays in Italy, Russia, Japan, Norway, UK, Spain and in France.
SPRING 2015 she will be staying in New York City and Vancouver BC, working with Yuki Kawahisa and researching new possibilities.
Solberg also has several artistic collaborators and collaboration projects like Mara & The Inner Strangeness (Tromsø, Norway), Yuki Kawahisa (NY), Terry Smith (London), Christo Stangness (Norway), The Legendary Antler Sisters (Tromsø, Norway), Stardust*, The Ephemeral Arts Connection (Sicily) and The Shakespeare’s Wild Sisters (Taipei).
MARA & THE INNER STRANGENESS which is her main musical group released their first album *RED SOUNDS WHISPER* in July 2012. Now a new double-single is out: AIM FOR THE UNIVERSE I & II (2014)
Marita Isobel Solberg: www.maritaisobelsolberg.virb.com/
ABOUT GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
Grace Exhibition Space opened in 2006 and is devoted exclusively to Performance Art. We offer an opportunity to experience visceral and challenging performance works by the current generation of international performance artists, whether emerging, mid career or established. Being a Brooklyn loft, our events are presented on the floor, not on a stage, dissolving the boundary between artist and viewer. Grace Exhibition Space is run by Jill & Erik with Vincent Tiley. Jamie is our bartender and Leah runs the door.
Please also support PANOPLY PERFORMANCE LAB [Brooklyn] GLASSHOUSE GALLERY [Brooklyn], MOBIUS [Boston] DFBRL8R GALLERY [Chicago] and EAMES ARMSTRONG [Washington, DC] - when you want to see more Performance Art!
"I have found Grace Space to be a breath of fresh air, and a new way to see and experience feelings you may have not faced in a long time. It’s a place to let yourself be exposed, amused, delighted, and terrified all at the same time, and I can say I haven’t experienced this combination of emotions at any gallery or theater I have ever stepped into, and that’s a wonderful thing. The space provides a refreshing perspective on an art scene that has been somewhat shackled and restrained for quite a bit of time now. Grace Exhibition Space is a brave pioneer as it puts Bushwick, as well as New York City, on the forefront of exploration and exposure into the minds and bodies of artists who are truly gifted, fearless, and unique." Terri Ciccone. Bushwick Daily January, 2013 "On each night, and in each performance, the human body is redeemed from the mundane and made anew."
David Lagaccia, Williamsburg Greenpoint News+Art (June, 2012)
Strange Mara AKA Marita Isobel Solberg: