GREAT AMERICAN PERFORMANCE ART FESTIVAL!
Ivy Castellanos, Kledia Spiro, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Rudi Salpietra, Fritz Donnelly, Uniska Wahala Kano.
ABOUT THE GREAT AMERICAN PERFORMANCE ART FESTIVAL
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.
Kledia Spiro (1987, Tirana, Albania) creates videos, paintings, performances and installations. Kledia was born in Albania and is part of an Olympic Weightlifting team. She uses weightlifting as a symbol of empowerment and celebration. Weightlifting becomes a vehicle for discussing women’s role in society, immigration and times of war. Kledia has performed in Boston at Mobius, MFA, Piano Factory, Bathaus, Distler Performance Hall, New England Conservatory and in New York at the Panoply Performance Lab. She was nominated for the Deadalus Foundation Fellowship, LG Supports the Arts, Art of the Pixel and received a Fellowship with the Office of Career Services as the Internship Fellow at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. In 2014, Spiro helped coordinate and organize the performance event “Not Obtuse, if, You Think Harder” for MFA candidates. She also had a Solo Show at the Piano Factory, titled “Weightless Saturation”. She was appointed as the MFA Graduate representative for Exhibitions at the SMFA. In 2013, she was part of the Graduate Curatorial Committee and the International Student Committee at the SMFA. Spiro was a visiting artist and guest lecturer at the College of the Holy Cross in 2014.
Spiro received a BA from College of the Holy Cross in Studio Art and Psychology with an Asian Studies Concentration in 2010. She was the designer of the Women’s and Gender Studies “Pink Book” in 2010. She also created and designed the First Annual Dr. Steinberg’s talk on “Creativity”. Spiro presented her work at the Academic Conference “Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee” 2010. She was an Arts Worcester Consortium Honoree in 2008. She is a second year graduate student at School of the Museum of Fine Arts and is receiving her Museum Studies Certificate from Tufts University.
Born in Manchester, Jamaica, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow is a multidisciplinary artist with a BFA (1996) University of Florida (NWSA), FL and an MFA (2005) from Hunter College, NYC. Her work has been shown internationally at venues including Exit Art (NYC), Rush Arts Gallery (NYC), Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at SUNY Old Westbury (NY), Queens Museum of Art (NY), Third Streaming LLC (NY), MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Arts) (NYC), Art Museum of the Americas (Washington, DC), Grace Exhibition Space (NYC), Panoply Lab (NYC), Open Contemporary Art Center in Beijing, China, and GIMPAF (Gwanju International Media Performance Arts Festival) Gwanju, South Korea. She is a Rema Hort Mann nominee and a 2012 NYFA Fellow in Interdisciplinary Art. Her work has been reviewed by publications such as The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Diplomat, Daily Serving, Hyperallergic, Artinfo, The New York Art World, and Newsday. Lyn-Kee-Chow often explores performance and installation art from a feminine perspective and draws from the nostalgia of her homeland, the commodified imagery of Caribbean primitivism, folklore, fantasy, consumerism, spirituality and nature’s ephemerality. She lives and works in Queens, NY.Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow:
Ivy Castellanos is a danger of a performance. Crumbs and debris often remain from the actions while silence fills the audience during the final moments of a performative work. The constructed objects Ivy creates are blended extensions of self and abstractly resemble the body. The gestures and moves are often unpredictable and the narrative is left for the viewer to define. The small hints of flesh that is seen by the viewer amplifies the strain on the performer that accelerates throughout a work. Ivy can be called a 'violent sculpture' but the content is always an abstraction. Powerful, lasting, and intense are the elements from Ivy's work that must be seen in person in order to feel the full energy of a performance.Ivy Castellanos:
Rudi Salpietra is an Italian born performance artist with a background in theatre acting and studies. After several years of performing as an actor and dancer throughout Europe, he received his academic education in London completing a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway University of London. His decade-long theatre career encompasses various contemporary performance making practices including inter-medial work, autobiographical and collaborative performance as well as numerous public performance interventions across Europe. His projects abroad include an intervention in Auschwitz Concentration Camp, dance installations at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and live work at Whitechapel Gallery and Hoxton Arches Gallery in London. After a time spent in Asia he moved to New York in 2014 and has since been collaborating with local and international companies such as WILD TORUS and NON GRATA whilst producing his own body of live installations, exploring notions of inter-mediality, interactivity and remediation.. At present, Rudi’s work falls within the realms of performance and installation art, with projects spanning across and often combining multiple artistic disciplines. His interest in performance ontology coupled with his extensive background in performance studies and semiotics grant him a rigorous approach to performance making that challenges the boundaries and conventions of this live practice.Rudi Salpietra:
Shared experience... is one thing that makes it easy to talk
to strangers. That's why weather is such a popular topic, or what
clothes someone's wearing. But there are shared experiences
we never talk about. Like having hot nostrils. You know sometimes you
breathe in and the insides of your nostrils are hot like a desert!
Fritz Donnelly: www.tothehills.com
UNISKA WAHALO KANO (ACCORDION PLAYER)
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)