GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE, BROOKLYN
The Sphinx Returns: Jeannette Ehlers, Benjamin Lundberg, Zave Martohardjono, Butch Merigoni, Vela Phelan, Andre Zachery/Lamont Hamilton
Plus Video installation by ULTRAS
The Sphinx Returns is a curated season of performance art and contemporary performance. The season investigates the artist as myth maker and performance art and contemporary performance as the mythologies of our time, setting the course for a history of the future.
The Sphinx Returns is a return to questioning, mythology, and new ideas, asking how do we encourage and gain new ways of seeing and understanding. The inclusion of short form actions, endurance, durational, performance for video, installations and sound work will offer insight into artistic practice as a means towards a new mythology.
Allowing mystery to pervade the space of the now instigates active and real-time relationships between the artist and the public. The Sphinx Returns is the moment when the experience of being alive reveals itself through the act of being present.
Statement by Curator Whitney V. Hunter
JEANNETTE EHLERS [DENMARK / WEST INDIES]
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts 2006.
Experimental nature generally characterizes Jeannette Ehlers's work. Image manipulation is often included in the artist's photographic and video based works. On these changeable terms meaning and identity are explored, in both a sophisticated and immediate way.
For years she has created cinematic universes that delve into ethnicity and identity inspired by her own Danish / West Indian background. She challenges and explores the film medium’s ability to communicate in a visually fascinating and engaging language. Creating imaginative stories with both edge and sharpness, her work still retain the broad appeal. Her pieces revolve around big questions and difficult issues, such as Denmark's role as a slave nation - part of the Danish cultural heritage, which often gets overlooked in the general historiography.
BENJAMIN LUNDBERG [COLOMBIA]
Benjamin Lundberg is a Colombian performance artist, theater maker, and educator. His theater and performance making focuses on inviting immersion and participation by creating spaces that script the way audiences engage, and by building performance architectures that create collaborative collisions between a public and a performer (or in some cases the public and an object, or scriptive thing.)
His recent work makes shared spaces of inquiry by lending his body and personal archive as a site through which viewers channel, refract and transmit their own desires to collaboratively conjure messages & meaning about identity.BENJAMIN/juan CHARLES/carlos LUNDBERG/torres-sanchez
ZAVE MARTOHARDJONO [BROOKLYN]
Zavé Martohardjono is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist who makes performances, video art, and installations. In addition to being a 2015 Summer Chez Bushwick artist in residence, Zavé is a 2015 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Retreat Fellow. He has performed at the New Museum, Judson Church, Danspace Project, Dance New Amsterdam, La MaMa E.T.C., HERE Arts Center, ISSUE Project Room, Grace Exhibition Space, Recess Gallery, the Hole, Bowery Poetry Club, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Secret Project Robot, Dixon Place, the Wild Project, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, and Mills Gallery - Boston Center for the Arts, among other venues.Zave Martohardjono
BUTCH MERIGONI [BROOKLYN / NEW ORLEANS]
Born in New Orleans, I moved to Brooklyn to pursue a masters in painting and performance art. Since that time my work has evolved from object-based ideas to music and action-based explorations. While the shifts in medium have created changes in how I work, the effort to get closer to the core of action itself still remains the central motive. For it’s in the action of making work that I feel the most sincere.Butch Merigoni
VELA PHELAN [BOSTON]
Vela Phelan (b.1973) is a practitioner of collaboration, surreal instincts and intuitive ritualism. He enjoys transforming and altering modern and ancient energy’s into a new unknown universal existence. Since 1994 Vela has been actively collaborating with many artists as well as having an established curatorial and solo career both nationally, internationally and in the World Wide Web. He believes in magnifying the energy of time, objects and actions while blending subconscious with spirit and allowing the unknown to present itself.
ANDRE ZACHERY and LAMONT HAMILTON [BROOKLYN / CHICAGO]
Andre Zachery (1981), Chicago, United States) is Brooklyn-based inter-disciplinary artist he creates performances, interactive media installations, film, and sound art. He is currently a Jerome Foundation supported 2015 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence. He earned a BFA from the Ailey/Fordham program in 2005, and MFA in Performance & Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) from Brooklyn College in 2014. He is a recipient of the Caroline H. Newhouse Scholarship Fund and Sono Osato Scholarship Award for Graduate Studies through Career Transitions for Dancers, and PIMA Outstanding Student Award in 2013. He is also a founding member of the civic-minded performance collective - Wildcat!
RPG has been awarded several residencies including: the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Choreo-Quest Residency (2013), the CUNY Dance Initiative at Brooklyn College (2014), and the Performance Project Residency @ University Settlement (2015) in a collaboration with visual artist LaMont Hamilton for the project Five on the Black Hand Side/Dapline! which received critical acclaim from the New York Times.
RPG has received support from the Brooklyn Arts Council CAF & LAS grants in both 2013 (Arteries of a Nation) and 2015 (The AFROFUTURISM Series), and the Harlem Stage Fund for New Works in 2008 (Empurrar) and 2015 (Fire on the Mountain). Wildcat! was the resident collective in the inaugural PIMA Summer Institutue @ the Brooklyn College Graduate Center for Worker Education and was commissioned to perform as part of the Forward Ferguson series at JACK in Brooklyn in June 2015. Wildcat! is currenty part of the Devised Theatre Working Group at The Public Theater and will perform in the 2016 Under The Radar Festival. Zachery was a resident media-artist at Schmiede 2014 in Hallein, Austria and received a 2015 Educational Award to art and media center Harvestworks (NYC).
Zachery has designed multimedia installations and performance visuals for Bella’s Dream (Going to Tahiti Productions - 2013), My Technology (Deena Levy Studio Theatre - 2015), Gloss: MAO/Marc Jacobs Book Launch (Tunnel Club - 2015), and Consider Water (Dava Fearon @ BAAD! - 2015).
LaMont Hamilton is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist working in photography, film, performance and public installations. Hamilton has exhibited widely and has received several awards, fellowships and residencies including the MacDowell Fellowship, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Artadia Award, City of Chicago IAP award and Bemis Center residency.
Interview with André Zachery and Lamont Hamilton: www.universitysettlement.org/us/news/blog/curiosity-courage-and-change-a-q/
PRESS // The Sphinx Returns listed as #6 on ARTFORUM's NY Fall Performance Preview by Claudia La Rocco. "What's not to love about that?"
The Sphinx Returns SERIES ARTISTS
Thomas Albrecht [NY], Lion Ayodele+++ [NYC], The Illustrious Blacks [NYC], John Bonafede [NYC], Andrew Braddock, David Ian Griess & Elizabeth Lamb [NYC], Hector Canonge [NYC], Jeannette Ehlers [Denmark], Annabel Gueredrat & Henri Tauliaut [Martinique], Ryan Hawk [MA/TX], Elan Jurado [NYC], Jon Konkol [NYC], Benjamin Lundberg [USA/Colombia], Tsedaye Makonnen [DC], Zave Martohardjono [NYC/Indonesia/Canada], Butch Merigoni [NY], Keren Moscovitch & Marianna Olinger [NYC], Sadaf Nava [NY], Vela Phelan [Boston, MA], Julia Santoli [NYC], Kledia Spiro [MA], Jeremy Toussaint Baptiste [NYC], Edgar Javier Ulloa [Juárez/USA], Ultras [NYC], Mette Loulou von Kohl [Palestine/USA], Ni’Ja Whitson [NYC], André Zachery & Lamont Hamilton [NYC & Chicago, IL]
“My mission is to encourage dialogue between national and international artists and the public by presenting a range of diverse and thought provoking work that reflects the community at large, both those familiar and unfamiliar with performance art and contemporary performance.”
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Whitney V. Hunter is an Independent Curator, a Dance and Performance Artist, and a David C. Driskell PhD Fellow at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Whitney led the curation of Work/Space (2011-2013) group exhibition and open studios under the direction of Lucien Zayan while Assistant Director of The Invisible Dog Art Center. He has curated two solo shows of multimedia conceptual artist Anita Sto (Broadway Gallery, NYC), conceived and curated SITE Project (Long Island University/Humanities Gallery) which included the works of Nathaniel M. Quinn, MyronChristian Macauley, Nyugen Smith, Gabri Christa, Val Inc. and others, and collaborated with French Portrait Photographer, Sylvain Guenot on InAction: The Virtuosity of Presence (Topaz Arts). Most recently he presented artist Brian Andrew Whiteley’s “Fantasy and the Grotesque” (Armory Week’s Spring/Break Art Show) and Social Health Performance Club’s “Imperial Envy” (ABC No Rio).