GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE, BROOKLYN
21st Suffragettes: International Performance Art by Women
German artist Verena Stenke and Venetian artist and writer Andrea Pagnes have been working together since 2006 as VestAndPage, generating art in the mediums of live performance, filmmaking and writing, and as independent curators. Their practice is contextual, process-led, situation-responsive and conceived psycho-geographically in response to natural surroundings, social contexts, historical sites or architecture, hence unrepeatable and subdue to the given conditions. In a poetics of relations it examines notions of perception, reality, communication, fragility and failure of the individual and the collective within social or environmental spheres. Animated by a nomadic, confrontational spirit, they apply the themes of acceptance, resistance, endurance and union with a poetic bodily approach to art practice.
Their works have been produced and presented internationally in a variety of sites, museums and galleries, and have been described as transfixing, confronting, spellbinding, humble, uncomfortable, carrying fresh iconography, cathartic, visceral, liminal, otherworldly, shamanic, tensional, silent, delicate or mysterious.
VestAndPage have exhibited and performed among others at Museo de Arte Tigre (Buenos Aires), Ex Teresa Arte Actual and Museo Universitario del Chopo (Mexico City), Centro Cultural FIESP - Ruth Cardoso (Sao Paulo), Museo de Arte Moderno (Santo Domingo), CELARG Foundation (Caracas), Alumnos47 Foundation (Mexico City), Sarai Centre (New Delhi), Goodman Arts Centre (Singapore), Alt Bomontiada (Istanbul); Solyanka State Gallery (Moscow), Archeological Museum, Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo and Spazio Thetis (Venice), Museum of Fine Arts (Leipzig), Berliner Kunsthalle and Loge Gallery (Berlin), Arnolfini (Bristol); Peacock Visual Arts Centre (Aberdeen); Taidehalli (Helsinki), Arti et Amicitiae (Amsterdam), National Art Gallery of Albania (Tirana), Kosovo National Gallery of Contemporary Art (Pristina), VIVO Media Arts Centre (Vancouver), Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Art (Brisbane), London Art Fair.
Between 2010-2012, VestAndPage produced the art film trilogy sin∞fin, a complex visual research realised during three years in Antarctica, South America and Asia. The project examines the relationship between the ephemeral art form of performance with filmmaking. Their recent performance-based art film Plantain (2015/2016) has been produced during their one-month performance including a walk of 1000 km through Northern Germany, Poland and Russia tracing the route of war escape of their ancestors.
Stenke and Pagnes are the initiators and independent curatorial force behind projects such as the biennial live art exhibition project Venice International Performance Art Week and the ongoing global art initiative FRAGILE global performance chain journey (since 2010).
VestAndPage collaborate with international academies, cultural institutions, theatre companies and humanitarian organisations in production, education and as Visiting Artists, presenting lectures and a methodological workshop series, held among others at SAIC School of the Arts Institute (Chicago), NYU Steinhardt School of Culture (Venice/New York), Museo Universitario del Chopo (Mexico City), Universidad Nacional de las Arte Experimental (Caracas), Matucana 100 (Santiago de Chile), Taipei Artist Village (Taipei), Seoul Art Space (Seoul), Centre for Community Cultural Development (Hong Kong), University of La Salette (Santiago, Philippines), FADO Performance Art Centre (Toronto), Universidad Austral (Valdivia, Chile), School for Curatorial Studies (Venice), Labattoir (Thessaloniki), TeaK Theatre Academy (Helsinki), Albanian University of Arts (Tirana), Gray's School of Art (Aberdeen), BITEF Theatre (Belgrade), Theatre Academy Isole Comprese (Florence), Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia (Venice), Deutsches Institut (Florence).
Their writings have been published in various books and magazines of contemporary art among which Performance Research, Flash Art, Studio Research, Art&Education, How we teach performance art, Re-Tooling Residencies, World of Art, Hesa Inprint, Research Catalogue, Nexus. Their book The Fall of Faust - Considerations on Contemporary Art and Art Action (2010) investigates the intimate tissue of creativity, questioning performance art as an urgency.
Stenke and Pagnes are recipients of a Project Grant of the German Federal Govern-ment Commissioner for Culture and the Media (2015); the Fellowship of the Cultural Program of Argentina’s National Antarctic Direction (2012); AIR Taipei International Residence Fellowship (2012); Treviglio Video Poetry Prize (2011); Culture Prize of the City of Nassau (2011); Project Grant by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (2010); Storie Literary Prize (A. Pagnes, 2008); Art Kontakt Prize (2007); Windsor & Newton Millennium Painting Award in Representation of Italy (A. Pagnes, 2000) and the Robert-Schuman-Silver Medal for European Unity (A. Pagnes, 1990).
German artist VERENA STENKE (born 1981 in Bad Friedrichshall) studied visual arts and theatre, and holds a qualification as SpecialFX make-up artist. Her trainings in Social and Oriental Theatre, martial arts and contemporary dance further contribute to an artistic exploration of situational-induced movement based on the conditions of here and now. She engages with a poetics of relation and relics of collective memory. She questions social conditioning and the idea of union within the permeability of borders, as well as codes of representation. She researches the relation between performance art and film.
Italian artist and writer ANDREA PAGNES (born 1962 in Venice) holds degrees in Philosophy and Modern Literature, and certificates of higher studies in Museology, Art Critic and Creative writing. He has been working as an independent curator, writer, painter and glass sculptor, and translated among others Jurassic Park into Italian. He founded cultural magazines, and has been the artistic director of a Murano glass factory. He obtained the diploma of Social Theatre operator from Isole Comprese Teatro (Florence, Italy) working as an actor and playwright with psychic patients, former drug-addicted and physically disabled people. These experiences significantly deter-mined his approach to arts working on personal conflicts and social responsibilities.www.vest-and-page.de
ABOUT 21ST SUFFRAGETTES: International Performance Art by Women
Grace Exhibition Space celebrates the 15th anniversary of 21st Suffragettes, a seminal Brooklyn-based performance art event originally held in 2001. Jill McDermid (Director and Co-Founder of GES) curated and directed 21st Suffragettes, a 72-hour event of works made only by women in the galleries and bars of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, featuring performances at Galapagos Art Space, exhibitions at numerous galleries, DJ’s at a Williamsburg bar and DJ’s and bands at all-nite Rubulad. Participating galleries included: Sideshow, Front Room Gallery, Figureworks, Fish Tank, Roebling Hall, South First, The Williamsburg Art & Historical Center and more.
This Spring, Grace Exhibition Space will once again put a spotlight on works made by women for 21st Suffragettes: Performance Art by Women. Our Spring 2016 programming hosts women from around the globe, starting with the radical work of Rocio Boliver (aka La Congelada de Uva) [Mexico], feminist porn artist Madison Young [USA], street & gallery artist Annabelle Guérédrat [Martinique], Brooklyn Museum's Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art participant, Arahmaiani [Indonesia] internationally renowned Performance Art duo, VestAndPage [Germany/Italy]
and ending at Rosekill, Rosendale NY Memorial Day weekend May 27-30, 2016
We are a new era of strength in women and men and a new century of change! -Jill McDermid, Director/Co-Founder, Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn
UPCOMING 21ST SUFFRAGETTES 2016 SCHEDULE
MAY 13 - VESTANDPAGE [GERMANY/ITALY]
Memorializing and Continuing the Suffragettes Movement
ABOUT GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
Opened in 2006, Grace Exhibition Space is devoted exclusively to Performance Art. We offer an opportunity to experience visceral and challenging 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. This is how performance art is meant to be experienced and our mission is the glorification of 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)