Present Tense, 9 years

Each time July 29th rolls around the Present Tense gets a year older. Next year we will celebrate 10 years of the Present Tense, I can’t believe that nearly a decade has already passed. Late summer always brings a time of reflection on where Present Tense has been and where its going, this year I found myself thinking a lot about gallery SoToDo and the Performance Art Congress. While the Congress and SoToDo (which was a floating gallery) never officially worked with the Present Tense in an organizational capacity, it was the source of many of the artists we’ve connect with and shown over the years. While I was thinking about it a few weeks ago, I was surprised to find that SoToDo’s website was still up, despite it being inactive since 2009. On it, I found a wonderfully written statement from Theordor Di Ricco, the organizer of SoToDo.

Past, Present, Future; What is Performance Art
by Theodor di Ricco

Lecture
11. Sept. 2009
project space LAB39 in Mullae Artist’s Village, Seoul, South Korea

Walking into a room, removing a rubber ball from a pocket and bouncing it on the floor is performance art if the performance artist declares it to be such. Sitting in a lecture hall and watching someone dressed in yellow maneuver themselves to a seat can be considered performance art if the observer declares it to be such. Performance Art does not have a beginning or an end. It happens. Whether it is takes place as spoken word, as a manifestation, an individual action, or even as a foolish activity, it has always occurred because of the need to communicate information on how to live. Art is a vehicle of communication.
Human beings have learned to be creative and social in order to survive. At the dawn of civilization, the first art works were sculptured from stone and painted on cave walls to communicate lessons learned or deeds accomplished. As societies developed, those who controlled the access of information were the ones favored. In order to preserve their power, they subsequently developed a Machiavellian power structure to organize and control the community.

In every society there are fools, shamans, sages and artists who are set apart from the society in general. They are either crazy, have super-human abilities, are wise or creative. To deal with them, the society creates a micro system which mirrors the general Machiavellian structure. Within this tightly controlled micro-system, they are placed at the center and the rest of the community occasionally surrounds.
Within this group it is the artist sets an example how to live (make art). The artist is at the center and is able to see everyone.  This advantage allows the artist to act as a pressure valve within the society, expressing concepts and ideas together with actions and deeds that balance the spectrum of society’s common consciousness,

The alternative life style represented by the artist is tolerated and respected to a certain degree. Because if the quality of life within the society at whole diminishes, some within the community seek alternatives. The artist acts as a catalyst for change. However, for this privilege, the artist is trapped by the community’s focus and must manipulate each side in order to remain in the center (or alive).

The role of the community is to be shown how to live (make art).  The community is content to follow the example of the artist, and is freed from the responsibility of having to live (make art) for themselves. Their role is simply to experience.
The micro-Machiavellian structure is in place for the preservation of society and demonstrates a collective discipline on the part of the artist and the community in order to prevent a state in which everyone is living (making art) for themselves, or in short, a state of anarchy.

Once again, in order to survive humans are creative and social, Art is a means of communication As societies developed, those who have access of information found themselves in control. This lead to a Machiavellian power structure. Mirroring this structure, a micro-version is set-up within where the artists is placed.

Remaining in the center and acting as a pressure valve within the society an example of this is in the beginning of the 20th century. The Futurist and Dadaist, caught in the middle of economic and political extremes created by rapid Industrialization and the First World War, responded by creating time based environments mirroring the chaos of everyday life.

Many art historians define this two groups as the origin of performance art. I could continue mentioning groups or names of artists throughout the last century however people have always been using time as a media of commutation. It is therefore irrelevant to speak of a history of performance art, to drop names as to who was the first to do it and where it first appeared. What is important is to find the thread that links one’s cultural history to time-based events in contemporary life.

Even though Performance Art has always existed, it is only recently been named. The word Performance Art originated from the visual as well as the sound artists’ mouths when asked in the Seventies what they were doing. Later the word was used by art historians when labeling a generation of artists that was moving away from expressing their world in stagnate medium in sculpture, painting and music and consciously used the element of time as a media of artistic expression.

Since the end of the Second World War, virtual consciousness has evolved tremendously. The telephone and television had moved humans much closer to experiencing events simultaneously. Today, the internet is increasingly the vehicle of communication incorporating the two as well as being global and instantaneous.

During the last decades, artists have strengthened their international network respective to the developments of information technology. They also have moved closer to creating art simultaneously. Perhaps performance art is one of the first art forms that appeared in various cities around the world at the same time some forty years ago.

In the sixties, there were Happenings, Sit-Ins, group demonstrations where people came together to manifested a collective statement or common consciousness,

The seventies, Fluxus, in which an object or act is used and manipulated, thus giving it a new meaning. It developed from the concept debated during the period that everyone is an artist in the infrastructure of society; from the gardener, to the craftsmen, the dentist to the politician. It is particular to note, that it is at this time the word Performance Art was deemed proper to use when describing this new and controversial art form.

In the Eighties, artists continued expanding their networks locally as well as globally. The Performance Art began to incorporate the elements of dance, theater, video and music. New genres within performance art were created. An awareness of the body within time and space became Body Art Also, Endurance performance art where the artist explores the limits of the human body and Survival in which the body is physically mutilated became relevant statements with the context of performance art.

In the Nineties, Ritual based performance happened, in which the artist instigates a process, however abstract to impress the experience. Ultimate Mass demonstrations took place where people congregated at a site for a brief period and collectively performed one act. Thus the act of mobilizing had become the statement in itself. Theater, dance and music were increasingly incorporating some of the elements of Performance art and Live Art was created.

In the Naughts or the last decade, artists, having being taught by those who are relevant to the art of performance, have mastered the technique of video and sound and readily included others people in their performance.

Taking a closer look at the history of performance art, similarities in european history, can be drawn to predict it’s future in the upcoming decades. Between circa. 1835 and 1865 the secret police of Austria, Russian and Germany worked together to control the threat of revolution, which that had already occurred in France fifty years earlier. This period is referred to as Biedermeier.

A parallel has recently occurred during the thirty year neo-liberalism period between 1980 and 2010. This economic strategy where the market will control itself and therefore did not need government regulation was in response to the totalitarian communism of the Soviet Union and China.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the neo-liberalism which had already been exported to South America, ruled over the conversion of the former communist countries and China. The shock of political change disorientated many and allowed for a rapid installation of this laissez-faire economic plan. Dissent was labeled as acts against the state and dealt with accordingly. Then came 9-11 and terrorism.

This threat was not limited to the borders of any particular country. Though terrorist acts are site specific, security is global. This provided the impetus within developed countries to install their own neo-liberalism policies. As with the Cold War and now the threat of terrorism, fear is firmly installed and governments implement laws that erode civil rights.

As with the Biedermeier period, in the last thirty years people retreated into our their own four walls due to shock of a neo-liberalism and the threat of terror. When the artists band together to express an alternative consciousness, they are romantic not knowing how or whether there actions might someday justify their means.

Many understand that in order to change society one must also work from within. The current outlet for free speech is through the internet. With the dawn of Web 2.0, there are not three, nine or thirty-six television channels and a separate telephone line, there is only one cable. Both are replaced by the computer monitor, whether it is on a desk or hanging on the wall. Our social networks have become, in part, virtual. We are free to choose what we experience. Art via the monitor will develop within this parameter and performance art is it’s artistic media. Because the ephemeral quality of performance art is it’s means and has been turned into a commodity by those who create it. The future of performance art lies in the action of marketing this commodity via the internet.

There is much debate about what are the elements of performance art. What is most essential is that the method of communicating a message be honest and authentic. Repetition of another person’s work for entertainment purposes is not performance art. There is also much debate about the public’s response to performance art. Performance art does not warrent approval. The public is not required to applaud to show respect. They role is to experience.

A singular performance art action where there is no public and no documentation thereof betrays the necessity to communicate a message. Others can debate differently. However, this debate can be compared to the sound of one had clapping. It is endless and only relevant to those who try to answer it.

It seems nowadays to question the artist’s message and purpose is to betray common sense. As with every action, it has a political, spiritual and an eastectic statement. The can of dog food one buys at the market or the clothes one choses to put on in the morning is a message about oneself and how one interprets the society in which one lives. It seems to reason that if an artist uses the action and calls it art, that their message should be relevant and the concept clear. The need to communicate information to people on how to live (make art) is the purpose of the performance artist.

 

The winds of a silent revolution are taking place, the political and economic structures of the last three decades are changing. The world is moving away from neo-liberalism capitalism towards a socialist democracy. Currently there are more socialist countries than before the Cold War. The last Keynesian period of social democracy between ca. 1930 to 1960 brought the world modern art. This upcoming period will unleash a flurry of contemporary art and performance art is well positioned to be the art form of the 21st century.
Therefore, it is also extremely important that festivals and congresses centered around performance art happen. They bring together artists who differ in their distinct geographical and cultural temperaments, thus ensuring a constant influx of new ideas. They also provide an time based environment where the artists and the public can explore current contemporary means of artistic expression, communicate, pool ideas together and strengthening the bridges that link them further. The benefit of this exchange, whether artistic or personal, is a highly motivating factor for all those who participate. In the case of life following art, this collective artistic happening of performance artists is a service to themselves and to the society at whole.
The concept of performance art has been debated and has continued to evolve. It is the pinnacle of contemporary art simply because it is time based. It is the performance artist who first defines the moment, which is later interpreted in other artistic medium of sculpture, painting, theater, film, dance or music. Performance art is the act of making art on site at the moment. Yet, even though everyone is allowed to make art, only a few dare to do so.

So, To Do.

 

As I began working on this blog post, I noticed that the SoToDo website had disappeared. I can only hope this is temporary, as it houses a wonderful archive including an epic list of every artist that’s performed at the Congress dating back to 1987. For now, we’ll just have to view the site via the Wayback Machine.

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Collaborative Duos- Part 1

The Present Tense was built out of Sandrine Schaefer and Philip Fryer‘s long time collaboration.  Because of this, we have always held collaborative duos close to our hearts.  Next month, LONG-TERM, a live art event curated by Sandrine Schaefer and Adriana Disman that features the work of various artist duos who investigate extended duration, will come to Toronto’s Hub 14.  In honor of this upcoming event and our sustained love of artists who choose to make work together, The Present Tense has revisited the archives to bring you a few videos from artist duos we have exhibited through the years.  To begin, we are sharing excerpts from Sandrine and Phil’s 17 year “Cicada Project.”  Then we revisit the Contaminate Festival to share Mari Novotny-Jones & Kristina Lenzi and Coach TV.  We also bring you JV‘s “Trapped” at the Seconds Festival, The Royal Najo Family at PT3 and Tomoko Kakeda and Joanne Stein at PT5.  Enjoy!

 

 

Sandrine Schaefer & Philip Fryer “Cicada Project” 2006-2023

Philip Fryer & Sandrine Schaefer from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

Cicada Project 8.2010 from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

3CiadasFinal from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

Mari Novotny Jones & Kristina Lenzi at the Contaminate 3 International Performance Art Festival curated by The Present Tense & TEST 2008

Mari Novotny Jones and Kristina Lenzi @ Contaminate 3 2008 from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

Tomoko Kakeda & Joanne Stein  at PT5 curated by The Present Tense 2007

Tomoko Kakeda & Joanne Stein@ PT5 2007 from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

Royal Najo Family at PT3 curated by The Present Tense 2007

Royal Najo Family @ PT3 2007 from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

JV at the Seconds International Performance Art Festival curated by The Present Tense 2006

JV @ Seconds 2006 from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

Coach TV at the Contaminate 1 International Performance Art Festival curated by The Present Tense & TEST 2006

Coach TV @ Contaminate 1 2006 from The Present Tense on Vimeo.

Taste: Domix Garrido

"Hambre" 2008 Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid, Spain Photo by Fuensanta Balanza

 

Domix Garrido works in the field of performance that is generated around the experimental arts in the context of conceptual art. Much of his work is developed  by uniting two perspectives: socio-political and personal.   He aims for his work to address the strength of  natural and profound emotion.  His objective is to induce emotion that leads to deeper levels of thought throughout his audiences.  Garrido often employs the action of eating to build relationships with his witnesses.  Using minimal resources, this action becomes paramount, reminding those who experience the work that we are connected by this shared human need.  The Present Tense has chosen to feature a collection of his pieces utilizing the sense of taste.

In his piece “Hambre” Garrido is installed, blindfolded, in an outdoor space near a museum.  It is Christmastime.   He eats a hard cake typical of this period.  The cake is in 6 pieces, forming the word HAMBRE (hunger).   The texture is hard to  swallow, so the artist washes it down with champagne.  He spits out the remains repeatedly until the performance ends.

"H2mbre" 2009 EBENT Festival Internacional de fects performátiques Barcelona, Spain Photo by José Carlos Soto

 

He brings this action into the context of a Fine Arts University in his piece “H2mbrein 2009.  Garrido develops this action in 2012 bringing it further into the public realm.  In a public square the artist uses a large knife to cut the words HAMBRE  out of cakes.  Instead of engaging in the eating as an individual action, he invites the public to eat cake.  His eyes are covered while he eats a hard cake. A homeless person offers 1 euro to buy the letter “A”.  She mimics the artist’s action of chewing and  spitting on the ground.  They “eat” together until the end of the performance.

 

“Hambre #4” 2012 JIAAP / Weber-Lutgen Gallery Sevilla, Spain Photo by Ángel Montalbán

 

Garrido employs a site-sensitive approach in his piece, “Chokran”.  During Ramadan, the artist waits for sunset to walk into the Atlantic Ocean holding a tray of sugar cubes. Once in the water, Garrido  makes an offering to the sea and “asks him to eat sugar.”  When the ocean gives back the tray, it frees one piece that Garrido eats.  He allows the cube to dissolve in his mouth, experiencing the contrast of sweet and salty before leaving the water and thanking the ocean.

 

"Chokran" Atlantic Action 2010 ASILAH Tangier, Morroco Photo by Francis Ujaque

 

Garrido shares memories of his grandfather as the beginning action of “Interrumpido”.   He offers the audience cigarette paper made from esparto leaves and pencils. He asks the public to write the name of a loved one and stick the paper on his head. After the audience has made their contributions, Garrido ingests all the names by eating the “leaves.”

 

"Interrumpido” 2010 ARTóN. Arte de Acción Madrid, Spain Photo by José Mogrol


 

 In “Mudança Garrido addresses taste without utilizing the action of eating.  He picks leaves from trees in a public garden.  After dusting his head and mouth with powdered sugar, he wraps his head with the leaves he has collected.  He walks through a nearby outdoor market wearing this mask of sorts, the sugar gathering in the corners of his mouth and the space where the nostril and cheek meet.  He purchases a couple of decorative buttons from a seller at the market, a reference to taste as it relates to esthetic standards. Garrido places the buttons over his eyes, removing the sense of sight.  He lays down, the buttons tumble to the ground.

 

"Mudança" Epipiderme Feira da Ladra Lisbon, Portugal Photo by Mario Gutiérrez Cru

 

 

Domix Garrido graduated in Performing Arts and specialized in Museology and Contemporary Art.  Domix is the founder of Festival ABIERTO DE ACCIÓN in Spain, and gives a series of performance art workshops in educational institutions and art centers.
As an organizer, Domix promotes the research and the exhibition of the performance art through events in several cities.
As a performer he has performed his work in many spaces as well as national and international events like: CENDEAC, LAB, Centro Párraga, Progreso80, EBENT, Acción!MAD, OutOfMind, Poéticas, Weber-Lutgen Gallery, JIAAP, Espacio-1, Préavise Désordre Urbain, Théâtre des Bernardines, Octubre – Arrt d´Acció, Epipiderme, L´Estruch, ARTóN, Kunsthall, FITUR.

Visit  http://domixgarrido.es to see more of his work.

“Go with your gut…every single time.” an interview with EJ Hill

Back in October, I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing the work of LA based artist EJ Hill.  We both were representing Defibrillator Gallery at the MDW Art Fair in Chicago.  In the midst of the bustle of the art fair, EJ stood as still as possible for 3 hours.  I instantly fell in love with his piece and his demeanor.  The Present Tense is thrilled to share a recent interview we did with him!

"Drawn" 2011- EJ licked every wall of the exhibition space. After a few minutes, his tongue was rubbed raw and left a trail of blood. photo by Matt Austin

TPT: Who are you?
EJ: Ah! Such a big first question! I’m still working on that one. I haven’t quite resolved that one yet…

 

 

TPT:  How did you find live art?  How did live art find you?
EJ: I guess I’ve always sort of been interested in extraordinary experiences or circumstances but I didn’t really come to understand those as art until I found myself hanging out with other weirdos at Columbia College in Chicago. I thought I was going to learn to draw and paint when I got to art school, which, you know, was definitely there, but once I figured out that other things could be art, that experiences could be art, I hit the ground running in a different direction.

 

 

TPT: Tell me about one experience that has influenced, inspired or affected your work.
EJ: When I was about 6 or 7 years old, my only neighborhood friend was the kid who lived next door. He was about a year or two older than me and his family pretty much gave him free reign. My family was the exact opposite; I was so coddled and sheltered growing up that I wasn’t even allowed to go past our driveway onto the sidewalk alone. So I never really got to venture out and play with the other kids. Because of that, my friend knew a whole lot more about things than I did but he was always getting into trouble for one thing or another. So one day we were playing in my backyard and he told me that if I put my mouth on his penis that it would feel good. So not knowing what any of this was about but curious to try it, he pulled out his penis, put it in front of my face and I did what I always did when things entered my mouth… I bit down. Hard.

"Suck and Blow" 2009 blow dryer, vacuum with hose attachment, performance duration: 7 minutes, photo by Tannar Veatch

TPT:  In October 2011,  you made a piece where you stood still for 3 hours for the MDW Art Fair in Chicago. Can you talk about the intention behind this action?
EJ: I think I was just tired of performing at that point. I felt that when people showed up to see one of my performances, they expected me to make some intense, hyper-aggressive, balls-to-the-wall piece where I sweat and cry and freak out. And I don’t ever want my work to become predictable. Ever. So I was thinking about ways to perform, without actually performing. So I thought, “What if I just stood still and did nothing for as long as I could?”

 

TPT:  Can you describe your process for realizing this work?
EJ: Yeah, so after the “What if…” thought, I decided to try it. The fist time I tried it, the plan was stand still for 24 hours and see what happens. I was working late in the studio one night and I asked my friend Dylan Mira to take one photo of me on the hour every hour. So I set up the tripod and camera and just stood about 20 feet away from it. That night, I only made it to 4 hours, but those 4 hours were so crazy! By the end of it, snot was running from my nose, my shoulders sagged by about a full inch, my feet were swollen, and I couldn’t really see because my eyes had been tearing up for the last hour or so.

 

TPT:  What were some of your expectations/ hopes (if any) of your audience?
EJ: I had hoped that whatever meditative, out of body, mindfuck that I was experiencing could somehow be transmitted from my body to anyone else who encountered me. I wondered if whatever energy that was flowing through me while I was in that altered state could be felt by others.

 

TPT:  Were there any moments that surprised you?
EJ: I think it was somewhere around the last hour where another piece in one of the other booths at MDW sent me flying somewhere else! It was a sound piece that could be heard throughout the entire floor. It was a continuous low drone that layered and got louder and more complex with time. I noticed that the whole time I was there, no one really engaged with me for longer than a few seconds but when the sound piece started to affect me in this hypnotizing way, people started to gather around and just watch. I’m not sure what I looked like but I think it was at that moment that I tapped into whatever I tapped into that first night in the studio. People stood around, and just watched. Just watched me stand.

 

TPT:  Why did you choose to create this work over the duration of 3 hours?
EJ: I planned to go for longer, but shortly after the low drone of the other piece ended, I just didn’t want to continue. After the sound stopped, I felt like I was doing that thing where I was performing. I was only continuing for the sake of the audience and it began to feel really insincere.

 

TPT:  How did the piece evolve for you over that time?
EJ: It was painful. Ironically, standing still takes a lot of hard work, tons of stamina. The soles of my feet were killing me, my back and shoulders were hurting from the weight of my arms. Physically, it wasn’t very pleasant but psychologically, it was almost euphoric.

 

TPT:  How was performing in Chicago different from making work in other places?
EJ:Well, I went to school in Chicago so I had a few years of developing a practice or a working method. I was comfortable. And I think toward the end, other people were comfortable with what I was doing and expected me to deliver a certain type of work. So any time I got the opportunity to travel and make work somewhere else, it was exciting. I could go and make my work with an entirely new audience who didn’t go into it with any preconceived notions. Chicago also has this very impressive “get off your ass and make it happen” kind of attitude. If it’s not being done, and people want to see it happen, someone will make it happen. People are grinding hard and not so much because of market pressures as is the case in some other cities, but because they really believe in what they do. It’s phenomenal. It’s beautiful. It’s so fucking REAL.

 

TPT:  How did the context of an art fair inform your piece?
EJ: I knew it was going to be busy. There was going to be a lot of people, a lot of action, a ton of art. I wanted to contrast the usually overwhelming nature of art fairs.

 

TPT:  Do you have an ideal context for your work to be experienced in?
EJ: Yes. That moment when you’re least expecting it.

(photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America)

TPT:  You were one of the performers who participated in Marina Abramovic’s piece for The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ annual Gala. How did this situation challenge your perception of stillness?
EJ: That one was weird because there were so many other things going on at the time (the Debbie Harry performance, the tiff between Yvonne Rainer and Marina Abramovi?) so it was really difficult to even think about stillness with so many distractions on and off court. And we were all supposed to rotate on lazy Susans beneath the tables so we were still, but only kind of.

 

TPT:  How has this experience informed your creative process?
EJ: The MOCA performance itself, the action, sort of left as quickly as it arrived. But I still find myself asking questions regarding power dynamics in the art world. I haven’t unlocked any secrets or answered any questions definitively, but I’m thinking a lot more about work ethic, compensation, celebrity/art stardom, creative impetus, the role of the wealthy in the production/consumption of art…

 

TPT:  What are you currently studying?
EJ: Love.

 

TPT:  Who/What is inspiring/ influencing your work presently?
EJ: Mark Aguhar, Frank Ocean, Anderson Cooper.

 

TPT:  Any words of wisdom?
EJ: Go with your gut. Every single time.

Stillness Series- Daniel S. DeLuca

Sitting With Cloud Gate


October 21st, 2009, 7am- 5pm

Chicago, Millennium Park

On October 21st, 2009, Boston-based artist, Daniel S. DeLuca sat in front of Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor in Millennium Park in Chicago from the hours of 7 am-5pm.    This was part of a series of actions in response to public art that DeLuca was working on at the time.  Concentrating on the action of deep breathing, with eyes half closed, the artist observed his thoughts and bodily sensations.  DeLuca considers this a process of stillness.  This is a process that involves only the essential movements.  He states “Physically, we will never be still, although we may perceive moments of slow and subtle movement, the world underneath us is moving, and the world is in yet another movement orbiting the sun, and so on and so forth. Striving for the physical concept of stillness is a way to access acuity of sensation, observation, and experience.  This acuity is important for most of my work; it focuses me on my actions and environment.”

“Most people who visited the sculpture would behave in similar fashions; they would be seduced by the brilliant reflective quality of the sculpture and proceed to take pictures of themselves in it. Most interactions only lasted a few minutes before viewers left. I interpreted the sculpture quite literally. For me it indicated both inward and outward reflection: reflection on the individual, and reflection on the whole (city).  I wanted to encourage the idea of spending more time with Cloud Gate and to do what I felt like it was asking its audience to do. I spent a full working day, sitting with my eyes half open, reflecting on and observing, my mind, sensorial systems, and the context of cities like Chicago.” – Daniel S. DeLuca

 

Daniel S. DeLuca is a Boston based artist, and current Mobius member, who uses formal techniques from performance/conceptual art to realize his work. His projects explore structures and concepts related to politics and globalization, art, and psycho-geography. His work has been shown nationally and internationally in the context of private and public spaces, galleries, and performance art festivals. Daniel is currently developing artistic research projects that investigate semiotics and the creation of new language, and large-scale reoccurring events around the world.

all photos by Celia Marks

 

Stillness Series- Kid Romance

Terror of History 2009  is not a piece that The Present Tense would normally show.  It isn’t performance art, it is a song and video created by Kid Romance on the subject of time passing and historical memory loss. The video is a compilation of still images that are glimpses of a time that have long passed in Kid Romance’s life.  Romance states that the images by themselves are not important. “It is what is between the images that is meant to protrude. Everything that is not there that makes up a life. The undocumented history that is obliterated and the documented history that becomes something new in each new present is the subject of this piece.”

The purpose of this website is to create a resource for contemporary live art practices.  We attempt to  document art that is essentially impossible to capture though documentation.  Kid Romance’s approach to understanding documented and undocumented histories spoke to us.  Romance’s answer is stillness, providing a moment amongst the visual and audio chaos to consider what is unseen.

Kid Romance aka Lucy Watson is an artist based in Allston MA. Lucy attended high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tufts University in partnership with SMFA, Boston. She is involved currently with a vibrant DIY community that exists in Allston and has ties to international music communities. Lucy is working on her first feature film.

Rope Series: Manuela de los angeles

“Dress to fly” reflects on bodies in space, in relation to the external environment.  The intent it to expose the reality in which the individual depends on both the materials and themselves.

2007, Galeria de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, duration: 90 minutes

This site-sensitive installation is composed of a cube of wood, needles, thread, and a cotton dress.  Large quantities of weight are held up by lightweight materials (the body weighs 47 kilos (103 lbs) and is held up by 57 threads of cotton yarn).  The garment is sewn while the body is held up by a wooden cabinet.  Once the garment is complete, the body is cradled by the threads, suspended in a white box.  The body remains in this cocoon anywhere from 1-33 hours.

2009, Second Bienniel Comfenalco Antioquia, Belen Library Park, duration: 190 minutes

2009, Second Bienniel Comfenalco Antioquia, Belen Library Park, duration: 190 minutes

2009, Second Bienniel Comfenalco Antioquia, Belen Library Park, duration: 190 minutes

Manuela de los Angeles (b. 1982 in Mexico City)  She is currently studying to earn her Masters degree in Visual Arts at the UNAM.  She has worked as a Curatorial Assistant in addition to showing her work in Mexico, Colombia, Italy and Spain.