Stillness Series- Sue Murad

For multi-media artist, Sue Murad, stillness is a way to experience rest, both in life and in art.   Murad describes her work as an intuitive engagement with form, disregarding notions of usefulness, common meaning, and prescribed narratives.  Much of Murad’s work operates in the territories of slippage between experimental dance, performance art, and visual art.  Having the opportunity to experience her work live, Murad accesses a mindfulness with every micro-movement of her body.  After reviewing her work for the Stillness Series, it was clear that Murad has successfully applied the same intention that she employs corporally to her utilization of objects.

"OJ Disk" 1998, Frozen orange juice, melting, installed at Massachusetts College of Art & Design 1998

Murad elaborates further on the concept of stillness:

“It ushers in quietness, regardless of the environment. Stillness has magnified moments of both peace and isolation. It has punctuated a work’s rhythm, and noted the finality of death. It has emphasized an inner human world and, in my installation work, has been interrupted by time and gravity.”

"The Tape Room" 2007, time based installation, as adhesive releases, tape unrolls at varying intervals and speeds over the duration of 9 days, installed at Arthouse, Boston

Through this series, The Present Tense has observed that stillness is a concept that evokes viscerally physical responses.  Is this possible to achieve a similar reaction when applying this concept to an inaminate object?  After looking at documentation from Murad’s installations  “The Tape Room” and “OJ Disk,” I believe it is.  Murad approaches these objects with a sensitivity that seems reserved for the human body.  The tape is subject to the effects of gravity while the Disk of orange juice sweats from the heat.   Through her experimentation, Murad turns the common objects, tape and orange juice into living beings.

 

 

Sue Murad is a multi-media artist working in visual and performing art. She teaches at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and runs Orange, an art, design & video studio. After 4 years with the performance art band, U.V. Protection (2004-2007,) Sue was a recipient of a 2008 Massachusetts Cultural Council award in Choreography. Starting in 2012, Murad will be an Artist in Residence at Children’s Hospital Boston. She lives and works in Boston.

Travis McCoy Fuller @ PT5

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to show a piece from an artist who ensures that his practice is responsible while challenging ideas about the perception of “environment”. Travis McCoy Fuller is a renaissance artist, working in action, sound, drawing, etc. He is a co-founder of TEST, a series of performance art events influential in the resurgence of live art that hit Boston around 2003. He currently lives in Rome. As many of you probably know, Italy was recently hit with a devastating earthquake. Natural disasters always demand contemplation…

We have had the pleasure of showing a multitude of Travis’ work. Looking back and choosing just one to highlight today was difficult, but one stood out in light of recent events.
The following piece that Travis exhibited at PT5 in 2007 was an earthquake of sorts. Travis collected physical objects, the cooperation of the people in the audience, the memory of those who were missing, and his response to current events as tools to accumulate a crescendo of chaos. Pink tape recycled from another artist’s piece divided the space and the people filling it. This color was my place of peace as the chaos overwhelmed my senses and ultimately brought me to tears. In one of his final actions, Travis shoved eagle heads made of black wax into the mouths of a number of witnesses. I will never forget the feeling of my teeth sinking into the wax as I acknowledged the importance of sensitivity towards my environment and the creatures whom I share it with.