“The performance I’m Fine is deeply concerned with moving the audience into a state of feeling, through anger on the part of the performer. In this way I view my practice as cathartically dialogical. When I say catharsis I mean: To purge. An emotional cleansing and sweating that can be experienced as therapeutic but never therapy. In other words, a strong laxative, that allows one to shit out what is no longer necessary. This extreme change in emotion (on the part of the performer) is where the audience could potentially become activated by his or her own catharsis. I’m Fine as been performed at Grace Exhibition Space, and Lumen Festival in New York as well as Hillyer Art Space in DC. ”
“Gender confusion is a small price to pay for social progress. I define social progress as the visible presence of transgendered bodies in my work. I am aware that others may not read my body as transgendered when viewing my videos or performances. However, this is how I choose to define my body and gender. People can learn to work around my definitions of gender because I have spent my life working around others’ definitions. I have the right and ability to exercise complete control over my flesh. It’s mine. I live here. I don’t rent. I am not borrowing it. My body belongs to me and I am going to do with it what I choose until I die. My work becomes the performance of reclaiming psychological space.”
Sarah Hill received her B.A. from Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa and recently received an MFA from the Museum School in partnership with Tufts University. Sarah has studied with Black Market International, Festival of live Art in Glasgow, Scotland. Sarah has also performed at Mobius, Proof Gallery, and Grace Exhibition Space in New York. She has worked on projects with William Pope. L (Cusp) and Roderick Buchanan (Swim). Sarah was a graduate and post graduate teaching fellow for the performance department as well as a graduate fellow for the Artist Resource Center. She will be showing with Anthony Greaney, Boston and Le Lieu, Center en art Acuel, Canada in the spring of 2013. In July, she was featured in a blog about performance art on Philly.com.
The work included in the Sweat Series addresses the process of perspiration, physical effort, and anxiety. Over the next few months the work we will feature uses the body’s natural process of secretion to challenge perceptions of the body and the infinite ways in which we can be present in our skin.
The Present Tense became familiar with the work of Rachelle Beaudoin in 2008 when we screened footage from her project “Cheer Shorts” as part of the Contaminate 3 Festival. The following piece “Way to Go!” fits both into The Present Tense’s Series on “Taste” and “Sweat.” We have chosen to feature this piece between the two series. Enjoy!
“I often use humor and sarcasm as an entry point into issues of gender, power and class. I have been investigating the conflation of “hotness” and empowerment, most recently through pieces that focus on physical fitness and working out. These works are introspective performances as I explore the pressures and contradictions I face while inhabiting the space of popular culture. Way to Go! is a performance for video in which I do as many pushups as I can while eating a bite of cake with each pushup. The cycle of indulging, feeling guilty and working out is compressed into one action.”- Rachelle Beaudoin
Rachelle Beaudoin is an artist who uses video, wearables, and performance to explore feminine iconography and identity within popular culture. She attended the College of the Holy Cross and holds a Master’s degree in Digital+Media from Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited at Intimacy: Across Digital and Visceral Performance Goldsmiths London UK, the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi Finland, Low Lives 3 and Itinerant Festival of International Performance Art, Queens NY. Rachelle was an artist-in-residence at Anderson Ranch, Snowmass CO this past spring.
One of the most important things about curating for me, is to represent a spectrum of different kinds of work within a genre. Many times, this means challenging my own notion of what I think I know about art making, what defines a piece of work/artist, and where it falls into history. Ean White is a good example of this belief, as the nature of his piece stood out at the first Contaminate festival. Notable is the absence of the body, which made up the majority of the work at the festival, and the emphasis on sound and technology. The audience is literally left in the dark, listening to noises generated live by a homemade microphone, and looking at projections that respond to that sound of extraterrestrial landscapes. Despite a drastically different aesthetic and approach, Ean’s performance still incorporated basic elements of the performance art movement. The piece was created live, and while the sonic aspect was the focus, it could not have been created without the presence of the artist. On the most basic level, the focus was the visceral response manifested within the bodies of the people in the audience, creating a universe of its own.