THE FUTURE OF THE PRESENT
Fall 1998

September 25 RAE C. WRIGHT (New York, NY)
Rae C. Wright’s live/netcast art event,  Artthieves, entertains the idea that all art is really a steal — from life, nature, other artists’ art. Ms. Wright uses the cyber medium to share her most recent "good art" experiences with the viewer, combining elements of performance art, audience participation, and tour guiding. She examines/enjoys not only the art and the artifice, but audience as art. This "event" incorporates the magical music of the fabulous composer Terry Dame. Participate! Add yours to her rich stockpile of great stolen art — live online on September 25th — when all will become a part of the art we art.

October 9 GILLIAN DYSON (Hull, UK)
Gillian Dyson presents Sine, a durational performance in which a young woman runs her inked tongue along a white wall, leaving behind a sinuous trail of saliva, clear at first, gradually blackening. Gillian Dyson received her arts training at Sunderland Polytechnic and The Slade School of Fine Art. Her work has been widely presented in Europe, including at ICA London and Hull Time Based Arts; in the States, she performed in the Cleveland Performance Art Festival. Ms. Dyson also taught performance and video at Dartington College of Arts (where she was junior fellow in Art in Social Context), Sheffield Hallam University and Nottingham Trent University. In 1995 she was appointed Arts Council Performance Artists in Residence at the University of Humberside. She is currently Project Coordinator at Hull Time Based Arts, and Lecturer in Fine Art Time Based Media at University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.

Following the netcast, Martha Wilson, Franklin Furnace Founding Director; Moira Roth, performance art scholar and luminary; NYU's Philip Galanter; and Jessica Chalmers, performance artist and journalist, discuss "live art" on the Internet.

October 23 RAFAEL SANCHEZ (New York, NY)
Rafael Sanchez is a Cuban-born artist and performer who works in a wide range of traditional and exploratory media, presenting his work in venues as diverse as White Columns, X-Teresa in Mexico City, The Foundation Elba in Holland, and New York’s own Jackie 60. He has also set his works in street level contexts such as pizzerias, delicatessens, and shipping offices. Rafael’s performances are drag-centric and elevate the craft of lip-synching to an art form. His stagings often combine nature allegories with characters that are at once mystical and goofy with a refined, layered pictorial style. In January 1999 Threadwaxing Space mounted Rafael’s first operatic work, The Libation Bearers (which bears only an absurd resemblance to Aeschylus’ tale of the same name about an orphaned prince destined to a life of peril and mishap). Set in a black and white netherworld of exaggerated props with the visual impression of a live early silent film, its twelve elaborately costumed performers lip-synch vignettes from the early music of the rock band Queen.

Following the netcast, Franklin Furnace Program Coordinator Alice Wu interviews Rafael and Lia Gangitano, Threadwaxing Space Curator.

November 6  DAVIDE BRAMANTE (Torino, Italy)   BEHIND THE SCENES
Davide Bramante has collaborated with Turi Repisarda to create Serial Killer/Rave Part II. The artist explains that the work is derived from 200 photographs "made in Mutoid village of S. Arcangelo di Romegna. A virus has been inserted during print time of the photographs. It will transform the photos by the time, and maybe it will kill less stronger ones." Video documentation reveals that the virus shatters the moving images — first an old woman waving her arms to techno music, then a dancing, toothless fellow in what appears to be a geriatric ward, and finally the artist himself trapped in an elevator — into kaleidoscopic confusion. Bramante divides his time between Torino and Bologna. He has presented his video performance work in various solo and group exhibitions throughout Italy, including Rome, Taormina, Milan, and Bergamo.

Martha Wilson continues the discussion of live art on the Internet, with Davide, Robert Atkins, and Cathy Weis. Translator: Ms. Sabrina Benrabia.

November 20 SARAH EAST JOHNSON (Brooklyn, NY)
Sarah East Johnson's work, inspired by her studies of geology, ornithology, volcanic eruptions and the development and balances of ecosystems, integrates dance and circus skills as well as wrestling, acrobatics, and other athletic vocabularies. Ms. Johnson has been making dances in NYC for ten years now, appeearing at P.S. 122, The Kitchen, Gowanus Arts Exchange, Judson Church, Dixon Place, and has been featured in Circus Amok. She has also received support from The Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, the Mary Flagler Carey Charitable Trust, and The Puffin Foundation.

With Martha Wilson, Sarah East Johnson, Ms. Johnson's videographer Nancy Brody, and Franklin Furnace alumna Mary Klein.

December 4 MARILENA PREDA SANC (Bucharest, Romania)
In Romanian, there is no word for "performance art." The closest term is "performance" which refers to "performing arts" which traditionally means dance, theater, etc. With this in mind, Marilena Preda Sanc performs a short piece right in the studio, then presents a compilation of short performance videos, including Mindscape, Inside, and The Algorythms of Power, ranging from thirty seconds to eleven minutes. These works reflect her interest in "the essence of information as image, in all kinds of experiments in art and in technologies which are being redefined today, in the logical structure of our visual culture (meta-visual world)." Ms. Preda Sanc is Associate Professor in the Department of Mural Art/Old Techniques at the Academy of Fine Arts, Romania. Trained first in painting, drawing, and mural techniques, she began a series of two-dimensional works and "visual concrete poetry" based on photos of her own body, which developed into her first work in video performance in 1993, entitled Bodyscape, Handscape, Mindscape. Since then she has continued to work in video performance and installation and published extensively on new media technologies in art, bringing this information to artists and students in Romania. She visits New York this season as an ArtsLink Fellow. Joining Ms. Sanc in the studio are Martha Wilson and Arlene Schloss.

December 18 DANCE KUMIKOKIMOTO (New York, NY)
Choreographer Koosil-ja Hwang brings together a tribe of cultural nomads to investigate their relationships between ethnicity and identity. Hwang and DKK present an excerpt from a new work, memoryscan, which draws upon the dancers' memories to reveal how traces of forgotten ethnicity affect our cultural personalities. Hwang's striking movement style, "circles and lines," combined with live video performance and live electronic music, create an ethereal environment channelling intimate physical and visual episodes. memoryscan is danced by Kathryne Sanders, Michael Portnoy, Margaret Hallisey, Mary Helene Spring, Koosil-ja Hwang; with live video performance by Benton Bainbridge, video by Caspar Stracke, and live electronic music byKoosil-ja. Koosil-ja Hwang has performed at venues throughout New York City, nationally and internationally, such as Aaron Davis Hall, The Kitchen, LaMaMa ETC., P.S. 122; Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans; Jacob s Pillow Dance Festival in Beckett, MA; Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis; Rieti Festival in Italy, and the Center for New Dance Development in Arnheim.

January 1 STANDARD & POOR (Brooklyn, NY)
You, too can receive the celebrity treatment by hiring the Red Carpet Rollers. View the promotional tape: artists Dominic McGill and David H. Brown present Red Carpet Rollers at the Trump Tower, at the opening night of The Sound of Music, and on the occasion of Mimi Hurwitz’ 60th Birthday. Arriving unannounced and uninvited, formally dressed and ready to roll the Red Carpet, the pair attract a massive crowd awaiting the mystery celebrity. Their work is an exploration of celebrity fanaticism in American culture and its relationship to the symbolic red carpet. The Carpet Rollers are unique in that they do not merely put out the red carpet for people to walk on, but they actually wait for the client to show up before rolling out the 36' carpet at their feet. Dominic McGill is originally from the UK, and received his arts training from Middlesex Polytechnic and Chelsea School of Art. David H. Brown received his arts training at the University of New Hampshire. The pair began the Carpet Rollers project in 1995, and most recently have begun advertising their services in suburban newspapers and ValUPaks, exploring the notion of incorporating as an actual business.

The CARPET ROLLERS/Standard & Poor will be at MWMWM January 15 - Febuary 14, 1999.
Opening reception Friday January 15, 7-10PM
MWMWM 65 Hope St., Brooklyn 11211
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 5PM
Telephone 718 599 9411
Directions: L Train to Lorimer St, Williamsburg // West on Metropolitan Ave under BQE. // Left on Marcy. First right onto Hope.

January 15 IRINA DANILOVA/STEVEN AUSBURY(New York, NY)
The pair present MIR is Here! a city-wide performance/human installation project using Space Station MIR (and "outer space") as a means of investigating the delineation and containment of public and private space on Earth. MIR is Here! appropriates such paradigms as the "space walk," and "astronaut training exercises" and redeploys them in urban situations: training to become the first artist astronauts to go to MIR, Danilova and Ausbury supplant their hi-tech gear with everyday equipment such as sidewalks (moving and stationary), revolving doors, escalators, and elevators. The artists will give a "press conference" from their "Space," and broadcast images of life in "MIR." The project also explores a cultural dialogue between Russian artist/cosmonaut Danilova and American artist/astronaut Ausbury. MIR is Here! is their first collaboration. Ukraine-born Ms. Danilova lived for years in Moscow before settling in the United States in 1992, and performed at the 1996 Cleveland International Performance Art Festival, and Chile’s Performare 1997. Steven Ausbury studied at Hampshire College and was a Whitney Independent Study Fellow in 1988. In addition to his theater and performance work, he has extensive experience in film and video. He has received multiple Art Matters Grants, and a Prix Canal Plus at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993 for his short film "The Debt."

January 29 ANITA PONTON (London, UK)available at 5PM EST
A performance compilation: <1> Peek-a-boo <2> Say Something <3> Fever <4> Skin <5> Seen.Unsaid <6> Thank Heaven for Little Girls...

In Anita Ponton's "Say Something," a single female figure, isolated on the starkly-lit stage area and unaware of the audience, reacts to sounds played over her. The audience members are the voyeurs of her madness and frustration. In "Seen.Unsaid" the female addresses the audience directly. In both instances, she explores the issues of voice, silence and power, as experienced by a figure who is female and trapped or contained within a patriarchal language system. By displaying herself in the throes of utter despair, she exceeds normal and prescribed feminine behavior by making herself a spectacle, uncomfortable and embarrassing -- her eyes water, her nose runs, spittle accompanies sounds. Ms. Ponton states, "Issues of voice, silence and power are central to my work. In the most recent work shown here "Seen. Unsaid." an isolated figure takes to the stage in an intense depiction of a creature trapped by celluloid and language. All of the creatures in my performances are constrained or restricted - by the frame of the video screen or caught in the light - but I privilege the feminine as the site of resistance."

Ms. Ponton studied at Brighton University and Central St. Martin's College of Art. She has performed at the ICA, London; Chapter Arts' Art in Time Festival, Cardiff; Elastic Frontiers, Sheffield; and presented video performance work for the 1998 Oriel Mostyn Open Exhibition in Llandudno; in addition, she has made and shown works in Sweden and Poland.

More Artists & Project Descriptions | about The Future of The Present |