Franklin Furnace announces this year's recipients of the FRANKLIN FURNACE FUND FOR PERFORMANCE ART 2002-03 !

This year Franklin Furnace received over 300 proposals from 25 countries. Six artists were selected for the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art 2002-03 and three artist were selected for The Future of the Present 2003 residency program.

Since 1985 Franklin Furnace has awarded the Fund for Performance art; this year six performance artists will receive grants of $5000 each, allowing them to produce major works anywhere in the State of New York. The Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance art is supported by Jerome Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts.

This year's FUNDWINNERS are:

Jess Dobkin (Toronto, Canada)
Laure Drogoul (Baltimore, Maryland)
Zlatko Koplijar (Zagreb, Croatia)
Mendi Lewis Obadike (Hamden, Connecticut)
James Scruggs (Jersey City, New Jersey)
Alexander Viscio (Vienna, Austria)

Franklin Furnace has no curator; each year a new panel of artists reviews all proposals. We believe that this peer panel system allows all kinds of artists from all over the world an equal shot at presenting their work. This year's esteemed selection panel of artists, Natalie Bookchin, Zhang Ga, Dor Green, Tracie Morris, and Pat Oleszko, met on May 20th, 21st and 22nd, 2002.

Jess Dobkin ( Toronto, Ontario)

Biography: Dobkin uses her body as a reference point in her artistic practice, actively exploring its metaphorical perimeters through narrative and experimental forms. Her work addresses current social and cultural issues and approaches to artmaking. She juxtaposes raw emotion with offbeat humor, a technique designed to deliberately trigger a sense of irony and unease in the viewer. Her performances in urban public spaces draw attention to the impact of modern technology on our relationships to public/private spheres.

Dobkin holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Oberlin College (1992) and an M.F.A. in Performance art from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (1997). She is the recipient of a number of awards and grants, including the Astraea Foundation Grant Award (1998 and 2000), a Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art Grant Award (1997). Her work has been performed at a variety of venues in New York including Jack Tilton Gallery, The Kitchen Street Festival, La Mama, Etc, WOW Café, Dixon Place, P.S. 122, Dumba Performance Space, and New York University. She has also performed in several other U.S. locations and Canada.

Project Description: “New World (B)Order: Racial Profiling Customs” is a performance series that examines US Customs practices of profiling by race and national origin, and the effects of recent legislation undermining traveler’s right to privacy in the wake of 9-11. An interactive performance will be present at the Buffalo, New York and Ontario border, and the documentation of the work will be used in developing a performance and installation to be exhibited in both Buffalo and Toronto art spaces.

Mendi Lewis Obadike

Biography: Obadike is a doctoral candidate in Literature at Duke University. She received her B.A. in English from Spelman College in Atlanta in 1995. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship (1993), the Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies (1995), the Cave Canem Poetry Fellow (2000-2002) and the Rockefeller Media Fellowship Nominee (2002). Her performance work has been presented at the Studio Museum in Harlem (NYC), the Yale Cabaret (New Haven, CT), MIT/List Visual Art Center (Cambridge, MA), and Duke University.

Project Description: “Black Skin, White Gloves” is a webcast exploring contemporary notions of intimate and public responses to Black propriety over the Internet. The public response is explored through scenes from a sitcom from text by Gwendolyn Brooks and Frantz Fanon. The intimate side of Black propriety is explored through stories, songs, and poems.

Zlatko Koplijar

Biography: Koplijar was born in 1962 in Zenica ( Bosnia and Herzegovina). He received his B.A. in 1981 at the University of Zagreb ( Croatia). He studied painting at Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice until 1991. After returning to Zagreb in 1991, Koplijar has performed over twenty works as a part of a the Croatian Association of Artists.

Project Description:
“K9.” K means “Construction” (from the Croatian word, Konstrukcija). K9 is a video record of a series of identical performances made at varies places around New York City. This video record has been visually manipulated by software written on the basis of the artist’s DNA. This software moves the pixels of each video frame to new locations within the same frame. The result is a new video. The narration is taken from Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Nostalgia.”

Laure Drogoul

Biography: Drogoul received her B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art ( Temple University, PA) in 1978. She holds a M.F.A. from Reinehart School of Sculpture (Maryland Institute College of Art, MD). Her installations and performances have been presented throughout the United States including The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, The Deleware Art Museum, ArtSape (Baltimore), Nexus Gallery ( Philadelphia), Baltimore Museum of Art, Cleveland Performance Art Festival, Goucher College ( Baltimore), P.S. 122 ( New York City), and Maryland Art Place ( Baltimore).

Project Description: “Scentorium” is about smell perception. Drogoul will create a small traveling kiosk/display involving odors and aromas to be set up at different locations on city streets in NYC. Viewers will be invited to share their smell experiences and observe various displays on scents. These experiences may be based on local smells observed in public places or more private smells connected to memories and or the body. She will interact with the viewers, discussing their olfactory experiences, and possibly arranging walking tours to areas of smell interest. Drogoul will keep accurate records of the regional scents.

James Scruggs

Biography: Scruggs graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in film. While keeping his art alive, he worked at Windows on the World Restaurant in the World Trade Center, as the Director of Technical Services. Since the World Trade Center tragedy, he has committed himself full-time to the pursuit of his creative endeavors. He produced a multi-channel video installation called “Disposable Men,” about the mayor-approved NYC police shootings of unarmed black men. The work had a private screeming at DUMBO ( Brooklyn) in May of 2000. In August of 2000, Scruggs’ documentary film, “Black Pride” (produced with Robert Penn) was screened at Anthology Film Archives. In June of 2002 he performed his work, “Touchscape” at Here in downtown Manhattan.

Project Description: “Disposable Men” is a solo theater piece with video and audience participation, illustrates the long standing American practice of treating black men in unusually cruel ways. The audience will be given 41 gun shaped laser pointers and will be asked to recreate on of the mayor approved NYC police shootings of unarmed black men.

Alexander Viscio

Biography: Viscio received his B.F.A. from Kansas City Art Institute in 1981. He received his M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts in 1983. He has held fellowships at Bundeskanzleramt in Vienna, Austia and the New Jersey Council on the Arts. His work has been presented at the CalArts (Valencia, CA), Randolf Street Gallery (Chicago, IL), Mostra d’ Atre Cantemporanea (Monte Carrasso, Switzerland), Islip Art Museum (Islip, NY), The Kitchen (New York City, NY), Commerce Street Gallery (Houston, TX), and the Museum of Applied Arts (Vienna, Austria).

Project Description: Viscio will perform “A Fly on the Wall” where he will be pressed against a wall, ten feet up from the floor, behind thick plexiglass and floorjacks.

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