FURNACE ANNOUNCES ITS 2004-2005
Martha Wilson, Founding Director of Franklin Furnace, will announce this season's recipients of Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art awards. In celebration of the Fund's 20th anniversary, as well as the centennial of the birth of Jerome Hill, artist and founder of Jerome Foundation, Franklin Furnace will present performances and documentation of the winners in the main space of SculptureCenter.
Franklin Furnace has no curator; each year a new panel of artists reviews approximately 300 proposals received by our annual deadline, April Fool's Day. We believe that this peer panel system allows all kinds of artists from all over the world an equal shot at presenting their work to the New York audience. Every year the panel changes, as does the definition of "emerging artist," of "performance art" and now "live art on the Internet." The purpose of the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art is to award grants of between $2,000 and $5,000 to emerging artists to allow them to present major work in New York.
The Fund has consistently identified emerging talent in advance of wider artworld recognition: Karen Finley, John Fleck and Holly Hughes received support before the "culture wars" made their names household words; artists of color such as Coco Fusco, William Pope. L and Patty Chang received support at crucial, early points in their careers.
The artists whose grants we are announcing are supported by Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial and in recognition of the valuable cultural contributions of artists to society. On this occasion, Rita McBride's "Arena," a modular, tribunal structure on view in the main space of SculptureCenter, will be a venue for performances by Melissa Madden Gray and Lance Horne, Gary Corbin and Nicolas Dumit Estevez and presentation of documentation of Cave Dogs, Ex.Pgirl, Alexander Komlosi and Red Dive. Major works by these artists in fulfillment of their Fund awards will take place at venues in and around New York in the coming year.
--Melissa Madden Gray, singer, dancer, actress and choreographer hailing from Australia, and Lance Horne will present "Meow Meow and Monsieur Oui." The piece deconstructs the cabaret, through German, French and English songs, following the arc of the career of an aging diva of minimal recognition and maximal desperation. Melissa Madden Gray's work ranges from contemporary opera, experimental "new Music" and solo multimedia performance to main-stage theater and film. She received a number of awards, including a DAAD fellowship to study theater in Berlin. She lives in Australia and works in Berlin and NYC. Lance Horne holds a B.A. and Master from Julliard, has won a number of awards and residencies and he has performed in Lincoln Center's America Songbook, Joe's Pub and the final service at Ground Zero. Currently on the theory faculty at New York University, he has also taught at Counterpoint at Schola Cantorum, Paris since 2001.
--Gary Corbin will perform "Waiting for Oz," one of four vignettes depicting different characters with a common disability as above-knee amputees. Gary Corbin's work is his response to the extreme lack of opportunities for "physically unique" performers. Gary Corbin is an above-knee amputee and 28-year cancer survivor. He is also one of the country's most active physically challenged performers. He has received numerous awards and fellowship for his work. Beyond his performance artist career, he has toured the country as an actor and writer in educational theater programs designed to enlighten the public on the plight of individuals with disabilities and special needs.
--Nicolas Dumit Estevez' "Good Enough to Eat" borrows its format from TV cooking shows. During the piece, the artist produces a dish that includes the performer's body. The human body is readied for a repast that is never consumed, while cans of whipped cream, bars of unsweetened chocolate and jars of lard share the list of ingredients with eyelids and lips. Nicolas Dumit Estevez is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in performance art. In 2001-2002 he was chosen to be part of the National Studio Program at P.S.1, he is currently the recipient of a 2003-2006 Lambent Fellowship in Arts from Tides Foundation. Beginning in September 2004 he's holding a Cyber Residency at Longwood Arts Project in the Bronx.
--Cave Dogs brings together visual artists, musicians, dancers, storytellers and writers in the spirit of experimental interdisciplinary collaboration. Their videos are executed, in a similar genre of their performances, using light, shadow, sculpture, props, movement and music. Ferrous City combines the dreamlike quality of experimental film and the humor of animation in the imagery glimpsed from a family station wagon.
--Ex.Pgirl is an international performance collective founded in 2002 by artists hailing from four different countries (France, Argentina, USA, Japan). Ex.Pgirl seeks to create a new perception of nationalism for objects and situations, creating a complex landscape of identity in which the language of movement and music transcends the spoken world. In Waving Hello, Ex.Pgirl seeks to constantly subvert the idealized American experience. As if mirroring the rolling waves of the ocean, scene by scene, Ex.Pgirl builds an idea of America, then sweeps it away with different interpretation.
--Alexander Komlosi is a Czech-Russian-Slovak-Polish-Hungarian-German first generation American writer, director, and actor. His work explores the nature and dynamics of open, honest and joyful communication. The Office of the Professional Human Being began as a respectful parody of the psychotherapeutic process. It has grown to become a real and virtual event during which people share and reflect upon the distinctive experiences that characterize what being a human being is about for them. Consultations are gratis. The clientele mainly consists of low-income income individuals.
--Red Dive, a collaborative group of performance artists founded in 1996, seeks to re-discover overlooked neighborhoods, social issues and human experiences in a effort to sharpen our peripheral vision while breaking down emotional and intellectual barriers to new experiences. Red Dive believes that through a radical re-envisioning of how and where art is presented, the collective can have a greater impact on human and social issues and engage wide audience. City of Refuge is a performance-installation tour of Lower Manhattan planned for October 2004 as a part of Red Dive's Peripheral City Program. Unlike typical walking tours of historical sites, City of Refuge will turn street corners, the sidewalks underneath the Manhattan Bridge and the steps of churches into points of destination and unexpected venues for performance.