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Contents for November 18, 2013

1. Ariel Goldberg, FF Fund recipient 2012-13, at Anthology Film Archives, Manhattan, Dec. 12

The Photographer: slideshow and reading by Ariel Goldberg at Anthology Film Archives on December 12, 2013, 7.30pm. The Photographer, as both a project and a character, restlessly shifts perspectives in order to reach inside the language of taking and looking at pictures. Initially presented as "press conferences" in the form of publications and performances devoid of images, this new installment unveils The Photographer's most intimate study to date: a re-immersion into the act of photographing. Ariel Goldberg's slideshow of color street photography will run alongside a reading of essays on the raw experience of narrating the photographic act in its most mundane and ubiquitous moments. This performance is made possible, in part, by a 2012-13 grant from the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by the Jerome Foundation; the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.



2. Kyle deCamp, FF Alumn, at Saratoga Film Forum, Saratoga, NY, Nov. 23
Kyle deCamp: Urban Renewal
Saratoga Film Forum
320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY • (518) 584-FILM • films@saratogafilmforum.org
Sat., Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Meet the Artist!
A regional premiere of New York City performance artist Kyle deCamp's latest multimedia piece. Urban Renewal is a meditation on perception, public policy, and the significance of the buildings we live in, from a child's rigorously unsentimental point of view. In this solo performance, deCamp maps an experience of growing up in Chicago in the chaotic '60s, caught in the crosshairs of power and history. A conversation with the artist will follow this event.
A Bessie Award winning artist, deCamp has written and performed numerous solo pieces, including Ladyland, a multiple-perspective narrative on Jimi Hendrix's legacy, Out of Breath, a re-imagining of cult actress Jean Seberg's improbable life story, and Luteplayer, a performance of verbatim text culled from viewer reactions to a painting by Caravaggio. DeCamp has produced her work at numerous arts venues, including Crossing The LIne Festival/fiaf, Theatre de la Cite Internationale, EMPAC, the Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, PS122, Time Festival Ghent, and the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.
This special program is made possible in part with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts' Electronic Media & Film Presentation Funds, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. The screenings at the Saratoga Film Forum are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.



3. Roberta Allen, FF Alumn, in The Collagist, November, now online

My story "Forgotten" in the Nov. issue of The Collagist (Dzanc Books).



4. Doug Skinner, FF Alumn, at Jalopy Theater, Brooklyn, Nov. 23

There will be a reading and book launch, from and for "Captain Cap: His Adventures, His Ideas, His Drinks," by Alphonse Allais: now translated, annotated, and illustrated by Doug Skinner, and published by Black Scat Books.

Allais's proto-pataphysical antihero, the inventor and explorer Captain Cap, expounds on such subjects as the kangacycle, the antifilter, and the smell-buoy, as he rages against European bureaucracy and drinks an alarming number of cocktails. This first English translation includes all of Allais's 1902 edition, plus eight extra stories, notes, historical photos, over 50 illustrations by the hard-working translator -- and, of course, recipes for Cap's favorite drinks.

The reading will take place on Saturday, November 23, at 5 pm, at the Jalopy Theater, 315 Columbia St., in Brooklyn. Books will be available for purchase. The inimitable Feral Foster will be on hand to dispense complimentary Cap drinks. For directions to Jalopy see jalopy(dot)biz; for Black Scat Books, see blackscatbooks(dot)com.



5. Irina Danilova, Marie Christine Katz, FF Alumns, at Bronx River Art Center Gallery, The Bronx, opening Nov. 22

MAPnificent! Artists Use Maps
Opening Reception / Tour by Curator & Artists
Friday, November 22, 6:00-9:00pm, on view through December 20.

Join us for the opening reception for MAPnificent! Artists Use Maps. View and interact with works created by 18 artists and of course enjoy great conversation and drinks on Friday evening, November 22, 6-9 PM.The exhibit features contemporary works on paper, sculpture, video and installation performance. For these artists, a map is "a work of art." The show's title borrows from a Google-Map application, MAPNIFICENT, which calculates the travel time between places via public transportation. This exhibition will feature Eric Sanderson's new map art concept
Welikia Bronx, based on the historical ecology of the Bronx. The exhibition will be on view through December 21st at 305 E 140th Street, #1A (off Alexander Avenue), Bronx. Free to the public.

Lynn Avadenka,
Nicky Enright,
Irina Danilova
Alaistar Noble,
Ariane Littman,
Glendalys Medina,
Hand Drawn Map Association,
Marie Christine Katz,
Aga Osseinov,
Amy Pryor,
Asya Reznikov,
Yumi Roth,
Paula Scher,
Viviane Rombaldi Seppey,
Andre Vida and
Bice C. Wilson

MAPnificent! Artists Use Maps was guest curated by Yulia Tikhonova. The works on exhibit take on several approaches to illustrate a scientific research in demographics, a flow of capital, or the distribution of patterns. They also present the artists' reverence for maps. For some of the exhibiting artists, mapping is a tool to create interactive visuals with the help of sophisticated tools for image manipulation that arrange numbers into intricate geometrical forms.

For more details please visit our website,

Bronx River Art Center Gallery



6. Claire Fergusson, FF Alumn, at 111 Hudson Street, Manhattan, Dec. 14

Dear Friends,

Come join us for another event!

Our first Art Salon ~ "A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation."

Come see our gallery of artwork, engage in intellectual conversation, and get some creative holiday shopping done.
We are continuing our Silent Auction and displaying works by various artists including Claire Fergusson, Mary Christianson, Jane Fire and Cynthia Brome.
Come delve into the world of contemporary art with us!
December 14th, 2013. Saturday Afternoon 1-6 pm.
111 Hudson St. NYC 10013
Let us know if you have any questions.
We look forward to seeing you then!



7. Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Julia Heyward, The Kipper Kids, Yvonne Rainer, Michael Smith, Robert Wilson, FF Alumns, in The Village Voice, Nov. 13

The Village Voice
Performance Art Minus Performance
by Brienne Walsh Wednesday, Nov 13 2013

Performance art seems best served by the presence of an audience. So much is lost when one can't feel the audience sweating, groaning, chanting along with the performer as he or she tests its physical, emotional, and psychic limits. At "Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama - Manhattan, 1970-1980," an exhibition at the Whitney on early performance art, there are no live performances in the space of the galleries. Instead, they're represented by whatever archival material remains from the original happenings - photographs, scripts, notebooks, drawings, costumes, installations, and, in some cases, grainy videos playing on televisions. Most of the documents will read like hieroglyphs to those who weren't at the original performances - or those who haven't done research on these ephemeral moments of art history.

Many of the artists represented in the exhibition, including Jack Smith, Laurie Anderson, Mike Kelley, Robert Wilson, Vito Acconci, and Ken Jacobs, now stand as icons with cult followings. But if the exhibition is any indication, the art they made during this period of New York history - the '70s, which creative types today idealize as a sort of free-wheeling utopia, and my Irish Catholic parents, who grew up poor in the Bronx, remember as a horrifying war zone - is solipsistic and dull with a few marked exceptions.

I don't blame the artists. I blame the curation, which provides a script for each action and then denies you the action itself. Missing is the flamboyant outrageousness of a man like Jack Smith, who decked himself out in lamé and glittery eye makeup to perform works like "The Secret of Rented Island" (1976-77) in which he cast a plush pig and a pair of toy monkeys as characters to play out the dialogue from Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts (1882). Frequently, the performance began well after midnight and lasted for over five hours. In writing, this sounds like a snoozefest - but beholding Smith in all his glory, manically gliding around his stage, presumably captivated his audiences.

The original spectacle is represented in the exhibition by a 90-minute slide show synced to Smith's taped dialogue and sound effects. Without Smith, the performance falls flat - hardly a visitor the morning I was at the exhibition stopped for more than 30 seconds to watch the puppets on the screen.

The performances in the exhibition work best when in their original states they incorporated mediums like television. Michel Smith, a video artist and stand-up comedian who resembles Tony Danza, frequently recorded his work to be shown on televisions. At the Whitney, his subsequent videos are nestled into freestanding displays created from ephemera - boxer shorts, neckties, suitcases, kitty litter boxes - related to his original sets. At the far end of the room, the video component of Secret Horror (1980 and 2013) literally called to me - in the low drone of repetitive dialogues being emitted from other rooms, Smith erupted into a belting rendition of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." Closer inspection reveals that he does so with a determined face while swinging his arms in a spasming dance. In the background, a bevy of "bedsheet ghosts" dance along with him. The scene was so funny that I stuck around for 13 minutes to watch it play again. It suggests the surreal comedy in shows like The State (1993-1995) or Food Party (since 2009), but also the videos of young contemporary artists such as Eugene Kotlyarenko. One could almost imagine Kanye West, the aspirational cultural maverick, incorporating early Michael Smith into one of his weirder music videos.

In a tiny corner of a gallery sits a television screen playing excerpts from Claim (1971), a performance staged by Vito Acconci in which he sat, blindfolded, at the bottom of the stairwell and swung at members of the audience who came near him. The pull of the piece is in the violence - on the video, Acconci is depicted blindfolded and chanting aloud his thoughts like self-anointed preacher on a subway platform. Acconci later said that the performance tested his social and psychic limits - it set the stage for the rise of "psychodrama" in performance art, in which artists like Julie Heyward performed works such as Shake Daddy Shake (1976), which told the story in words, songs, and film clips of her preacher father's battle with a neurological disease. Apparently, people present at the original performance were moved to tears - I guess you had to be there.

Intriguing on a base level is the installation devoted to the Kipper Kids, a duo who exposed their penises, blew farting noises, dumped SpaghettiOs on the stage, and boxed each other wearing prosthetic noses and jockstraps. In the realm of high art, they are the descendants of Viennese Actionism. To the most, they may look like the spawn of Laurel and Hardy, setting the groundwork for television shows like Jackass. Their lewd screwball translated well on television. But Yvonne Rainer's this is the story of a woman who . . . (1973), a droning meditation on relationships, falls flat without the presence of Rainer herself, a figure much admired for the physical beauty of her movements.

I left the exhibition pondering the merits of performance art - was it the fault of the curator that the iconic work didn't move me, or is performance art a medium that I just don't connect with? Such questions spurred me to attend All the King's Horses . . . none of his men, a performance by Dave McKenzie presented as part of Performa 13, the contemporary performance biennial running in New York until November 24. The program billed it as a "critique of African-American representations in the media," but all I saw was a well-groomed black man wearing tap dancing shoes, smearing chalk all over himself and the floor, chanting mantras, and listing the names of candy bars while he stomped his feet. The audience gave him 20 minutes before they started fidgeting. Afterward, Canal Street, with all of is garbage and glittering lights, seemed a far more interesting stage on which to experience the performative aspects of life in New York City.

'Rituals of Rented Island'
The Whitney Museum
945 Madison Avenue
212-570-3600, whitney.org
Through February 2



Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller