“SPILL” performances in New York, Louisiana

An update from Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts, about exciting developments for “SPILL,” a work that the Center for the Arts commissioned from playwright Leigh Fondakowski which had a workshop performance at Wesleyan in February 2012.

"SPILL" portraits and photos by Reeva Wortel.
“SPILL” portraits and photos by Reeva Wortel.

For those of you who don’t know SPILL, in 2010, playwright and director Leigh Fondakowski teamed up with Wesleyan Professor and Environmental Studies chair Barry Chernoff to co-teach an interdisciplinary course bringing together documentary theater and science. Students traveled to the Gulf Coast to conduct interviews and scientific research on the devastating British Petroleum (BP) oil spill that occurred earlier that year. Upon returning to campus, students developed original performances and visual art based on their research findings. Ms. Fondakowski too went on to create an original performance from her own research conducted in the Gulf, a work created with visual artist Reeva Wortel entitled SPILL.

Originally commissioned by the Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University, SPILL tells the story of the BP oil disaster through a deeply personal lens. Over the course of two years, Ms. Fondakowski interviewed oil rig workers, clean-up volunteers, community leaders, fishermen, scientists, environmentalists, oil industry proponents, families who lost loved ones in the explosion, and others—chronicling their stories into one compelling narrative that asks us to consider the true cost of oil. Much like The Laramie Project—Ms. Fondakowski’s wildly successful previous play (co-written with Moises Kaufman and Tectonic Theater) about the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay student from the University of Wyoming—SPILL engages its audience in a challenging but vital dialogue about critical issues.

While the first half of SPILL focuses on the oil rig explosion, the second deals with the aftermath and its effects on the people and land of south Louisiana. After each performance, the audience is invited to view an art installation comprised of life-sized portraits of the interviewees, painted by visual artist and collaborator Reeva Wortel. The striking installation creates a colorful space in which the conversation can be continued long after the performance itself has ended. In this way SPILL goes well beyond the average play. It is also an art installation, a conversation, a history, and a starting point for social change.

Following the workshop performance at Wesleyan in February 2012, the work went on to have several work-in progress showings including presentations/discussions at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Louisiana State University, and the Women Center Stage Festival at Culture Project in New York. In the spring of 2014, SPILL will return to the place where the project was first conceived, taking the stage at theaters across Louisiana for its world premiere and a five-city tour.

Click here to read an article about SPILL from the New Orleans Gambit newspaper.

To learn more about SPILL or make a contribution, click here.

Crafting “The Alumni Show II” Exhibition (Through Dec. 8)

Director of the Center for the Arts Pamela Tatge ’84, P ’16 discusses “The Alumni Show II” and guest curator John Ravenal ’81, P ’15. The exhibition is on view in Wesleyan University’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through Sunday, December 8, 2013.

alumni show flux imageAt Homecoming/Family Weekend last year, I spoke with John Ravenal ’81, P ’15 about curating The Alumni Show II as part of the celebration of the CFA’s 40th anniversary. John is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Despite the swift timetable, he agreed and began the daunting task of crafting from the rich and wide-ranging body of art by Wesleyan alumni a selective and cohesive exhibition of seventeen artists. I’m excited for the extended Wesleyan family and the community-at-large to engage with the work and eager to hear the conversations that follow. As John writes in the exhibition catalogue, reflecting on his own experience, an experience shared by many who have passed through Wesleyan in some capacity:

“The building of the CFA and the value it conferred on the study and practice of the arts, while not uncommon for a liberal arts college, underscored Wesleyan’s commitment to education conducted in a spirit of free inquiry, without consideration for vocational utility, but rather dedicated to increasing the understanding of the human and natural worlds we inhabit. This lofty ideal, ever under attack as impractical, unaffordable, and even elitist, is precisely what has opened the door for generations of young adults to expand their minds far beyond what they even knew to anticipate, and to consider the arts as a valid path for a lifetime of intellectual as well as creative pursuit. The broad spectrum of themes and subjects explored by the artists in this exhibition underscores the wisdom of this attitude. It doesn’t seem a stretch to see in their complex, sophisticated, critical, and beautiful work a confirmation of Wesleyan’s core values.”

Join us in celebrating and expanding this vibrant tradition. The official opening reception for The Alumni Show II is Tuesday, September 10 from 5pm to 7pm, followed by a performance/installation [“Centrifugal March”] by Aki Sasamoto ’04 at 7:30pm in Art Studio North. We look forward to seeing you!

“The Alumni Show II”
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
Friday, September 6 through Sunday, December 8, 2013
Tuesday-Sunday, Noon-5pm
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 from 5pm to 7pm. Performance by Aki Sasamoto ’04 at 7:30pm in Art Studio North.
Homecoming/Family Weekend Reception: Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 2pm to 4pm. Talk at 2:30pm by Guest Curator John Ravenal ’81, P ’15, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Special Gallery Hours: Noon to 6pm.
Closed Wednesday, November 20 through Monday, November 25, 2013.

Celebrating 40 Years in 2013-2014; Tickets On Sale July 1

Doug Varone and Dancers will be performing on Thursday, September 12 & Friday, September 13, 2013.
Doug Varone and Dancers will be performing on Thursday, September 12 & Friday, September 13, 2013.

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts announces the highlights of their 40th anniversary season in 2013-2014, including two world premieres, four New England premieres, and six Connecticut premieres:

September 6 – December 8, 2013: The Alumni Show II exhibition in Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, featuring painting, sculpture, drawing, installation art, video art, performance, and films
September 12 & 13, 2013: Stripped/Dressed featuring Rise and the Connecticut premiere of Carrugi by Doug Varone and Dancers
September 13, 2013; November 16, 2013; and February 15, 2014: Dine/Dance/Discover, a new event designed to bring audiences closer to the work on stage before and after all three 2013–2014 Breaking Ground Dance Series performances
September 27 & 28, 2013: the Connecticut premiere of Who’s Hungry by Dan Froot and Dan Hurlin
September 29, 2013: the first of twelve recitals featuring the complete piano works of Wesleyan John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce, including two world premieres
October 9–13, 2013: the 37th annual Navaratri Festival, including the Connecticut debut of dancer Aparna Ramaswamy
October 15, 2013: the New England debut of Netherlands-based pianist Reinier van Houdt
October 25, 2013: Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, the “Hendrix of the Sahara”
November 9, 2013: the Connecticut debut of London-based a cappella trio Juice Vocal Ensemble
November 11, 2013: Blood, Muscle, Bone, a performative “teach-in” by choreographers Liz Lerman and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
November 13–16, 2013: Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull directed by Wesleyan Associate Professor of Theater Yuri Kordonsky
November 15 & 16, 2013: the Connecticut premiere of the dance work Pavement by Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion
January 30 & 31, 2014: the New England premiere of the theater work HOME/SICK by The Assembly
February 1, 2014: the Connecticut debut of the Ignacio Berroa Trio
February 14, 2014: the first concert in New England by Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko after winning the Gold Medal in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
February 14 & 15, 2014: the New England premiere of Times Bones by San Francisco’s Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
March 8 & 9, 2014: the 15th annual DanceMasters Weekend, featuring a Showcase Performance by three dance companies, and twelve Master Classes over two days
March 27—29, 2014: the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States conference, to be held in New England for the first time since 1998

Tickets for the 2013-2014 season at the Center for the Arts go on sale on Monday, July 1, 2013. Tickets will be available online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice; and starting at Noon by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown.

Programs, artists, and dates are subject to change without notice.

“Summer at the CFA” includes New England premieres of Gallim Dance’s “Mama Call” (July 11-12) & Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s “Word Becomes Flesh” (July 18)

Tickets for Gallim Dance and Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh are now on sale online! Click here to buy your tickets.



Monica M. Tinyo ’13 on the MiddletownRemix Festival (May 11)

CFA Arts Administration Intern Monica M. Tinyo ’13 discusses the MiddletownRemix Festival, taking place on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 2pm to 5pm. All festival events are free, and will take place rain or shine. The Festival Information Center will be located at 575 Main Street, Middletown, CT (in front of It’s Only Natural Market). Click here to download the MiddletownRemix Festival Schedule and Map (opens as a pdf).

middletownremix logo_revisedThis Saturday, MiddletownRemix: Hear More, See More – A Festival of Art and Sound will celebrate the city’s acoustic identity with four world premieres of works commissioned for the festival, three live DJ sets, two commissioned art/sound installations, a laptop orchestra, a flash mob dance, food trucks, graffiti art, improv sketches, and a gallery walk.

MiddletownRemix is part of Wesleyan’s year-long initiative Music & Public Life, as well as part of the Center for the Arts’ greater initiative to foster community engagement using the arts as a catalyst. Not since Middletown Dances in September 2005 on Main Street, and the Feet to the Fire Festival in May 2008 at Veterans Park, has there been such an opportunity for Wesleyan students and the greater Middletown community to collaborate and celebrate the space they share. Gabriela de Golia ’13 explains this collaboration is exactly why “the Wesleyan Student Assembly’s Middletown-Wesleyan Relations Committee is so excited for this festival. For a whole afternoon, students, residents, families and renowned artists will be able to experience the artistic culture of Wesleyan and Middletown, and celebrate the work of talented community members. This is a special chance for the University and town to come together and engage with one another on a more personal and interactive level than is usually possible.”

The MiddletownRemix project stemmed from the interest of Wesleyan Assistant Professor of Music Paula Matthusen in UrbanRemix, a project created by Georgia Tech composer Jason Freeman and his collaborators. The project includes a smartphone application and website, and allows people to easily record, geographically tag and share sounds from everyday life. Over the past year, campus and community members have been uploading sounds that characterize Middletown. After monthly meetings with Middletown’s arts stakeholders group, a committee of 25 dedicated community members and members of Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts, WESU 88.1 FM, and Green Street Arts Center together shaped the MiddletownRemix festival, including partnering on a successful grant proposal to the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

This Saturday’s festival will premiere a total of eight commissioned works from Middletown artists, Wesleyan students and faculty; including “MTRX” (2012) by Jason Freeman, which will be performed by Wesleyan University’s Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble, directed by Paula Matthusen, at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm at the Green Street Arts Center (located at 51 Green Street).

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to listen and dance with your neighbors. There will be a flash mob dance at 2:30pm on Main Street between Liberty and Ferry Street. It’s not too late to learn the flash mob dance, which is open to all levels of dancers. Learn the dance on YouTube here and perform it as part of the flash mob on May 11 (participants should plan to arrive at the Festival Information Center, located at 575 Main Street in front of It’s Only Natural Market, at 2pm, and then perform the dance at 2:30pm).

For more information about six of the commissioned MiddletownRemix festival artists, check out these interviews from the Creative Campus blog:

Aletta Brady ’15 talks to DJ Arun Ranganathan
Michelle Agresti ’14 talks to Ronald Kuivila
Aletta Brady ’15 talks to Joe McCarthy and Peter Albano
Michelle Agresti ’14 talks to Jason Freeman
Michelle Agresti ’14 talks to Marc Pettersen
Aletta Brady ’15 talks to Kelsey Siegel ’13

This Weekend: Puppetry, Funk, Grateful Dead music, and more!

CFA Arts Administration Intern Monica M. Tinyo ’13 surveys this week’s offerings at the Center for the Arts.

What are you doing this weekend? Are you rocking out to the music of the Grateful Dead? Watching an outdoor puppet show? Maybe you are listening to an orchestra of laptops, or expanding your idea of art. If you aren’t, you should be. This weekend holds a ton of exciting performances, exhibitions, and lectures that are as diverse in subject as they are in medium.

On Friday at 1:30pm, get your dance fix with a free studio showing by the Philadelphia-based choreographer Moncell Durden, President and Founder of Dance Educators of Funk and Hip Hop.

Time Stands Still: Notation in Musical Practice Festival-Conference, April 5 & 6

If music is more your thing, there are a number of senior and graduate recitals, like Henry Robertson’s tribute to the Grateful Dead, “Transitive Nightfall of Diamonds” (Thursday at 9pm). You could also explore musical notation with international experts at the Time Stands Still festival-conference this weekend (starting Friday at 1:30pm). Along with symposium sessions and roundtables, there will be two concerts (Friday and Saturday at 8pm), including the U.S. premiere of London’s Vocal Constructivists, alongside Wesleyan students in the Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble.

A little overwhelmed? Take a break and have some quiet contemplation with artwork at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. There you can see the brilliant art studio thesis work (Noon to 5pm). The students featured are so talented, you won’t believe that not one of them has yet lived a quarter of a century. You can also see artists taking action in a collection of protest posters at the Davison Art Center (Noon to 4pm).

Last but definitely not least is the outdoor puppet show (Thursday through Saturday at 9pm), with handmade puppets and complimentary tea. You really don’t want to miss Frog’s journey to prevent Tokyo’s destruction by enlisting the help of a lowly collections officer, Katagiri!

Instead of your normal weekend routine, come to an event at the Center for the Arts. I promise it will be more fun, valuable and out of the ordinary than anything you were planning!

Senior Thesis Exhibitions Start This Week (through April 21)

“figures” by Ilyana Schwartz ’13

For the next four weeks, Wesleyan will celebrate the talents of seniors in the Art Studio Program of the Department of Art and Art History.  There’s a new exhibition every week, with opening receptions every Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm. This week (through Sunday, March 31) features theses by Allison Kalt, Tiffany Unno, Ilyana Schwartz, Anna Shimshak and Christina You. CFA Arts Administration Intern Monica M. Tinyo ’13 talked to Tiffany Unno and Anna Simshak about their work in the exhibition.

Week one of the Senior Thesis Exhibitions includes diverse media, from process-focused wood blocking to conceptual photography. Earlier this week, Tiffany Unno and Anna Simshak took a break from installing and chatted with me about their work. Ms. Unno’s  “Excavations” disintegrates the boundaries between drawing, print-making and sculpture, and Ms. Shimshak’s “Translatio Corporis” is a photographic thesis that provides an intimate examination of Catholicism in a modern world.

Tiffany Unno’s work pushes the boundaries of what one can do with paper. When you first look at it, it seems so certain of itself; beautifully organized chaos. Ms. Unno managed to successfully create work that is conceptual without being intimidating. It is fascinating to hear that there was so much difficulty and irritation in her process this year. Ms Unno explains that her work “came out of irritation—a frustration that turned into something more.” After many trials in which she hated the outcome, she explains, “I decided to not think of my thesis as a thesis with deadline [and] to undo my critical learning and questioning everything I do. I was at a point where I need to fix how I make art now instead of 20 years from now. Thesis is a time to intensely explore and not lock yourself in.” She began to think of her work as “an extension of creating” that “unravels what I learned [formally].”

Ms. Shimshak’s work delicately investigates Catholicism in her own life and in the lives of others. “This photographic body of work was inspired by my upbringing. I was brought up Catholic, not strictly traditionally Catholic, but I grew up religiously. It was something that I grew apart from as I got older, and I began to realize, especially through art, that it did affect how I grew and how I saw the world. I was interested in what Catholicism meant with regards to modernity. How do you reconcile a 2000 year old institution with a modern society that really wasn’t conceived of when the religion was created? I have been spending the majority of my time with members of the church, mainly clergy members and nuns, to figure out how the individual is influenced by religion, especially living so thoroughly in religion (after taking vows). How does [clergy life] affect your perception of self and God?”

Ms. Shimshak focused on capturing the sentiment of individuals that she spent time with; she never spent less that a full day shadowing an individual before photographing them. The photographs are “not documentary but metaphorical—[there is a] heavy stint towards gesture. I think [gesture] is the best way to convey both a sentiment and an action, and to capture the psychology of a situation.”

Senior Thesis Exhibitions
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown
Tuesday, March 26 through Sunday, April 21, 2013 from Noon to 5pm
All receptions are from 4pm to 6pm

Tuesday, March 26 through Sunday, March 31, 2013
Reception: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Allison Kalt, Tiffany Unno, Ilyana Schwartz, Anna Shimshak, Christina You

Tuesday, April 2 through Sunday, April 7, 2013
Reception: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Piers Gelly, Zoé Albert, Ally Bernstein, Ryu Hirahata, Charles Ellis, Nicholas Kokkinis

Tuesday, April 9 through Sunday, April 14, 2013
Reception: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Melissa Arroyo, Christian Lalonde, Emily Schubert, Kerry Klemmer, Ethan Cohen, Marissa Napolitano

Tuesday, April 16 through Sunday, April 21, 2013
Reception: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Alahna Watson, Adam Forbes, Caitlin Palmer, Arin Dineen, Jessica Wilson, Kevin Brisco

“Social Sculpture” On View in Zilkha Gallery (through March 3)

Director of the Center for the Arts Pamela Tatge reflects on the exhibition FOOD-WATER-LIFE—LUCY+JORGE ORTA, on view in the Main Gallery of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through Sunday, March 3, 2013.

“70 x 7 The Meal,” act L City of London, Lucy + Jorge Orta, 2006-2050

It’s the start of the spring semester here at Wesleyan University, and our student gallery monitors are preparing to welcome a new exhibition into the Zilkha Gallery: FOOD-WATER-LIFE—LUCY+JORGE ORTA. I was introduced to the French artist couple by Ginger Duggan and Judy Hoos Fox, independent curators who have brought two exhibitions to Zilkha Gallery in the past two years:  Connectivity Lost in September 2010 and Passing Time* in January 2012. The Ortas, whose studio is in Paris, contributed 70 x 7 The Meal to Connectivity Lost, a set of plates that were a part of their public art piece that they have mounted in cities around the world whereby thousands of people share a meal together on a set of limited edition plates, forging a powerful encounter of people from all walks of life.

Ginger and Judy shared with us that although the Ortas have exhibited all over the world, and in group shows in the U.S., they had never had a solo show in this country.  Wesleyan partnered with the Tufts University Art Gallery who organized the exhibition, and we have our opening on Tuesday, January 29 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

I’m excited to have this stunning exhibition in our gallery for many reasons, first because the issues their works illuminate are those that many in our community are discussing:  biodiversity, environmental conditions, climate change, and exchange among peoples.  The exhibition also intersects with this year’s Feet to the Fire theme, Earth and Justice for All, with many courses in Wesleyan’s College of the Environment exploring environmental justice issues.

But most importantly, it’s been a long time since we’ve had large-scale sculptural elements in the gallery.  The minute I saw their work I could see it beautifully sited in Zilkha:  the height of the gallery frames the strikingly colorful parachute installations; the segment on food is situated in front of the gallery’s windows and is in dialogue with the trees and grass of our courtyard; the film of the Ortas’ public art work in Antarctica is set against the raw majesty of the floor to ceiling limestone of the Main Gallery’s back wall.

And the full-scale canoe that is docked in the center of Zilkha has a sister canoe that the Ortas have installed at the Shanghai Biennale, where it is a fully-working water purification system. The Museum of Contemporary Art is pumping in water from the Huang Pu River, up 20 meters into the museum’s third floor.  It is purified in a bamboo “factory” and then clean drinking water is available for the visitors to taste, enjoy and take away in a specially designed OrtaWater bottle.  I’m sorry that our budget didn’t allow us to do the same with water from the Connecticut River!

Following the opening on Tuesday, the exhibition will be on view, alongside Janne Höltermann’s Remodeling Zilkha installation in the North Gallery, through Sunday, March 3.

*Many of you may not know that Wesleyan’s exhibition, Passing Time, left Middletown last March and traveled to Indiana’s DePauw University, then to the Salina Art Center in Kansas.  While we will be celebrating the opening of the Orta exhibition on Tuesday, Passing Time will open at the Bakalar Gallery at Boston’s Massachusetts College of Art and Design!  If you missed it at Wesleyan, you can see it in Boston through Sunday, March 3.

Spring Events include World, U.S. & New England Premieres

Gallim Dance performs February 8 & 9, 2013 as part of the Performing Arts Series.

This spring at the Center for the Arts we bring you work that is of today: innovative, inquisitive and sure to surprise and engage you. Continuing our exploration of Music & Public Life, we bring you a concert of music from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello–what you might have heard both in the mansion and in the slaves’ quarters–where audiences will have the chance to experience the first glass harmonica on the Crowell Concert Hall stage. The great activist and trumpeter Hugh Masekela will bring his band to Wesleyan, and our own West African Drumming ensemble will have the chance to open for him. In dance, we bring back Andrea Miller’s Gallim Dance after their performance at the DanceMasters Weekend Showcase in 2011 brought audiences to their feet. Her piece Mama Call investigates her Spanish-Sephardic heritage, and the reprise of Pupil features the spirited music of Balkan Beat Box. In theater, we bring the master innovator Lee Breuer to campus with his newest work Glass Guignol, a compilation of texts from Tennessee Williams’ women, performed by the indomitable Maude Mitchell.

In Zilkha Gallery, Lucy and Jorge Orta’s Food-Water-Life will be on view. This is the first-ever solo show in the U.S. of work by these Paris-based artists, who stage performative events to bring attention to some of the world’s most urgent environmental and social issues. The colorful sculptural works, including a large canoe, and three parachutes, will take advantage of Zilkha’s scale, and a series of food events is being staged to more deeply connect you to the themes of the show.

Spring is also when you have the chance to put your finger on the pulse of the next generation of contemporary artists: an evening of work by seniors in dance, three theater thesis productions, four weeks of thesis exhibitions in Zilkha, and two solid months of music recitals will give audiences an overview of the art that is being generated at Wesleyan.

So please join us! We look forward to welcoming you.

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

Performance Now Opens at Zilkha Gallery

A blog post by Pamela Tatge.

Wesleyan faculty, students and graduate students have a long history of exploring the intersection of visual art and performance. Professor Ron Kuivila tells me that performance artist Charlotte Moorman performed the legendary Nam June Paik’s TV Bra for Living Sculpture at the first-ever opening at Zilkha in 1973… featuring a different baseball game on each breast!

Christian Jankowski, “Rooftop Routine” (detail), 2007. Photo courtesy of Performa.

Today I’m thrilled that the Zilkha Gallery will host an opening celebration for the debut of a new exhibition:  Performance Now:  The First Decade of the New Century, curated by RoseLee Goldberg and co-produced by Independent Curators International (ICI) and Performa.

You’ll see the work of 19 artists from a vast repository of new performance from around the world since 2000, a period that has witnessed exponential growth in the field. Museums around the world are creating performance departments to increase the presence of performance in institutional offerings and to harness this new energy.

The debut also coincides with the establishment of Wesleyan’s new Institute of Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP), a post-graduate certificate program that is the first of its kind in the United States.  ICPP brings artists, presenters, managers and other arts professionals together with Wesleyan faculty and some of the finest performance curators working today for a nine-month low residency program. Our students develop a responsive curatorial practice that takes the best from the fields of visual and performing arts. Performance Now is an important show to integrate into this year’s ICPP curriculum, while also resonating with community members and many of our undergraduate and graduate arts students interested in exploring contemporary performance practices and their social and historical contexts.

Beginning with the Futurists in the early 20th century, performance art has sustained and expanded its presence in artistic communities but only recently has its history and practice begun to be articulated and discussed. The lack of discussion in the past may very well be related to the difficulty of defining and categorizing performance art, a form that is situated in an ambiguous space between visual and performing arts.

Among the “must sees” in the exhibition are the works of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Omer Fast and Marina Abramović, all of which are presented here as video documentation of live art performances. Allora & Calzadilla’s piece Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy, No. 2 presents a restructuring of the prolific symphony “Ode to Joy” in which the performer plays from a hole cut from the inside of a piano, creating two inoperative octaves, while moving around the exhibition space. The piece facilitates discussion on music and sound as well as a reassessment of “Ode to Joy” historically and politically. Omer Fast’s Talk Show, inspired by the childhood game “telephone,” is a social critique and personal exploration of communication and its universal malfunctions. In Talk Show, a person tells an actor a personal story (that connects to larger political themes) on stage that the actor must then recount to another actor; the audience watches the story change as it is recounted. In Marina Abramović’s Seven Easy Pieces, the artist “re-performs” seven performance pieces that were originally presented in the 1960s and 1970s by six artists (two pieces were Abramović’s) in New York’s Guggenheim Museum. The piece is presented as a multi-screen video installation documenting the seven performances of Seven Easy Pieces.

During the run of the exhibition, we’ll have a number of special events including a film series curated by Wes alum Lana Wilson ’05, a panel of Wes alums currently engaged in performance art, and a lecture by RoseLee Goldberg.  For a complete listing of events, please visit: www.wesleyan.edu/performancenow