The Corpse! Week One

September 23, 2010

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Busy and exciting first weekend for the Corpse Performance Space @ The Green Lantern. First up, on Friday, The Open Secret series. Curated by Brian Wallace and Joni Murphy, the Open Secret is a series of performances and talks and readings involved in investigating ideas of artistic ecology. Recent SAIC MFA’er and Chances maven Ethan A. White gave the first presentation and, as you can see above, had a bit of hard time–he lost his notes and ended up having to dig through his computer all to leave us with the above moment: the embarrassment of the desktop picture. White’s performance began with this simple “mistake” and ended up devolving into a discussion and fight with a cardboard cut-out of himself: how does the artist move from the institution of the MFA to the institution of the gallery and, in tandem, the institution of work? White’s talk/performance suggested the importance of receding from the research-based practice of the classroom to re-think the always and already stereotypically bare, flippant, performative gesture of removing one’s clothes. White’s performance became less about the artistic ecology suggested by the curatorial notes of The Open Secret and instead concentrated on the importance of inward movement.

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Readings of Author’s Not Present followed from yours truly, Malcolm Sutton (who you can see below, laughing through Breton, and Brian, Joni, and an audience member. The first film screening of the Open Secret is this Saturday (Apartment by Marina Roy).

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Saturday night, Marc Riordan showed up with a band of rowdy improvisors for the Now It’s Dark series. Here’s a photo of him introducing everybody:

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I’ve been really excited about this series–improvised scores to experimental movies–and Marc delivered an amazing set of both. He blogged about the experience here and asks pretty much every question I had about the night:

“Is everybody playing in service to the movies? To each other? Or are the movies being screened in service to the music? To the performers? This ambiguity was in part the intent of this first performance, and reflects a central issue in improvised music, and one that comes up less in traditional filmmaking: how do we judge the success of a collaborative piece? The answer, of course, will vary depending on which collaborator you ask.”

I’ve uploaded an excerpt from the night here. It’s the soundtrack for Michelle Harris’ Boat, an amazing still shot of a warehouse on a dock. The light from the warehouse–split into windows–is reflected onto the dark water, reminding me of level meters on a mixing board. As disruptions passed through the scene–a boat, birds, a man driving machinery–these levels distorted and flickered and eventually returned to static nobility. A fascinating piece that the musicians did well with. The next Now It’s Dark happens on October 29th.

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