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Hyde Park Art Center, the renowned non-profit hub for contemporary art located on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, partners with experimental dance company The Seldoms to announce a series of free weekly performances and conversations in conjunction with the Toolbox @ Twenty exhibition. The unique multidisciplinary art installations activated by new choreography celebrate the group’s twenty years of performance in Chicago and globally, on view September 24 – November 13, 2022.
Toolbox @ Twenty is a performative exhibition that includes new collaborative works created by four pairs of dancemakers and visual artists who share their processes, techniques, and values with one another. From this dialogue, the dancemaker identifies one essential word undergirding the visual artist’s practice, then translates it to a choreographic “tool” for use in generating movement and building new dance. The four tools developed in this exhibition includes: “splice,” “mask,” “knot,” and “bowerbirding” (building a nest from decorative objects). The dance pieces will be presented in the forms of both live performances throughout the duration of the exhibition and recorded videos seen in four art installations including large paintings, a sound installation, and massive woven fiber work. Toolbox @ Twenty is curated by Carrie Hanson, Artistic Director of The Seldoms, in collaboration with Allison Peters Quinn, Art Center Director of Exhibitions and Residency. The four visual artists-all Chicago-based, female, with human movement present in their media-were selected by Hanson and Quinn to celebrate the female led dance company.
The exhibition and its related free public programming introduce four new dances: Bower Dance choreographed by Carrie Hanson and performed by The Seldoms ensemble; DisKontinue choreographed and performed by Damon Green; Reroute en Route choreographed and performed by Maggie Vannucci; and KNOT IN choreographed and performed by Sarah Gonsiorowski. The series of free public programs, featuring live dance performances and artist talks at the Art Center, include:
Toolbox dance performances by The Seldoms
Saturday, September 24, 1:30pm, and 3pm
The exhibition kicks off with two sets of performances of the four new dances from all four pairs of dancemakers and artists: Damon Green/Sadie Woods, Sarah Gonsiorowski/Jacqueline Surdell, Carrie Hanson/Edra Soto, and Maggie Vannucci /Jackie Kazarian.
Performance and conversation with choreographer Carrie Hanson and artist Edra Soto
Thursday, October 6, 6-7:30pm
Following the performance of all four new dances, Hanson and Soto will discuss the process of generating the tool “bowerbirding”: the dancer is “building” a dwelling around the body by drawing trace pathways. The dwelling is informed by a personal history/impetus and appears to surround the body. There is embellishment, using pattern or decorative gestures.
“Bowerbirding” reflects Soto’s artistic works and practice that incorporate architectural patterns of the rejas and quiebrasoles found in her birthplace, Puerto Rico. She makes immersive sculptural installations to consider the porous living nature of domestic space. The tool word is derived from the behavior of the Australian male bowerbird, which decorates his nest with shells, feathers, and found materials to attract females.
Hanson choreographed Bower Dance (2022), an ensemble work inspired by and initially performed at Soto’s Screenhouse, an installation in Millennium Park. Filmed on site at Screenhouse, the dance is seen and unfolds from multiple perspectives, outside and inside the house, in the projection across the Art Center’s façade.
Performance and conversation with dancemaker Damon Green and artist Sadie Woods
Saturday, October 15, 1-2:30pm
Following the performance of all four new dances, Green and Woods will discuss the tool “splice.” The dancer stretches two movement concepts while simultaneously or successively infusing more articulated movements between them. The dancers use “playback,” referring back to a previous movement, and “clipping,” letting go of unnecessary details that does not fit into the context of the two main focus points.
Green defined the choreographic tool “splicing,” in learning about Woods’ mixtape practice. The word “splice” is a common term in the audio industry used to describe the joining of sound files or tape recordings at the ends. Woods’ sound collages often reference historical matters and dialogues and brings them into contemporary matters and dialogues. The brilliance of Wood’s practice is in her fine-tuning of the details of a spoken phrase or a musical passage, and which makes her work layered and powerful. This performance is presented in participation with Open House Chicago, a free public festival taking place at culturally, historically and architecturally significant sites across the city.
Performance and conversation with dancemaker Maggie Vannuci and artist Jackie Kazarian
Thursday, October 20, 6-7:30pm
Following the performance of all four new dances, Vannucci and Kazarian will discuss the tool “mask.” The dancer plays with diverting flow and cutting pathways, by shifting intention in movement quality of direction often and quickly. This tool draws the eye to the shape, effort, and order of the movement, and yields a layered, complex field of action that also exists in Kazarian’s paintings. This tool is connected to Kazarian’s technique of masking, a process in which an area of a painting is “protected” with liquid latex or tape and then painted through it. Jackie will later remove the latex or tape; the resulting effect is a sudden shift in paint passages and a redirection of the space, rhythm, pattern or flow of the painting.
Vannucci’s Reroute En Route is accompanied, this evening only, with live music by composer Sima Cunningham.
Performance and conversation with dancemaker Sarah Gonsiorowski and artist Jacqueline Surdell
Thursday, November 3 , 6-7:30pm
Following the performance of all four dances, Gonsiorowski and Surdell will discuss the tool “knot.” The dancers play with repetitive patterning that tightens as similar loops accumulate over time. The pattern does not go back on itself and moves from unformed to entangled structures. In defining the choreographic tool of “knotting,” Gonsiorowski was struck that Surdell’s paintings required intense physical labor through the knotting of thick ropes and related materials. Her choreography was particularly inspired by the circularity of Surdell’s most recent works and how it amplifies rhythm and effort.
Toolbox @ Twenty is the latest installment of Toolbox, an ongoing special project of The Seldoms, born out of a cross-disciplinary exchange between visual and dance artists in Glasgow in July 2017 around how to translate visual art practice to choreographic, spark new tactics of dance making, and invigorate choreographic practices.
Exhibition admission is free and allows walk-ins. Masks are encouraged but not required to enter the building. Hyde Park Art Center views its community’s health and safety as the number one priority and is utilizing the guidance from the City and State to inform its safety protocols. For latest exhibition hours and COVID policy, visit https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2195768®id=23&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hydeparkart.org?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1/plan-your-visit/.
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