Femella Presents: “Female Business Owners”

Femella is  a new series of interviews dedicated to women: their multifaceted, diverse and epic accomplishments!  The goal is to celebrate these women, while enabling awareness of each other through a non-competitive lens. Femella is the Latin origin of the word Female. It is actually not related to the word male, which comes from the Latin word masculus.

Thus Femella stands on its own. No comparison or competition. 

To be a part of this project  please email us at thelivinggallery@gmail.com

For the first batch of interviews I reached out to epic women to discuss the Positive and Negative aspects of being a Female Business Owner:

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BRITTANY FERNACKER

My name is Brittany Fernbacker and I am the creator of Occult Kitten Collection. I was inspired to create OKC out of my deep love of magic and traveling the world. Growing up as a kid in New York City can leave you feeling like you grew up in the fast lane and it wasn´t until the first time I traveled to England back in 2011 that I felt time and space open up before me. I remember feeling completely spirited away, in awe, as if I opened my eyes for the first time. In 2012 I went on to back pack my entire way through 7 countries by myself using only CouchSurfers.com and car pooling on a very restricted budget. My life was never the same after this experience. I radically changed my views about myself, my beliefs and the world.

me

I became completely enchanted with how a sense of adventure guided by a deeper connection with my magical self could carry me to places I never dreamt of being possible. I´ve gone on to live in-between NYC and London for over 2 years and now am currently living in Brazil for the past 10 months actively creating my business. I think I´ve been hoarding since I was a child, so it was no surprise to me that I began collecting treasures and adornments from my travels. The collections I offer are inspired by the particular place I´m visiting and their occult traditions, which I then make available through my shop on Instagram and Storenvy. I truly wanted to bring this sense of wonder and beauty I saw to everyone. Opening my business as a woman has been the most rewarding experience of my life because I know all the hardships it took to get to this point. I´ve been mocked, questioned relentlessly and filled with doubt by many because they believe its nothing but fantasy to read Tarot, sell crystals and travel the world. In the end though, it only empowers me more to live my dream, share my truths and hope it inspires others to do the same.

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RACHEL NELSON
Secret Project Robot– Director and co-founder 2004 to present
Happyfun Hideaway co-owner 2013- present
Flowers for All Occasions Gallery co-owner… 2015 to present
I think a major benefit to being a female business owner is that it gives you a specific status as being a female business owner…No one would ever say how does it feel to be a male business owner, and from that status you are able to present a platform that
fits outside of specific boxes.  Running spaces as a women has made it possible to not conform to certain ideas of DIY, for instance male dominated spaces often have narratives of punk rock or indy, whereas, as a woman I feel free to say my space is just a space that tries to be inclusive.
Limitations of ownership stem mostly from a world in which the rest of the world is shocked and sometimes tries to divert your success, so many reps ask, “oh are you the owner,” “Oh cool you are a business woman…” LOL,  I never feel like a business woman I feel lucky that I have been supported by a community… I guess sometimes I wonder if men think that they made a community and women feel like they have contributed to one. I imagine it is a bit of both, but as a female I feel fortunate that my world isn’t limited by perceptions of white male success. I can fail freely as much as I can succeed freely…

flowers

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CHANTAL SAVARESSE

My name is Chantal Savaresse and i’m the owner of Tomahawk Salon in Bushwhack, Brooklyn. I’ve had my own business for close to 20 years.

chantel

First as a yoga and massage therapist in both Europe and the United States. I started by running a studio out of my flat in Prague, Czech Republic 1996-2001. I offered small and private yoga lessons to ex pats and worked with The American Health Clinic as a massage therapist. After 9/11 I returned home to NYC and worked freelance as a massage therapist in the Upper West Side. I decided to open a brick and mortar store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the fall of 2005. I called my shop Femme Fatale focused on vintage and noir style clothing. It was the sexy, experimental part of me. I sold bullet bras, 60’s schoolgirl dresses, lipstick vibrators, prim and polished nostalgia. My mon helped me 3-4 days a week while I continued to see my clients. In 2009 i shuttered my shop to focus on opening a hair salon. I went back to school for barbering and within a year I was ready for Tomahawk Salon. We opened in 2010 in The Loom with just 2 stylist me and Kristin. By 2011 I was ready to let go of my old career as a therapist and move forward full steam with Tomahawk.

In the short time we outgrew our space took over another storefront and expanded. Our location was a bit of a hardship we lacked autonomy and had a municipal waste plant directly across from us. In 2013 we closed down in The Loom and moved down the street. Today I employ 4-5 women. Tomahawk isn’t just my shop but also the ladies that help me day in and day out. I guess thats the biggest difference I started solo and the greatest gift has been running the salon with these ladies. My journey hasn’t been difficult. I always knew I had to create the world I wanted to be a part of and working for someone wasn’t for me. I need the flexible to call my own shots, listen loudly to my music, to be my own boss lady. It’s never good enough, the shit hits the fan  often but at the end of the day i’m pretty damn happy. 

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DAILISHA EVE RODRIGUEZ 
My name is Dailisha Eve Rodriguez. My business is Hey There Beautiful Inc. 
The positive aspects of being a business owner are having the freedom of choosing upcoming projects. It is fun to see something go from an idea to the outcome. Furthermore, people make being a business owner fun.

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Meeting new dynamic people with different views, opinions and backgrounds is such a treat. For me, there are no negative aspect of being a business owner. I only see the opportunity to make things better and grow from the lessons I learn on a day to day basis. There are no problems in the world, only opportunities!

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NATALIE FRAGOLA

Business: Obra Obscura : textiles, pattern, design.

There are many challenges running a business and maybe even more being a female business owner. After a couple 9-5’s within the fashion industry, I knew I was not meant for that world. However, I did not know what world I was meant to be in. It is very empowering to say “fuck it…I am just gonna start somewhere and just see where it leads me.” Male or female that is positive.

natalie

The number one negative thing to me as a female trying to build my business is equal pay. I also rely heavily on social media, networking, and events to get new clients and advertise my services. Unfortunately all those outlets and opportunities are superficial. People love good looking people, sex still sells, and I feel torn on how to get my foot in the door if it is not for sheer talent and respect. I desire to show my work and not my face and see if I can still win over clients, acquire projects and get more press. In order to not get wrapped in the whirlwind of negativity and inequality, I find that having a good mentor, surrounding my self with strong, like-minded, and inspiring women is extremely rewarding. Female strength is very enduring and yet still very nurturing.

(photo by Joe Miller )

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JOI SANCHEZ

My name is Joi Sanchez. My business is Art LovHer LLC. An artist co-operative that focuses on supporting independent artists in the creation of autonomous platforms of visibility and economic opportunity. With a primary focus on women, queer, and black/brown identified artists, we have existed for almost 4 years in New York City.

joi

As a woman who owns a business, the greatest challenge by far is being taken seriously by my male counterparts without being a “typical female”.  I operate heavily in hip hop culture which is heavily dominated by men. Even the most enlightened men, often unconsciously, challenge the validity of a woman operating in this culture. However, I found that when you are about your business and focused, following up, being a woman in this field can be a great advantage as well. You are something unexpected. You often have outside the box ideas that pique interests. People will often [try to] steal your ideas without giving you credit. If you’re doing a good job, it will be noticed even if you never hear the compliments. Once you gain the respect of male counterparts, they listen and take your feedback into consideration this changing the culture. My advice is have patience, stay focused, and don’t listen to the haters.

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BLUE JUNE

The Broom Closet : Magical Cleaning Products & Cleaning Service in Bushwick/Bedstuy

When you’re starting a small business you tend to lean on those that have experience in entrepreneurship.  Not everyone is ready to take on the risk of advocating a magically minded maid and the pitching process is a challenge when speaking to certain men about the concept of my company.

blue june

In our first year we have locked in our market and are growing each day which is a great deal due to the endorsements we receive.  When other small businesses show you support by recommending your services, it’s the best platform you can ask for.  When I started out I read over and over how female business leaders fail to support one another.  I’ve been amazed and so grateful for the supportive women who have been down this road that still play an enormous roll in the growth of my company.

product line available at Catland Books

 

We will continue to interview more women based on this theme as well, so please contact thelivinggallery@gmail.com if you’re interested!

REVIEW: The Peripheral World: Lost and Wandering Thoughts Inspired by “Rubberneck” at Lorimoto Gallery

Written by Conor O’Brien, Living Gallery

Images are taken from the “Rubberneck” exhibition at Lorimoto Gallery, featuring works by Caroline Larsen, David Livingston, and Kenjiro Kitade, on display until March 23rd. Larsen creates paintings of burning vehicles in a distinctive, pixelated style. Kitade makes ceramic sculptures of nightmarish, vaguely humanoid beings. Video documents Livingston’s performance series “Big Dick,” in which the artist wears cartoonishly engorged, fabric genitalia in various public settings.

Caroline Larsen

Caroline Larsen

How much our experience is clamped into some form; how much we are directed down certain streets, in certain directions, toward certain destinations; how much even where we look, where we turn our gaze, toward what we focus our attention has been predetermined. Can we even fathom the extent of it? Great pains have been taken to ensure wandering is limited. Wandering in every sense: physical wandering and mental wandering are intimately connected. True wandering cannot and does not exist. At all times a person must be made to feel they are going somewhere, even (especially) if they have nowhere to go. For this reason, the brush is cleared, the wilderness is mowed down, the stars are read and from them new borders are woven westward, streets are painted with lines and arrows, stop signs, traffic lights, one way, do not cross, a blinking geometric mechanism that spins you in circles and makes certain you and your thoughts never stray far from its gravitational hold.

Kenjiro Kitade

Kenjiro Kitade

A person must always be made to feel they are accomplishing something; in every task there must be the element of progress. From the moment we exit the dreamstate, all of our energy is expended in the expectation of some goal. To feel a release of energy, however slight, that is not leashed to purpose, which floats off directionless and dissolves into a void, is to feel lost. And feeling lost is forbidden, not just by some external force: it is forbidden to ourselves by ourselves. We cannot imagine a feeling more deeply horrible than that; it produces our most troubling nightmares. This feeling is poignant, of course, because we sense it at the core of every task we undertake: that everything we do is just a distraction, obscuring something horrifying yet purifying that we simultaneously avoid direct contact with and try to access by indirect means.

David Livingston

David Livingston

We can accept anything as long as it has some explanation, but we will not allow senselessness, pointlessness, or uselessness, at least not for too long. There is a grace period where the senseless thing captures our fascination (in this case, the usual response is laughter), but beyond that it is excruciating, and then there must be an attempt to return it to the horizon of our understanding, to obscure it with explanation. Everything that we can see, we are allowed to see. If there was anything we weren’t allowed to see or weren’t allowed to discover, then we wouldn’t see it and we wouldn’t discover it. Or there would at least be extensive damage control after it was discovered (though perhaps even this is merely theatrics). A new discovery is always brought back into an existing framework of thought; it is always explained in a way that reaffirms (again and again and again) an existing belief system. Again, this is not necessarily done by some oppressive outside being: once we internalize a belief, value, or moral system to the extent that it determines the purpose towards which we expend energy, we will be quick to explain to ourselves how everything exists within the context of these systems to never have the feeling of wasted energy/ being lost.

Caroline Larson

Caroline Larsen

What does the scene of a car crash reveal to us? What is the meaning of the phenomenon of “rubbernecking,” so universal and seemingly necessary? When we approach the dissonance of a car wreck, we can not help ourselves: we have to look. As children we face the scene directly and with unashamed curiosity. As adults, it is usually indirect: in the peripheries of our vision where all manner of spectacle is secretly indulged. The car crash is an absolute absurdity to us: a violent waste of energy, an attack on the apparatus of sense to which we are harnessed. All the more so because it is “accidental,” because there is no ideology attached to the violence. Why are we permitted to see something so dangerously contradictory? In some countries, there are efforts to hide car accidents from onlookers, yet this cannot be done all the time and most likely wouldn’t be even if it were possible. It is necessary at times, for those who are concerned with such things, to let people witness the whole system in action. Immediately after the car crash, the system’s invisible dimensions announce themselves and descend upon the contradictory, senseless thing in order to contextualize it, in other words restore order to the situation. Such states of emergency or transgression are necessary in order for these invisible dimensions to make themselves known, to flex themselves, and we are allowed to view the initial scene of senseless violence because we are then able to witness the system at work, the restoration of peace and safety. The car accident, which in itself has no purpose or ideology, is then implicitly recontextualized as a warning, a warning to anyone who would transgress the system. It is made to serve as a reminder of how much we depend on this system for our safety and comfort; a reminder that what lies beyond the system is chaos and violence, and woe to those who wish to wander (physically or mentally) outside it.

Kenjiro Kitade

Kenjiro Kitade

Kenjiro Kitade

Kenjiro Kitade

The bottom falls out and we feel lucidly that we are falling, in the suffocating grip of vertigo. We feel, more acutely than ever, the contraction of the muscles, the harmony of the organs, the rush of blood to the heart and brain, the electrical flare of the neurons and nerve-endings that produce thought, that create the world, the full orgasmic release of energy: but to what end? where does it go? The whole exhausted edifice has shrivelled up, flaccid, detumescent. We have sunk below the surface. We have wandered too far. Even the solid reliability of our own bodies has suddenly dissolved somewhere. But where? We are for the moment conscious of the costumes, the sets, the whole noisy, colorful theater that obscures our blindness. The unacknowledged world we quarantined to our peripheral vision has descended upon us without warning. Our cataracts have disappeared and we are now facing the Peripheral World fully for the first time since our birth. Pause for a moment and glimpse the horrifying boundlessness of experience. For once let us look the situation square in the face, before the lucidity abates and we are deposited back into the solid world. Now we have a chance to build up from scratch new forms, new societies, new systems. Newer and better. Not that they are “better” in any objective sense, but they are better simply because they are new, because they are different, because they necessitated the destruction of the old forms, old societies, old systems, because this whole process keeps the world in a state of perpetual momentum and upheaval and revolt.

Caroline Larson

Caroline Larsen

All photos on this post are © Conor O’Brien 2014

Gallery Location: 1623 Hancock St.
Hours: Sat & Sun 1-6pm
Contact: info[at]lorimoto[dot]com

REVIEW: The Gastro-Fantasy: Thoughts Surrounding “Workin’ in Ah Hole Mine” at 247365 Gallery

Written by Conor O’Brien, Living Gallery

Photos were taken at “Workin’ In Ah Hole Mine,” an exhibition at 247365 Gallery featuring artwork by Michael Mahalchick and Jacques Louis Vidal. 247365 is one of three galleries part of the Donut District located in Red Hook.

"Jerk Off Material" -Michael Mahalchick

“Jerk Off Material” -Michael Mahalchick

The bed is a stand-in for the stomach, a stage for gastro-intenstinal performance. Warmth is conducive to sleep in the same way heat is conducive to digestion. Thus, the desire for warmth stems from the desire to be digested.

Left: "Frame," Michael Mahalchick. Center: "A Hole Mine," Jacques Louis Vidal. Right: "Crutches," Michael Mahalchick

Left: “Frame,” Michael Mahalchick. Center: “A Hole Mine,” Jacques Louis Vidal. Right: “Crutches,” Michael Mahalchick

Each night we enter these artificial stomachs and, pulling over our bodies sheets reminiscent of fur, flesh, blood, intestinal walls, enact the gastro-fantasy: to sink into this salty, enzymatic foam; to be broken down and sent through drainpipes into sewage treatment plants and then dumped like pollutants into rivers; to have our genetic material fed back into the oceanic laboratory that engineers new species; to then be spewed back out, by regurgitation or excretion, and return.

"A Hole Mine," Tile detail -Jacques Louis Vidal

“A Hole Mine,” Tile detail -Jacques Louis Vidal

Excretion is an act of destruction which, because it fails to obliterate, ends parodically in creation, or an anti-creation whose necessary impulse is destruction. The in-between state: a destruction that can never fully destroy, a creation that can never fully be.

"Crutches" -Michael Mahalchick

“Crutches” -Michael Mahalchick

The stomach and the womb are often metonymic: digestion parodies birth. In this the digestive drive and the artistic act are aligned. White walls recall the toilet bowl, the blank page, an infantile reaction to that silent white, the need to soil/ disrupt, then flush/ reset; two actions that, through Pavlovian repetition, induce a deep satisfaction, the illusion of two extreme states: appearance and disappearance, positive and negative.

"Magnets" -Michael Mahalchick

“Magnets” -Michael Mahalchick

The in-between state fails to respond to the Pavlovian tick, which then echoes without answer, half-digested, a vague, lingering discomfort. Here nothing appears and nothing disappears. Nothing even changes form, everything is always transitioning between: endlessly vibrating with organic dissonance. A manic cycle between a mechanical, static positive and absolute zero, never settling on one, never fully achieving either. This friction produces an electric pulse.

"Savarin" -Michael Mahalchick

“Savarin” -Michael Mahalchick

Objects and materials have a potentiality that can be preserved in the creation of art pieces if the materials are used in ways that are unconventional, free-associative, etc. Forms that defy definition or identification retain a certain formlessness, or at least contain both form and formlessness.

"Unknown Pleasures (Corner)" -Jacques Louis Vidal

“Unknown Pleasures (Corner)” -Jacques Louis Vidal

A form is in part its physical qualities/ limits and in part the associative limits imposed on it (preconceived notions of functionality, classification, genre, etc). When the latter set of limits are blurred or transgressed the object regresses back to a state of energetic potentiality, until another term is invented or a preexisting term is expanded to encompass this form.

"Unknown Pleasures (Wall)"  -Jacques Louis Vidal

“Unknown Pleasures (Wall)” -Jacques Louis Vidal

In art, terms are created, values assigned, expectations fostered all for the purpose of subversion, just as certain religions encourage (by implication) the ritualistic transgression of their own taboos.
In the middle of this tug of war between classification and deconstruction is experience, the object presented naked before you without any interpretive shield.

"Frame" -Michael Mahalchick

“Frame” -Michael Mahalchick

Art can approach this whirling, kinetic experience. Not simply recreate or represent it, but can itself be the volatile, pulsating link connecting the creative-destructive. The in-between state: an amphibious mutation gasping on shore, half-developed lungs full for the first time with alien atmosphere.

Picture 5

All photos on this post are © Conor O’Brien 2014

Gallery Location: 131 Huntington St.
Hours: Weekends Noon-6pm
Contact: communications@
twentyfourseventhree
sixtyfive.biz

REVIEW: Candy Colored Clown: Response to “Economy Candy” at Harbor Gallery

Candy Colored Clown: Response to “Economy Candy” at Harbor Gallery
written by Conor O’Brien, The Living Gallery

Ross Moreno is clown apparel

Ross Moreno is clown apparel

Justin Cooper, dressed in park ranger garb, introduces himself as yet another park ranger who has moved to Brooklyn. He explains that like most park rangers, he needs a side job to support himself: so he does performance art. This joke works mostly on the level of its simplicity, specifically the awareness of its own simplicity. Most of the performance operates on this hyper-aware level wherein the jokes, magic tricks, and stunts adopt an aesthetic of simplicity and childish absurdity as the joke is often the joke itself: its awkward and/or childishly sincere delivery, basic structure, and anti-climatic punchline. Cooper and his partner Ross Moreno so often comment on the performance (usually self-deprecating) within the performance that it can become unclear at which point a seeming mistake is genuine or just part of the performance, part of its self-referentiality.

Another park ranger moving to Brooklyn

Another park ranger moving to Brooklyn

In the first part of the two-parted performance, Cooper makes a joke about his partner’s birth saying “He was born with a full head of hair, and a cigar in his hand that he used to cauterize his own fallopian tube.” Realizing his mistake, Cooper fumbles for the correct term, needing to ask the audience before he remembers what he meant to say is “umbilical cord.” By the time he returns to the punchline (“But I don’t believe it. Cause I don’t think he ever had hair”) the audience has already forgotten or lost interest in the joke’s set up, and the punchline loses all steam. But those who went to both performances would realize that what seemed as a genuine mistake was actually intentional, as Cooper repeats the same joke with the same mistake in the second show. The duo often undermine themselves in this way, and to some extent they do it to play with the audience: a Kaufman-esque effort to baffle, antagonize, or otherwise playfully prank the viewer. The performance feeds on audience reaction, its confusion or discomfort in particular, often going as far as implicating the audience in the performance, during moments where character/fourth wall is broken or the audience is invited (or more likely forced) to participate.

April Childers “Santa for all Seasons (Cheeseburger Santa)”

April Childers “Santa for all Seasons (Cheeseburger Santa)”

April Childers “Pocket”

April Childers “Pocket”

The two performances are part of Harbor Gallery’s “Economy Candy” exhibition. The name is taken from a Lower East Side candy shop that opened during the Great Depression. A candy shop which sells discount candy, whose existence is necessitated by a harsh economic reality, acts both as a distractive relief from those realities as well as a reminder of them, this reminder just thinly and almost mockingly veiled by the shop’s colorful, candied walls. This juxtaposition, the dual role of distraction and reminder, which can be applied to comedy and art as well as to candy shops, seems to be the main concept dealt with by the artists exhibited in the show. These artists, playfully and with a sense of humor, explore the ways that art can distract/ soothe/ even numb and the ways it can make reality felt more immediately. These two effects of art are not mutually exclusive, as all art contains some ratio of both, and each effect can be used to produce the other: reality, struggle, pain can be sublimated into entertainment while alternatively, as seems to be the case with some pieces in this exhibit, a more kitschy/ readily accessible aesthetic can be adopted exactly for the moment when it is broken, the veil lifted, and rather than being distracted, people are made more  keenly aware of their discomfort for the element of surprise.

Jeff De Golier “Spirit Lake”

Jeff De Golier “Spirit Lake”

Jeff De Golier “Motor Boat”

Jeff De Golier “Motor Boat”

Two pieces by April Childers use familiar symbols of American culture to make large, absurdist sculptures. “Pocket” is an oversized, denim pocket filled with a half-deflated beach ball so that it balloons out from the wall. With “A Santa for all Seasons (Cheeseburger Santa)” a cartoonish depiction of Santa Claus resembles an anthropomorphic cheeseburger. The combination of these otherwise harmless and familiar images creates a sculpture that is as unsettling as it is humorous. Jeff DeGolier creates sculptural collages using a variety of objects and materials: coffee cups, champagne glass, sawdust, glitter, mirrors, yarn. His piece “Motor Boat” is constructed from a car stereo and two large speakers which are draped in doilies and yarn, a collage of the loud and the delicate. Maria Britton makes abstract paintings using acrylic paint on bedsheets, which are wrinkled so that the canvas, rather than being simply a backdrop on which the piece is painted, asserts itself as being part of the piece. Alicia Gibson uses acrylic, oil, and spray paint to make colorful, loud, disorienting paintings which seem to reflect a chaotic experience of urban life.

Series by Maria Britton

Series by Maria Britton

Alicia Gibson “Notes of a Dirty old Woman”

Alicia Gibson “Notes of a Dirty old Woman”

Much of the humor in Justin Cooper and Ross Moreno’s performances come from playing with these two juxtaposed forces in art and comedy. At one point Moreno, dressed as a clown, performs a magic trick only to start berating the audience for not “understanding” it. Distraction and diversion are the fundamental techniques of a magician; it is important for the magician to divert the audience’s attention or mislead their expectations so that trick takes them by surprise. In the case of Moreno’s bit, it is the magic trick itself that is the diversion, they expect some sort of surprising conclusion to the trick but they do not expect the performer, dressed as he is in a clown costume, to suddenly turn on them. At one point Cooper plays a lounge singer who in between songs confesses to his lingering, debilitating depression. Similarly, the show’s “encore” features Cooper playing an overenthusiastic pitchman who at one point begins bleeding from his mouth and reveals a wound on his torso before collapsing to the ground. Their humor comes from diverting the audience in some way, with some silly/ childlike aesthetic, soothing lounge music, or excess of enthusiasm, only to allow the things broiling below the surface performance, some antagonism between performer and audience, depression, etc., to reveal itself.

The “Finale:” Justin Cooper attempts to break a cinderblock over Ross Moreno

The “Finale:” Justin Cooper attempts to break a cinderblock over Ross Moreno

All photos on this post are © Conor O’Brien 2014.

Gallery Location: 17-17 Troutman #258, Queens, NY 11385
Hours: Saturday/Sunday from 1pm to 6pm and By Appointment
Exhibition Dates: January 11th through February 16th, 2014!
Gallery Contact: info@harbor1717.com

AROUND TOWN: Two Openings! One at BFP East and Auxiliary!

“Big Strokes and Tiny Lines”
Opening today at Brooklyn Fire Proof East

Location: 119 Ingraham Street, Brooklyn
Hours: http://brooklynfireproofeast.com/about/
Opening: 7:00pm and 10:00pm
Contact: events@brooklynfireproof.com

and

LISA LEVY: “Everyone is a Winner”
Opening today at Auxiliary Projects

Location: 2 St. Nicholas Avenue, Space 25, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm to 6:00pm and By Appointment
Reception: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Contact: auxiliaryprojects@gmail.com

PHOTOS: “Flame Tempered” Exhibition by Phoenix Lindsey-Hall

Artist Talk, Potluck and Movie TONIGHT!
Information Below!

Photos from the Opening Reception on November 22nd:

Exhibition Date: November 21 – 26, 2013
Opening Reception: November 22, 2013 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Artist Talk, Potluck and Movie: November 25, 2013 from 7:30pm to 10:00pm
Location: The Living Gallery, 1094 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11221
For More Information: thelivinggallery@gmail.com
Artist: http://www.phoenixlindseyhall.com/

REVIEW: “Intention/Intentionality” at Panoply Performance Laboratory

Review: “Intention/Intentionality” at Panoply Performance Laboratory
written by Conor O’Brien, The Living Gallery

As explained by Panoply Performance Laboratory co-founder Esther Neff, their event series Performancy Forum showcases “interdisciplinary experimental performance,” with each one revolving around some relevant discourse. The thirty-first installment of the series uses the theme “Intention/Intentionality” to contextualize performances by Matthew Gantt, Natasha Jozi, Ayana Evans, Ian Deleon, and Ellen O’Meara.

Matthew Gantt at his audio mixer.

Matthew Gantt at his audio mixer.

Matthew Gantt performed two compositions played on an audio mixer, made up of layered looping tracks of prerecorded instruments and sounds, each based around “an open-ended structure,” which he was able to manipulate midperformance.

Gantt claimed during the Q&A following the show that he conceives of his pieces as being “compositional objects,” completely independent of any personal or autobiographical themes. He conceived of himself as a worker and the compositions his products, and this idea of impersonal production is an interesting lens through which to view his performance.

Natasha Jozi in full costume, circling centerpiece.

Natasha Jozi in full costume, circling centerpiece.

Unlike Gantt’s performances, most of the other performances were informed by the performers’ explorations of identity. Natasha Jozi’s performance featured the performer covered from head to foot in white cloth, circling a display of several wine half-filled wine glasses, as she spoke several phrases in Urdu that were simultaneously translated into English by a fellow performer. Jozi eventual broke the pattern of circular movement as she moved into the centerpiece and began covering her costume with wine, staining it red.

Jozi pulls wine-stained cloth from under wine glasses.

Jozi pulls wine-stained cloth from under wine glasses.

Jozi, who grew up in Pakistan, claimed the piece was based upon her own autobiography, spirituality, and as she does not drink and is uncomfortable with alcohol, the act of immersing herself in discomfort. Her performance reflected the repetition of ritual, exploring themes of language, wine as symbol of something sacred and also something that “stains.”

Ayana Evans confront man taking a picture of her in Chelsea.

Ayana Evans confront man taking a picture of her in Chelsea.

Ayana Evans presented a montage of clips from her “Operation Cat Suit” video art series, in which she dresses up in the eponymous neon colored, tiger striped one piece suit, travels to different art districts in the city, and confronts people trying to take pictures of her, in order to gauge these people’s reasons for doing so. According to the artist, the video series is a social experiment on the act of “heightening oneself,” of amplifying one’s personality and appearance, and an exploration into the kind of attention and voyeurism garnered by this act.

Ian Deleón drawing on bag of Domino Sugar.

Ian Deleón drawing on bag of Domino Sugar.

Ian Deleón’s performance, titled “Open Veins, Diabetic Souls,” concerns the history of colonization in the Caribbean, in order to explore his own family history, as well as bring attention to the complex colonial history of the familiar, which in the case of this performance was Domino Sugar. The first picture shows Deleón drawing on a large bag of Domino sugar what was revealed at the end of the performance to be a map of the symbolic meanings and historical associations of the props he used during his performance, bringing the artist’s thought process into the actual material of the piece.

Deleón dancing with bag of sugar.

Deleón dancing with bag of sugar.

This picture shows Deleón wearing a gag ball (a reference he revealed later to the Puerto Rican “Gag Law” of the 1940s which suppressed independence movements), and dancing affectionately with the bag of Domino sugar to Carribbean music (one particularly relevant song on the playlist was “Rum and Coca Cola” by Lord Invader, who sings in the chorus “Drinking rum and coca cola/ Go down to Point Koomahnah/ Both mother and daughter/ Workin’ for the Yankee dollar”). As the performance went on, it became progressively more of a strain for Deleón to keep holding the heavy bag.

The show closed with Ellen O’Meara, not pictured due to technical difficulties (dead camera), who performed two lyrically minimalist songs played with a drum kit and looping, echoing sounds. With this performance, O’Meara claimed she was experimenting with methods of execution she isn’t used to: new technologies, different lyrical approach, and performing solo, which she said she usually does not do.

Cleaning up after Jozi’s performance.

Cleaning up after Jozi’s performance.

“This is part of the piece, by the way,” Matthew Gantt joked as he struggled to set up his equipment, having to move to different spots around the space until he found one close enough to hook his equipment up to the sound system. Though not meant to be taking seriously, there was something interesting in the statement with regards to the show’s theme of intention and intentionality; something interesting in how the event around a performance, the set-up and breaking down of props and equipment, could be understood as being incorporated into the performance itself. There seemed to be a move in many of the pieces to intentionally incorporate things outside the performance proper, to appropriate them or at least bring out an awareness of them. After her video, Ayana Evans presented some of the YouTube comments on her “Operation Cat Suit” videos; during his peformance, Ian Deleón drew a map of his thought process and read a passage from Open Veins of Latin America, one of the source materials for his piece, Matthew Gantt discussed how the approach he took toward his compositions was meant to incorporate all of the logistics of music making, rehearsal, booking gigs, etc. Pictured above is Natasha Jozi, Esther Neff, and some of the show’s attendees helping clean up after Jozi’s performance. Perhaps it the size and intimacy of the space at Panoply Performance Laboratory itself that lends itself to this kind of thinking: without a means to keep these things hidden, to keep the performance separate from its surrounding logistics, there is almost a call to contemplate how these unintentional aspects add something to the overall experience of the performance.

Where: Panoply Performance Laboratory,
104 Meserole Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Contact: Esther Neff
(panoplylab@gmail.com)