What took 3 months to build, 4 people destroyed in only 7 hours. We did it in style and it felt great. There was lots of kicking, jumping, ripping and dropping. Cathartic! There would have been some burning if we could have made that happen…We recycled almost everything-except the critters and a few other things-most have already found homes. I knew it was all over when the gallery started to echo again-like when you move out of a house. Monograph Bookwerks is eventually going to have some items for display and sale in their shop on Alberta. There are a few animals left, sitting at the entrance to the gallery in a free pile. I took home the figures, a raccoon and the dog. The performance went smoothly and felt incredible. I was able to see the dancers during the dress rehearsal and it brought me to tears. I can’t wait to see the images that were taken…
It’s now the morning of the evening of the performance. Two weks agoI met with the dancers. It was the first time I had met Eric Nordstrom and I had met Heidi Dyer a few times before. I was still developing the story. It was exhilarating to see them interact with the space. After that meeting I knew what my hand drawn imagery should look like. I was hold up in my home studio for three days. I used one piece of paper to make 760 drawings. If you know how this process of animating goes then you know I am being a bit dramatic. It goes like this: draw a some, shoot a picture, erase some, draw some, shoot a picture, etc. After that came some exporting and editing-not my favorite part. John began to compose the sounds to accompany it. The dancers met again and worked out their “score” and then we met again, they showed it to me and I showed them the animation. I wanted to cry. I wish I was going to get to see it but I will not! I’ll only see the video. Last night I tried a dry run at the space with my screen. Everything fit the way I imagined but the screen was terrible. At about 9pm I started scouring the internet for how to make a home made rear projection screen. THANK YOU, INTERNET! Two shower curtains later I was back in business. When I got home John said “I’m done”. I said “oh, great, let’s here it”. He said “no, I’m done with the whole thing”. He had finished the editing and re-rendered, added contrast and laid the music on it! I can’t tell you what a relief it was, as we ate dinner at midnight, to watch it excellently back projected, with his awesome sound. Aside from preparing the performance there has been a lecture and reception and I have been interviewed for two short video pieces. While I won’t deny that I have loved the attention, I am really ready to be done! Saturday morning the whole thing comes down. I’d like to film it! That’s going to be my favorite part! Still thinking about that vanity of craft thing, next post.
Here is a link to a review of the show:
I agree with Mr. Jahn, especially his critiques, but I know who I am and I am pleased with what I’ve done. Surely other artists would have done something different with it, surely Mr. Jahn would have, too, but it was mine and I did exactly what I meant to do, raccoons and all. Being in love with craft can be a hard relationship to have in the contemporary art world-but I am! It’s part of the joy of making art for me and I suspect I will always struggle with the “crafty label”. I’m ok with that. I’m particularly interested where he says that craft is vanity. Vanity is rampant in the art world! Why pick on craft? I’m going to think about this for a while but it will likely be the subject of my next post.
I am thrilled to announce that I will be collaborating with two very talented performers for a special closing night performance. This project brought us together and I feel it must be fate. I have always wanted to collaborate with professional performers and, not only has my wish come true, but I feel inspired, enriched and educated in just the short time I have spent with them so far. The performance will take place between 8pm and 9pm on Friday October 26th , in and around the Northview Gallery. The actual performance will last for about 15 minutes, leaving some time to explore the installation as well:
A native Oregonian, Dyer moved to Chicago to earn a degree in Dance from Columbia College Chicago in 1999. After a short stint in Seattle, Heidi moved to Savannah, GA where she taught dance at Hilton Head High School across the river in South Carolina. Two years later, she moved to San Diego where she performed regularly with Head On Off, a dance company committed to creating site-based works incorporating post-modern dance, sound, costuming, and Action Theater. From 2003-2006 Dyer earned her MFA in Dance at the University of Oregon where she taught Modern, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Improvisation as a Graduate Teaching Fellow. There she founded En Masse Arts Ensemble with fellow dancer Sarah Nemecek and composers Aaron Barnhart and Christian Cherry. Her interest in improvisation, contemporary dance, and collaboration molds both her approach to performance and her teaching. Besides a solid foundation in dance technique, Heidi continues to explore alternative forms of training in Action Theater, The Feldenkrais Method, Yoga and a variety of approaches to improvisation using language, voice, and movement. Most recently she performed in The City Dance of Lawrence and Anna Halprin as part of PICA’s Time Based Art Festival in Portland, Oregon where she serves as a faculty member at PCC Sylvania. Her article “Cultivating Presence in Movement: Student Reflections on the Practice of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement in Dance Education” will be published this September in the Journal of Dance Education.
Eric Nordstrom is a dedicated performer, teacher and film maker. His performances include original work by Bebe Miller, four years with Oslund+Company and creating a full evening improvisation work with Karen Nelson. He has taught at universities and arts organizations including Ohio State University, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts. Recent dance on film works by Eric can be viewed online at www.ppav.me.