Performa 17: Red Herring and Mademoiselle X
Where: Art in General
145 Plymouth St.
212-219-0473 Price: Free
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As part of the Performa 17 Consortium and the Estonian Pavilion Without Walls, Art in General will present performances by artists Merike Estna and Maria Metsalu, curated by Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia Director, Maria Arusoo. The performances are also presented as part of Art in General’s International Collaboration exhibition, Soft Scrub, Hard Body, Liquid Presence, opening November 17.
Red Herring engages painting as a stage for human interaction. Merike Estna’s practice incorporates what she terms “performative paintings,” with allusions to the digital and the nostalgic, and a romantic reverence for parts of human existence that are mutating, melting, or slipping away. For Red Herring, she serves artist-crafted cocktails, inviting the audience to drink and converse atop her paintings. Inspired by Aleksandr Pushkin’s A Feast in the Time of Plague, Estna plays with our ideas of Romantic forms of representation and social space.
Maria Metsalu uses her body and voice to activate a programmed, sound-responsive installation in Mademoiselle X. The performance is inspired by a psychosis diagnosed in 1880 by French neurologist Jules Cotard, whose patient believed she was organless, dead, and, paradoxically, immortal. Metsalu mobilizes this notion of the body as a complex yet uncomplicated system—a realm where everything could be possible. The performance combines light, music, scenography, movement, and text lifted from video games and sci-fi movies to question the boundaries between reality and virtuality, considering our increasingly desensitized experiences of the surrounding world.
As part of the exhibition Soft Scrub, Hard Body, Liquid Presence, the performances and installations observe a shift taking place in the realm of our aesthetic and emotional sensibilities. Looking particularly to the female perspective, the exhibition attempts to address this uncanny post-accelerationist body in its new surroundings, questioning our state of turmoil, loneliness, and uncertainty surrounding the future.Buy tickets/get more info now