InBetween: City Hall Plaza
Performance, installation, sound, and video collaborations
Saturday May 27, 2006
9 am – 9 pm
FREE and open to the public
Mobius presents InBetween: City Hall Plaza, seven collaborative performance, installation, sound, and video works by members of the Mobius Artists Group and their collaborators. The projects will take place on Boston City Hall Plaza on Saturday, May 27 starting at 9 AM and finishing at 9 PM. Boston City Hall Plaza is located at the Government Center stop on the Green Line T and within walking distance of the Park Street stop on the Red Line, and Haymarket stop on the Orange Line.
The title, InBetween refers to the nature of collaboration, the way in which public art straddles the private and privileged art world and the democracy of the street, and in reference to Mobius’s current state of becoming one thing (an “itinerant” organization producing work at different sites) having been another (an alternative art center). The relevance of the theme to Mobius is significant. Cross-media work, collaboration, and cross-cultural exchange have been at the core of Mobius’s mission for over 28 years. Negotiating the space between creative people, between creative people and the general public, between art and public space, and among artistic media, have been the basis of our artistic investigations since our inception.
InBetween was originally conceived for an abandoned industrial building in Boston’s Marine Industrial Park. Following repeated impasses with City of Boston authorities, the project was postponed, resurrected and ultimately cancelled. The projects that will take place at Boston City Hall plaza are adaptations of the original projects or projects addressing the process that lead to the cancellation of the project as it had been intended.
ABOUT THE PROJECTS
Probes: Lewis Gesner & Larry Johnson
Probes, performed as a series of tests, concerns the measuring and observation of the space and environment in which it is performed. One test will deal with audio range of sound events. The outside range or limit of the performance will be established by locating the edge or limit of a certain level of sound, by striking of blocks together in the air. Another sequence will probe the surfaces of the plaza with small pieces of material, such as narrow wooden dowels dragged close to the artists’ ankles by a piece of string. Another section involves cardboard tubes, connected as a single cylinder, moved across the space and spoken into. Another segment has both performers pulling materials behind them, empty milk cartons, cardboard boxes, and light weight tiles, on lengths of string or rope onto which small coat hanger wire hooks have been attached. They make passes by each other and become connected. They move until the bundle of materials is tightly entangled, then cut themselves loose and continue on to another set of materials.
16.666 Percentage Points of Freedom: Milan Kohout & Milan Klic
The performers will manipulate a set of 15 foot high bamboo poles, which will be balanced on the palms of the performers’ hands and then attached to each other to form a square screen. Prerecorded sound will include a composition of ceramic resonators/bells played by wooden sticks; improvised text, flute, sounds of blow in vessels or hollow objects etc. broadcast via small public address system. The idea is to transcend the oppressive space defined by the functional/dysfunctional structures surrounding the lot. The only way to focus the attention is upwards, so that we are left with one square, the plane of a cube, one sixth of its sides, describing an allotted percentage of freedom.
Object/Abject: Mari Novotny-Jones, Anna Wexler, & Catherine Tutter
An interactive performance and mixed-media installation with plaster, wax, metal parts, detritus and springs of conifer and flowers. Using ritualized manufacture as our core performative process, this piece distills and deconstructs histories of military-industrial production. Our ritual production will involve intensely focused and systematized acts of mass-production, imagined as embodied cycles of creation and destruction. As performance, our physical process is durational, without beginning or end, just as the war machine generates production into perpetuity. We have chosen to create a space of regeneration here, with living plant matter gathered to create a locus of renewal – persisting within the larger site of planned obsolescence (of all species).
Remains in Transition: Joanne Rice, Nora Valdez, & Matt Samolis
The performance area is a circle with a diameter of about 30 feet and its location on the plaza is in the northwest corner. The spectator observes two circles drawn in chalk. The inner circle is filled with stone gravel and other objects. A performer is making chalk marks from the inner circle outward. This performer would also invite spectators to draw. A second performer arranges seven pieces of fabric forming figures on the edge of the outer circle. These images are based on tangram, a Chinese puzzle that consists of seven pieces that can be arranged in different shapes. Once a shape is completed, it is outlined with chalk. The third performer is playing a flute, around the outer edge of the performance area.
Teaching Your Dog the Basics: Alisia Waller & TBA
The concept behind the piece is an exploration of obedience, submission, pack-thinking, cross-“species” understanding, communication and how to get what you want (for both sides) by knowing what the other party wants. Essentially ritualized negotiation when one party holds a great deal more power and communication is primitive. There will be one person in a dog suit and one person with detailed lists of how to deal with problem dogs and how to train puppies. The “trainer” will interact with the “dog” according to the very specific instructions involving a great deal of repetition and precision. Passers-by will be asked to help in the training of the “dog” (as the MSPCA training instructions often call for the assistance of strangers, oddly) and will be given instructions and treats to aide them in this.
Another Brick in the Plaza: Nancy Adams & Slavco Sokolovski
Nine performers dressed in white, will lie face down on 8 foot x 4 foot sheets of heavy artist’s canvas backed with foam. A painter will create a cartoon layer of brick across the canvases and bodies by continuing the pattern of the City Hall Plaza bricks in black paint. A whistle will signal performers when the painting is completed. All performers will stand, walk toward the T station, and board trains. The nine canvases, each now a painting of bricks with a white silhouette of the vacated performer in the center will remain. Expected duration, two to three hours.
Measures of Distance: Magaly Ponce & Margaret Bellafiore
The architecture of Boston City Hall Plaza will be softened by the image of floating tulle and intangible video projections. The building, the plaza, the passers by and the performers would establish an in-between space that contrasts the institution and the human scale. The artists choose an elusive artistic language to examine the relationship between union and disconnection, restriction and movement. Margaret Bellafiore is performing the task of knotting four hundred yards of white tulle extended into the space, contracting it into a more impenetrable shape. Once this is achieved, Bellafiore unknots it all back into free form. Video and installation artist Magaly Ponce will be projecting animations and video directly onto the walls of City Hall. Ponce explores concepts of duration and authority within the three components of the piece: the sixty minutes live performance, the signing of an actual license and the animated gesture study of hands. The sound, by composer Damon Holzborn, invites the audience to enter the work.
InBetween is funded by: The LEF Foundation, The Artists Trust of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and Elkus Manfredi Architects.
Mobius, Inc. is funded by: The Boston Cultural Council; Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts; The Oedipus Foundation; and generous private support.