Exhibition & Program Schedule
January 10 - March 9, 2014
Opening Reception, January 9, 6-8pm
Enacting Acting features three contemporary artists who portray the craft, methods, and expressive potential of the acted performance. Through film and video, Robert Arndt, Vishal Jugdeo, and Alix Pearlstein dissect the actor’s ability to seamlessly portray a role; each artist focuses on certain, distinct elements that constitute a performance. Their inquiries explore relationships between actors and directors, actors and actors, and the subtexts of choreographed, scripted, and improvised scenes.
The exhibition asks us to reflect upon what underlies the actor’s artistry and informs her technique in creating expression through movement, expression, and voice. The nuances of such communications either get lost or become hyper-stylized in pop culture’s spectacular entertainment, amateur YouTube videos, and codified characters. The works in the exhibition offer the opportunity to consider the power of gesture embodied in the actor, in settings apart from the overly familiar, engrossing performances we passively consume.
Three works by Robert Arndt follow the same actor through different scripted situations, each shot using a specific cinematic convention. In each, the relationship of the actor to his character and to the unseen director behind the camera shifts, offering insight into the creative, and at times fraught, exchange between artists. This interpersonal connection is bound up equally in anxiety, boredom, obsession, and other emotions—attitudes revealed in the videos and the accompanying photographic series Deleted Scenes.
Vishal Jugdeo draws from clichéd modes of scriptwriting, acting, camerawork, and editing found in mainstream film and television. By unraveling the tidy formulas these entertainment forms rely on, his videos reveal the social relationships often suppressed by character acting, direction and production elements. Absurdist sets and props form sculptural installations that act as TV sets where actors and objects interact on equal footing, creating a confounding spectacle steeped in complex and contradictory dialogue.
Shot in a stripped down, white environment, Alix Pearlstein’s Moves in the Field and The Drawing Lesson track groups of actors playing out abstract dramas. Their gestures, movements, and facial expressions recall aspects of performance for the stage and the cinema yet don’t reside fully in either. Informed by dance, minimalism, stagecraft, and methods of acting, the filmed action zeroes in on individual behavior and group dynamics. Pearlstein’s works condense psychological narrative to create a sharpened look at how relationships and social constructs are performed and enacted.
Talk: Elena Gorfinkel
Unacting: Notes on the Performing Body in Moving Image History
February 27, 6:30pm INOVA, 2155 N. Prospect
This talk contextualizes the conventions and conceptions of acting and performance which are engaged, questioned and implicitly undone in the works of Arndt, Jugdeo and Pearlstein. Gorfinkel places these works in dialogue with select moments in the history of the moving image and film culture specifically, to explore the way the performing body moves between texts and media, and both secures and challenges the boundaries of a created world. Thus acting is always potentially unacting.
Gorfinkel is Assistant Professor in the Art History Department and Film Studies Program at the UWM and a fellow at UWM's Center for 21st Century Studies.
Lisa Selby: Must come down & Benjamin DeMott: Teeter Jam
March 19 - May 18, 2014
Opening Reception March 20, 6-8pm
INOVA presents the work of two emerging artists in their first major solo exhibitions. Lisa Selby pairs sculpted but unfired clay objects with found materials as she investigates the rituals and forms of domestic life. As the raw clay dries, the sculptures become meditations on time and transformation. Benjamin DeMott utilizes thin lines of extruded porcelain to build delicate, linear constructions that reflect the peculiarities of light and architecture in the exhibition space. DeMott will engage the details of INOVA gallery’s architecture with this new body of work. Presented in conjunction with the 2014 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference held in Milwaukee March 19-22.
Mendi + Keith Obadike
American Cypher: April 4 - May 18, 2014
Mendi + Keith Obadike’s multimedia installation explores race and DNA through five stories about black Americans that hinge on deciphering genetic code. These stories include the racial politics of genetic researcher James Watson, the dream ancestry of Oprah Winfrey, use of DNA as evidence in the criminal justice system, and the genetic code of President Barack Obama. At the center of the project is the story of Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who bore several children by President Thomas Jefferson. This exhibition is in collaboration with the Peck School of the Arts Art + Design Department and Music Department, and UWM’s Center for 21st Century Studies.
BodyLock: April 3, 2014, 7pm, reception to follow
The Obadikes perform a short musical (voice and harmonium + electronics) meditation on identity and the body’s code as a key or a lock. Running time 20 minutes.
Morgan Thorson: Journeyman
April 14, 2014 at 7pm, and April 17, 2014 at 4pm & 7:30pm
Solo Flight is a week-long festival curated by Alverno Presents featuring the work of powerful individual performers in music, dance and theatre. At INOVA, choreographer Morgan Thorson will present her new work Journeyman, a two-phase project that mediates conversation, the solo dance form, and the itinerant life of the dance maker. First Thorson will meet an individual she does not know at a party on April 14 and, through a one-on-one discussion, craft a solo dance missive performed privately for that person later. On April 17, two performances of the dance will be performed publicly.
This is a ticketed event. For more information about Solo Flight and to purchase tickets, please visit alvernopresents.alverno.edu.
Leo Saul Berk: The Uncertainty of Enclosure
June 7 - August 14, 2014
Opening Reception, June 6, 6-8pm
The Uncertainty of Enclosure explores the impact of an architecturally iconic residence—Bruce Goff’s Ford House in Aurora, Illinois—on the art of Leo Saul Berk. Goff utilized unconventional materials and extraordinary techniques to achieve fluid forms inspired by nature. Berk has created a body of work informed by his childhood experience at the home, his historical research, and his ongoing reflection on the house’s pivotal role in the development of his artistic vision. INOVA will tour this exhibition nationally. Support for this exhibition is provided in part by grants from the Mary L. Nohl Fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.