Project Embodied is an independent archive project for performance art.
The project seeks to build an evolving and participatory platform that fosters critical discourse for contemporary art through the lenses of performativity. In addition to the public archive, Project Embodied organizes regular meetings and live performances in the US and internationally. It aims to serve as an independent platform for performance art by publicly building documentation and discourse, memory and remains as a continuing historical record that is passed on through different modes of knowing and remembering.
Project Embodied is an archive project that focus on contemporary art through the lenses of performativity and its relationship with the traditions of the archive. The project launches with an exhibition and live performance by LA and NY-based artists Johnny Shield, Daniel T. Gaitor-Lomack, Jean Rim, Yon Natalie Mik and Sheila Garrett Rodriguez at the Collective Arts Incubator Gallery in Highland Park, Los Angeles. The five artists will perform live on April 15th, May 13th and May 28th. A group exhibition will showcase the remains of the five live performances to explore strategies of exhibiting time-based art. After the launch performances in April and May, PO will continue to highlight the works of individual performance artists in the US and internationally at various locations.
As an artist initiative, PO aims to enrich the understanding of how performativity across different genres and media can be experienced and considered within the contemporary art context. The project stimulates independent discourse among practicing artists, writers, critics and students who recognize the lack of knowledge in presenting and archiving performance, theatricality, time-based and bodily-oriented art at galleries and museums. Performance artists are known to have a special relationship with the traditions of archive, documentation and the object-based art world in general. The project asks: How can we examine performance artists whose essence and materiality of the work is not the object (material) but the performing body? How can we improve the practice of showing, documenting and researching artwork that is defined by time, space, the performer, and the audience? The project believes that we have to go back to the artists to answer these questions. In addition to providing artists more opportunities to show work, PO creates coalitions with art writers who are interested in critiquing performance art. Emerging as well as established writers can participate as they choose the performance (artist) they want to review. Their writing will be published online. Using PO as a platform, this coalition of artists and writers will add to the (non)archival history of performance art; aiming to publicly build documentation, memory and remains as a continuing historical record that is passed on through different modes of knowing and remembering.
PO is a loose movement and transnational network of artists and writers. Participants are encouraged to actively shape the project and exchange thoughts by connecting to a larger group people and places that support the spirit of this project. It allows the performer the agency and creative control over how the work is executed and (un)documented. At the same time, it also allows the audience to raise questions. While the performer conveys the work through performative authority, the audience possesses the power to shape or deny the performer’s authorial power of the performance. Through providing such conversational environments, PO hopes to participate in building more constructive discussions around contemporary performance. It seeks to pave and enter new avenues for a deeper understanding of performance.
PO is calling performance artists to submit their work to be considered for future events. Writers can follow us on Instagram @projectembodied to learn about future upcoming performances or suggest artist they like to review. Suggestions and proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheila Garrett Rodriguez presents Braiding Traces, an intergenerational, participatory performance that connects to ideas of communitas, reproduction, reenactment and the passing of knowledge through domestic and mundane acts that are often invisible to the public and poorly documented by the institution.
Daniel T. Gaitor-Lomack’s performances are concerned with ideas of hierarchy, Negro Formalism, and dissociation. He applies installation and destruction in his art as an aesthetic technique for creating new forms of perception related to disorder in society, trafficking bodies and economic crisis. His own paintings and ready-mades become material for the installations that Lomack uses or destroys during his performances, challenging the value of time-honored believes that art must be an intrinsically stable aesthetic object.
On the night of May 13th, Jean Rim will perform The Spring Equinox. As an artist and healer, Rim’s work addresses issues of feminism, growth, destruction and survival. For her live performances, the artist exercises embodied ritual and gestural memory. Rim streams her live performances via social media in response to the performer’s relationship to technological change and notions of mediatized culture and liveness in performance art.
In her performances, Yon Natalie Mik merges spoken words with movements from Western contemporary dance and Korean traditional performance. At the Collective Arts Incubator, she presents (In)visible, a work that addresses the contingent nature of performance art in relation to archive-based history-making and the traditional genealogies of knowledge. By tracing the interplay between performer & viewer, she invites the audience to interrogate concepts of surveillance, (in)visibility and documentation of bodies to counterbalance patriarchal and euro-normative forms of representation and production in visual culture.
Interdisciplinary artist Johnny Shield will finish his 8-day hiking performance by walking down from the Pacific Crest Trail straight to the CAI gallery on the night of May 28th. The final part of Shield’s durational performance titled The Nomadic Gallery: Expansion will be a response to his past days on the mountains and presented live in front of the gallery audience. Shield’s performances are concerned with ideas of the transgression of the body, crossing borders, endurance and masochistic art. He puts his body in discomfort, pain and corporeal danger as a response to his struggles with the institution and the secular culture that becomes increasingly out of balance.