28 Mar 2010


White Slab Palace
77 Delancey @ Allen Street
Sunday, March 28, 2010, 8pm and 10pm
Curated by Marianne Vitale

“Ballad for the Hurled.” 3-minute animation. Direction and artwork by Marianne Vitale, animation by Janelle Miau.

Kunstverein NY is pleased to present THE CLIPPER, The Marianne Vitale Experience, as part of the ongoing monthly series YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE AN HOUR AGO, guest-curated by performance artists, filmmakers, and writers, and taking place in the back space of White Slab Palace.

For THE CLIPPER, artist Marianne Vitale brings together a group of writers, performers, poets, and thinkers to encounter each other’s process on the deck of an ocean schooner in the form of a play. Vitale serves as provoker, while each invited peer develops their own character and narrative. Like the crew of a ship, each player, whether active or passive, will share stage time toward a collaborative enterprise in a negotiation of space and story-telling.

Aboard THE CLIPPER, Todd Colby captains the crew, while sea-woman Dina Seiden recites skate porn. With bulging forearms, singing sailor Michael Portnoy delivers a medley of blues, reggae, and 30’s show tunes before colliding with Somali pirate scholar Sandeep BhullerBrandon Olson will appear as a European Baroness on board a 1970’s yacht party (the wrong ship), amidst Walter Gambini intermittent updates on his mental state at sea.  Jessica Mitrani designs the figurehead of the boat, and Josh Boyer will play a clam.

Pete Drungle on piano/ electronics, Tony Lewis on drums, and Al MacDowell on electric bass, will provide THE CLIPPER’s live score.

Vitale has often worked with some participants, some never before.  Thus she establishes the evening as a private experiment with a public audience and two showings at 8pm and 10pm.

Kunstverein NY has previously worked with Vitale for The Prompt, a series of performances, for which Patron (2009) was produced, a video work now on view at the 2010 Whitney Biennial in New York.

* Space is limited, RSVP to info@kunstverein.us. Priority entrance will be given to members.

For more information or for visuals, please contact Mary Rinebold at mary@kunstverein.us, or visit www.kunstverein.us

About the Artists…

Sandeep Bhuller was born in London. Upon studying painting at RISD, Sandeep moved to New York in 2006 and enrolled at Parsons, The New School for Design and Eugene Lang Liberal Arts College.  Bhuller works in performance, text, painting and drawing. In 2009, she was granted the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Award for Socio-Political Work for her solo performance at the Arnold & Sheila Aronson Gallery. For her last solo show at Gallery MC, Sandeep made birth control pills from the seeds of Queen Anne’s Lace flowers.

Josh Boyer is a malicious tinkerer.  He likes running into walls, wearing women’s underwear, and the sounds made by meat.  He plays in bands with names like Manawi Thorn and Kamazotz.  This is his debut performance as a bivalve.

Todd Colby has published four books of poetry: Ripsnort (1994), Cush (1995), Riot in the Charm Factory: New and Selected Writings (2000), and Tremble & Shine (2004), all published by Soft Skull Press. Todd has performed his poetry on PBS and MTV, and his collaborative books and paintings with artist David Lantow can be seen in the Brooklyn Museum of Art and MoMA’s special collections libraries. Todd serves on the Board of Directors for The Poetry Project, where he has also taught several poetry workshops. He posts new work on gleefarm.blogspot.com.

Pete Drungle is a composer, pianist and sound designer.  He has made music with Ornette Coleman, The Kronos Quartet, Yoko Ono, Ronald Shannon Jackson, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Craig Harris.  He has made scores for theater, film, TV, and dance – including Sarah Michelson’s DOVER BEACH (cited as Best of 2009 by Art Forum, and reviewed by TimeOut NY, and The New York Times). He has previously collaborated with artists Marianne Vitale, and Michael Portnoy.  As a pianist, Drungle is an intrepid, adventurous improviser – possibly best exemplified by his 24-HOUR CONTINUOUS SOLO PIANO IMPROVISATION (2007), curated by Sarina Basta for Performa ‘07, and reviewed by Wire magazine’s Alan Licht. Recent accolades include: a Bessie Award for Best Composer, a Meet The Composer commission, and composer residencies at U-Cross Wyoming and Chapter Arts, Cardiff, Wales.

Tony Lewis is an accomplished drummer and composer from Brooklyn, New York.  He has played with Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Little Richard, Elliot Sharp, Vernon Reid, Cyndi Lauper, Sam Moore, and many others.

Al Macdowell was born in Queens, New York, and has studied music since age 6. He has worked with Pulitzer-prize-winning saxophonist/composer Ornette Coleman for the past 35 years, and is part of the working ensemble that was awarded the Best Band (USA) award from Downbeat magazine. Al is an authority on the music of Ornette Coleman, having studied and performed the music of Mr. Coleman for well over three decades.  Al has also worked with platinum artists Grace Jones, Public Enemy, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Martha Reeves, Whitney Houston, and countless others.

Jessica Sofia Mitrani explores femininity, representation, and language through text, images, objects, video, and theater. Recent solo exhibitions include “In a Single Shoe” at Partners & Spade, New York (2009); and“Feminine Articles,” at the Museo de Arte Moderno,  Colombia (2008). Her film and video work has been shown at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou and the Jeu de Paume, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, Bogota; and in numerous international film festivals. She has also written, directed, and designed sets and costumes for the theater.

Brandon Olson is a multimedia performer and artist who has worked with a number of artists in the worlds of fashion, theatre, art, and nightlife.  He has graced the New York stages of PS 122, LaMaMa, Dixon Place, and Joes Pub, and in shown in galleries such as Participant, Pavel Zoubach, and the National Arts Club, all in New York. He has also worked with The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado; Bistroteche, London; Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle.  Karen Finley, Tabboo!, Lavinia Co-op, Patricia Field,  Susanne Bartsch, and Holly Woodlawn are some of the bold faced legends he regularly works with, and he is now delighted to add Marianne Vitale to this list of luminous partners in crime.

Michael Portnoy is a New York based artist, musician, and Director of Behavior. His practice spans dance-theater, metafunctional sculpture, Relational Stalinism, experimental stand-up, prog-operatic spectacle, abstract gambling, 3-person nightclubs, and Icelandic cockroach porn. Portnoy’s art circles the rules of play and communication – language itself playing a crucial role in the works. He has presented work in museums, art galleries, and theaters internationally, including Kunstverein, Amsterdam; Art Unlimited Basel, and Kunsthalle Basel, both in Basel; Kaaitheater, Brussels; The National Review of Live Art, Glasgow; IBID PROJECTS, London; The Moscow Biennial, Moscow; P.S. 1/MOMA, The Kitchen, SculptureCenter, Performa 07 & 09, Dexter Sinister, Kunstverein NY, The Emily Harvey Foundation, and The Grammy Awards at Radio City Music Hall, all in New York; Kadist Foundation, Paris; Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France; Kling & Bang Gallery, Reykjavik; Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw; Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Migros Museum, Zurich.

Dina Seiden was born in the East Village and raised haphazardly in Queens and the Bronx. She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a Concentration in Interpretation Theory from Swarthmore College.  She pursued an MFA in Film at Columbia University, and was granted the Screenwriting and Comedy Central fellowships (first grantee) as well as the NY Women in Film and Television prize. Humping the corpse of the narrative, her short films, “Bitten,” “Jurassic Cock,” “Raw Footage with Cuts,” and “The Offspring” are heavily influenced and bogged down by the venereal horror genre and serve to reflect and/or ridicule a preoccupation with infection, transformation, interpolation, interchange, halitosis, meiosis (typically at the stage of Prophase II) and border crossings. She performs a tender yet diabolical one-whoa!-man show at venues such as Jalopy Theatre, Joe’s Pub and the Box.

About the Curator/Artist/Director…

Marianne Vitale is a New York artist working in various mediums.  Her sculptural practice often evokes an idea of the natural world remade from what has been discarded and abandoned.  Brought together with metal and made permanent, Vitale freezes these forms into make-shift structures, fantastic creatures, hybrid animals and contorted beasts that can appear both fragile and menacing.  When using performance and video, Vitale draws on some of the instinctive movements apparent in her drawings and sculptures, with an added personal physicality that creates a visceral, even combative relationship between artist and audience. Vitale’s work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2010 Whitney Biennial, SculptureCenter, White Columns, Kunstverein NY, all in New York; Colton Gallery, Houston; IBID Projects, London; and the Cass Sculpture Foundation, Sussex, England.

With special thanks to technical engineering director Joe Waller, lighting director Arturo Vidich, make-up designer Andrea Helgadottir, costume designer Molly Spaulding/ Narnia, and ship’s carpenter Jordan Aiello. Kunstverein NY also thanks Annika, Lu, everyone at White Slab Palace, Christopher Marcus, and PLaAD – www.lovePLaAD.com

Upcoming: The Quiet Edition, a short film series organized by Kunstverein NY; and an interview between Wafaa Bilal and Ashley Rawlings, organized by Arturo Vidich for Kunstverein NY.

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