For close to a century, the techniques of collage and literary cut-up have been used to discover new forms in the visual arts, poetry, and music by undoing and restructuring text, image, and sound. “Cut-Up: Contemporary Collage and Cut-Up Histories through a Feminist Lens,” curated by artist Katie Vida, explores a multigenerational lineage of women artists who have pushed the boundary of cut-up techniques across media, including sculpture, video, sound art, painting, performance, printed matter, poetry, and photography. The exhibition is on view at Franklin Street Works from January 16 – April 3, 2016. The public opening reception is Saturday, January 16 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with a member VIP opening from 5:00 – 6:00 pm. “Cut-Up” is sponsored, in part, by the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
Featuring works from 1967 to the present, “Cut-Up” explores how collage and cut-up have informed the visual arts, literature, and experimental sound art. The exhibition also pays special attention to how the process of cutting apart and reordering language parallels an activist impulse to disrupt the status quo and develop new, alternative narratives. This skepticism and eschewing of “traditional” media is a strategy that was embraced by feminist artists in the late 1960s. At that time these artists embraced newer forms such as performance, film, text based works, and ephemeral sculpture, in part, to bypass patriarchal histories associated with established media such as monumental sculpture and painting.
Through a layering of imagery, text, materials and sound, the artists in “Cut-Up” create tension by disrupting narrative and reorienting the viewers’ expectations “The cut itself is the technology through which these artists address and manipulate language and image,” curator Katie Vida elaborates, “Through an additive and/or reductive process of developing fresh visual and linguistic spaces the artists in this exhibition show a commitment to breaking apart what is seemingly codified to engage in alternative visions.”
Exhibiting Artists: Ruth Anderson, Phyllis Baldino, Dodie Bellamy, Ofri Cnaani, Lourdes Correa-Carlo, Mayme Donsker, Heike-Karin Foell, Susan Howe, Jennie C. Jones, Alexis Knowlton, Carrie Moyer, Lorraine O’Grady, People Like Us, Sheila Pepe, Faith Ringgold, Mariah Robertson, Carolee Schneemann, Nancy Shaver, Meredyth Sparks, Cauleen Smith, Martine Syms, and Janice Tanaka.
Guest Curator: Katie Vida
Logo Design: Lauren Francescone
This exhibition was sponsored, in part, by Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts.
There will be an Art+Feminism Edit-A-Thon at Darien Library: Sat, March 5th, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., followed by a tour of the Feminist-themed Exhibition, “Cut-Up: Contemporary Collage and Cut-Up Histories through a Feminist Lens,” and Reception from 4:30 – 7:00 pm at Franklin Street Works. You can REGISTER HERE for this free, public event:
Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as female. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not. Content is skewed by the lack of female participation. This represents an alarming absence in an increasingly important repository of shared knowledge.
Join us for a half-day, edit-a-thon to contribute and expand upon Wikipedia articles relating to art and feminism. After the edit-a-thon, we will celebrate at Franklin Street Works contemporary art space and cafe with a 20-minute tour of the original exhibition “Cut-Up: Contemporary Collage and Cut-Up Histories through a Feminist Lens,” followed by a wine and cheese reception. Edit-a-thon will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and exhibition tour and reception will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Join the revolution!
Reference materials will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with a topic beforehand. We encourage participants to look at the exhibiting artists in Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition for entry/edit inspiration, they are listed in the exhibition description here:http://
Franklin Street Works presents Robert Adanto’s documentary film “The F Word” at the Stamford Innovation Center. The movie explores radical “4th wave” feminist performance through interviews with a new generation of feminist artists who use their bodies as subject matter. This public event is at 7:00pm on Saturday, March 26, at the Stamford Innovation Center and includes a post screening Q & A featuring: director, Robert Adanto; scholar and curator Dr. Kathy Battista; and two of the film’s featured artists Leah Schrager and Katie Cercone of Go! Push Pops. There will be a public cocktail reception at Franklin Street Works prior to the screening from 5:30 – 6:30 where people can view the current, feminist themed, exhibition “Cut-Up: Contemporary Collage and Cut-Up Histories through a Feminist Lens” and meet the director in a casual setting. The two downtown venues are a 10-minute-walk or short drive from each other. The event is free with a suggested donation of $5.
Film Trailer can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/
Because the female body continues to be politicized and policed, and because these artists delve into the fecund territory of female sexuality, self-objectification, and the female form as a site of resistance, many remain marginalized by the mainstream art world. Brooklyn-based Leah Schrager, well known for her performance practice, Naked Therapy, states, “As soon as you introduce a bit of sexiness or sexuality into an artwork it suddenly becomes questionable. Just because something elicits arousal or shows elements of sexiness does absolutely not make it not art.”
While some 4th wave artists, like Ann Hirsch and Kate Durbin, choose to analyze representations of female identity through digital media, others, like the radical, queer, transnational feminist art collective, Go! Push Pops, explore sexuality and gender in pop culture in the digital age. As feminist lecturer Kristen Sollee explains, 4th wavers, unlike their predecessors, “are not afraid to be ‘girly’, (or) to be hyper-feminine, or to wear a mini-skirt, to self-objectify” in the service of challenging patriarchal oppression or sexist ideals.
Dr. Kathy Battista, Director of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York and author of Re-negotiating the Body: Feminist Artists in 1970s London (IB Tauris, 2012), is an on-screen expert, as are noted art critic and curator, Nancy Princenthal, and feminist lecturer, Kristen Sollee.
Featured Artists are: Narcissister, Ann Hirsch, Go! Push Pops, Leah Schrager, Kate Durbin, Rebecca Goyette, Rachel Mason, Rafia Santana, Damali Abrams, Faith Holland, Claudia Bitran, Michelle Charles, and Sadaf.
ABOUT ROBERT ADANTO
Robert Adanto, a classically trained actor, earned his M.F.A. in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently heads the Film & TV Production program at NSU’s University School. His films have been Official Selections at more than fifty international film festivals and have enjoyed screenings at The Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; The Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); The National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow; The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto; The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; The Worcester Art Museum, MA; The Tel Aviv Museum of Art and others. He made his directorial debut with The Rising Tide (2008), a feature-length documentary exploring the explosive Chinese contemporary art scene. Pearls on the Ocean Floor (2010), his second feature, examines the lives and works of Iranian female artists living and working in and outside the Islamic Republic. Featuring interviews with art luminaries Shirin Neshat and Shadi Ghadirian, Pearls on the Ocean Floor received the Bronze Palm Award for Best Documentary at the 2011 edition of the Mexican International Film Festival and the Spirit of Independents Award at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Adanto’s 2014, City of Memory explores Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the lives of visual artists from New Orleans. His newest film, “The F Word,” focuses on “4th wave” feminist artists who, among other tactics, use their bodies as subject matter in their work. Among other screenings, The F Word was recently presented as part of the Guerrilla Girls Twin City Takeover at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and at Dallas Contemporary, in association with Black Sheep Feminism: The Art of Sexual Politics, an exhibition curated by Alison Gingeras.
Franklin Street Works, University of Connecticut-Stamford’s Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and Sacred Heart University’s Masters of Film and Television Program have collaborated to co-curate “All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art,” an exhibition of video works informed by intersectional feminist approaches. The exhibition will be on view at Franklin Street Works from April 9 – July 10, 2016. Opening reception is Saturday April 9th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with a member VIP preview from 5:00 – 6:00pm.
Feminist conversations and scholarship around the inseparability of class, race, country of origin and other factors when contemplating gender are reflected in artworks that, among other things, encourage viewers to listen across difference and explore matrixes of power. Through a call for submissions, the curators also sought out emerging artists in order to explore “fourth wave” feminist approaches to video and film. “All Byte” features works made between 2013 and 2015 by nine artists or collectives: Michelle Marie Charles, INVASORIX, Kegels for Hegel, Sarah Lasley, Nicole Maloof, Virginia Lee Montgomery, Sunita Prasad, Legacy Russell, and Maryam Tafakory. This original exhibition is co-curated by the Program Director of Sacred Heart University’s Film and Television Masters school, Justin Liberman; Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut-Stamford, Ingrid Semaan; and Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director, Terri C Smith.
The term “intersectionality” was coined by feminist legal scholar and critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. This analytic frame aimed to disrupt the approach of “single axis analysis,” which treated race and gender as mutually exclusive. Instead, intersectional work looks at how social factors and systems of power interlock and shape each other. The “All Byte” co-curators chose videos that exhibit an understanding of intersectionality and a sophisticated or fresh use of the medium. When taken as a whole, these works address gender in concert with many other factors, including: exploring the queer body through a transformative journey; queering of influential, usually white male, theorists through song; placing the alienated female body in surreal parallel to the predominantly white, male tech industry; addressing the contradictions between the lyrics and images in hip-hop videos that often portray women as sexual props; recounting academia’s gendered power structures through parody and art history; exploring inaccurate, race-based assumptions about citizenship and experience; unearthing colonial histories, preserved in the street signs of a small American neighborhood; gender based medical practices; and more. Through the intersectional feminist lens, these artists shed light on systems that reinforce dominance to the exclusion of others and create narratives of inclusion and understanding.
This exhibition was sponsored, in part, by Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts.
The world of art and the technology community will come together at the Stamford Innovation Center on Thursday May 5 at 6pm for the third annual Indie Gala: Charity Shindig. This year Franklin Street Works, the award winning, not-for-profit art space and café in downtown Stamford is the beneficiary of the fundraiser.
You can buy your tickets HERE
The Indie Gala has affordable tickets that allow young people to come together to have fun and raise money for a good cause. Early sponsors include Media Crossing, Indeed and Westfair Publications, publisher of the Fairfield County Business Journal.
Billed as a “Small Batch Charity Shindig,” the Indie Gala will feature:
• Music by WPKN DJ Michelle Spinei
• Margaritas by the folks at Cointreau
• Tasting table by Two Roads Brewery
• Taco Bar by Garibaldi Mexican Grill
• “The Indie Alley,” featuring gifts and goods from regional artisans
“As the major tenant of Stamford’s Old Town Hall, we love to invite the public to celebrate this remarkable building and raise money for local causes,” said Peter Propp, Chief Marketing Officer for Stamford Innovation Center. In 2014, the Innovation Center’s gala raised funds for two charities, the CT Veterans Legal Center and Future5. In 2015, Fairfield’s Operation Hope was the recipient.
“Franklin Street Works is delighted to be the beneficiary of this year’s Indie Gala,” said Bonnie Wattles, Executive Director. “We serve overlapping creative communities and are both working hard to help the Stamford region deliver on its promise of supporting the arts and welcoming new ideas and companies.”
More information can be found at: stamfordicenter.com/indie
On Saturday, May 21, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Franklin Street Works will host a Moby book signing and cocktail party in collaboration with Barrett Bookstore (Darien). Moby will speak briefly about and sign copies of his new book Porcelain: A Memoir. Tickets include book purchase and range from $37.92 – $53.74. Click HERE for more on the event and to purchase your ticket.
Franklin Street Works will co-present a screening of the documentary “Eva Hesse” at the Avon Theatre on Wednesday, June 1st. There will be a pre-screening cocktail reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm at Franklin Street Works followed by a 7:30 screening and Q & A at the Avon Theatre. This documentary (written, produced, and directed by Marcie Begleiter) explores the remarkable life and achievements of Eva Hesse, an important visual artist of the 1960s. Q & A will include art historian Helen Cooper, who curated Eva Hesse: A Retrospective in 1992, which was singled out by the New York Times as one of the ten best exhibitions that year. Cocktail party is free and open to the public and the usual Avon box office prices apply for the screening. For tickets, visit: www.avontheatre.org
You can view the trailer HERE
As the wild ride of the 1960’s came to a close, Eva Hesse, a 34 year-old German-born American artist was cresting the wave of a swiftly rising career. One of the few women recognized as central to the New York art scene, she had over 20 group shows scheduled for 1970 in addition to being chosen for a cover article in ArtForum Magazine. Her work was finally receiving both the critical and commercial attention it deserved. When she died in May, 1970 from a brain tumor, the life of one of that decades’ most passionate and brilliant artists was tragically cut short. As Jonathon Keats wrote in Art and Antiques Magazine “Yet the end of her life proved to be only the beginning of her career. The couple of solo gallery shows she hustled in the 11 years following her graduation from the Yale School of Art have since been eclipsed by multiple posthumous retrospectives at major museums from the Guggenheim to the Hirshhorn to the Tate.” Her work is now held by many important museum collections including the Whitney, MoMA, the Hirschhorn, the Pompidou in Paris and London’s Tate Modern.
Artists such as Dan Graham, Richard Serra, Nancy Holt, Carl Andre, Robert and Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Eva’s husband Tom Doyle and her friend, writer Lucy Lippard speak candidly and with great passion about the 60’s, Eva’s work and her life. In addition, Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate Museums and Whitney curator Elisabeth Sussman have added their views on Hesse’s work and legacy. Hesse’s journals and correspondence provides much of the guiding narration.
Eva Hesse deepens the understanding of this extraordinary artist, not only in terms of her ground-breaking work, but also the life that provided the fertile soil for her achievements. With dozens of new interviews, high quality footage of Hesse’s artwork and a wealth of newly discovered archival imagery, the documentary not only traces Eva’s path but engages in a lively investigation into the creative community of 1960’s New York and Germany.
Texas-based artist collaborative Kegels for Hegel; Nutritionist Nicole Rose M.S., R.D.; and Naturopathic Doctor and Nurse Midwife Cindy Anderson will participate in a luncheon where attendees explore art, gender, philosophy, nutrition, and food. To reserve one of the 14 spots for the event, interested parties should RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event is exhibition programming for Franklin Street Works current show “All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art,” which includes seven videos by Kegels for Hegel. Guests will enjoy casual presentations and a lunch by Chef Erin Emmett that focuses on nutrient rich foods from 12:30 – 1:30 pm with open discussion from 1:30 – 2:00 pm. There is an $18.00 admission, which includes lunch and a beverage. To reserve one of the 14 spots for the event, interested parties should RSVP email@example.com.
Kegels for Hegel is a Texas-based collaborative project where the artists make music videos that, in part, queer the work of (mostly white, straight, male) philosophers and theorists. The collaborative elaborates on their approach to making these videos, “Unlike our academic training, which consisted of specialized study over decades, Kegels for Hegel is based in the emancipatory potential of a lack of expertise. We make songs using simple computer programs, cellphone apps and loops of noise that we find or create.” This embrace of the amateur combines with a scholarly understanding of the philosophers they riff on to create videos that are comfortable with being simultaneously silly, sexual and wickedly intelligent.
For this event Kegels for Hegel will discuss how their practice parallels the processes of choosing, eating and digesting food, but in the realm of ideas, which are imbibed and transformed via cognitive digestion and elimination. “Rather than penetrating, we pull in philosophical texts and let parts of them become parts of us,” write the artists, “The encounter between the two changes both. Through the brain and the pelvic floor, we build up the necessary muscles to be able to hold onto something. Like the Kegel, we explore small enactments that can beget great changes.”
The artists’ philosophy informs the luncheon’s themes and inspired the café’s chef and “All Byte” co-curator, Terri C Smith, to also invite Nutritionist Nicole Rose M.S., R.D. and Naturopathic Doctor and Nurse Midwife Cindy Anderson to make brief presentations on the nutritional assets of the foods served and to explore some terminology around gender and health.
ABOUT CYNTHIA ANDERSON Dr. Cynthia Anderson known by her patients as Dr. Cindy is a licensed Naturopathic Physician who brings more than 25 years experience and skills working as a Nurse and Midwife to her practice. She has worked with adolescents in a school clinic setting and as a psychiatric nurse. Dr. Cindy specializes in natural ways to decrease anxiety and depression, fertility concerns, a healthy transition during menopause, healthy weight management, identifying and treating gluten sensitivity and helping women prevent and recover from breast cancer. She is certified in Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome and works with subclinical hypothyroidism. She enjoys teaching Gynecology and Obstetrics at the University of Bridgeport Naturopathic College. Recently she presented at the National Midwifery Convention on Natural options for menopause.
ABOUT NICOLE ROSE Nicole Rose M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a Masters Degree in Science/Clinical Nutrition from NYU in partnership with Mt. Sinai Hospital. Immediately following her graduate studies, Nicole’s focus was strictly clinical in nature during her time practicing at Montefiore Medical Center. It was only after several years of Nicole’s more conventional experience that her focus became more rooted in a holistic approach to wellness. Nicole’s most passionate belief, is that the foundation for health is based upon prevention of disease. It is her ultimate view that this can only be accomplished by eating Earth’s most wondrous gifts in conjunction with a productive lifestyle.
(MORE) ABOUT KEGELS FOR HEGEL Straddling philosophical smutcore and tongue in chic, Kegels for Hegel (K4H) is a conceptual art project that makes queerly ambivalent songs, music videos, and art objects that both revere and mess with the intellectual production of philosophers. K4H is a “band” fronted by two academics who have no musical training and use computer programs to make songs. But really K4H is an open collaboration of artists, academics, and other creative, clever, disreputable types who make things.
Mug Shots and Mimosas
Our back patio is dog friendly and we hope you will bring your canine buddies to this event. We’ll have a pooch photo booth and will capture you with your four-legged best friend.
Tischman Pets Photography will be taking photos of you and your pup in exchange for donations to the Stamford ACC (Animal Control Center), which helps dogs find homes.
There will be mimosa specials and we will have human treats for sale and complimentary dog treats on hand (how else will we get them to pose?). Dog not required.
Rain Date: July 2.
Franklin Street Works exhibiting artist Sunita Prasad will discuss past works that use parafictional, narrative, and research-based strategies to illuminate and challenge discourse on gender online, in public space, and in popular culture. This free, public talk with Q & A is Saturday, July 9 from 4:00 – 5:30 pm at Franklin Street Works.
Prasad, an award-winning artist based in New York City, will discuss her overall body of work, paying special attention to the concepts and processes around her videos that explore gendered experiences in contemporary Indian culture. The talk will contextualize her video “Recitations not from memory,” which is included in Franklin Street Works’ current group exhibition “All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art,” on view through July 10.
“Recitations not from memory” features women’s stories about gendered experiences that were anonymously shared with Sunita Prasad. As part of the conceptual construct for the piece, the artist sought out women who she considered to be her “socio-economic counterparts,” finding them through social media. These stories were then read from a teleprompter by men who Prasad also enlisted via social media. The artist notes that she was interested in this topic as discussions around it become more common in India, “Recitations not from memory is the result of an experiment in listening to, reading, and speaking gendered experience in the Indian context, during a period of increased attention to gender discrimination within Indian public discourse.
This event is generously sponsored by Shelly Nichani.
ABOUT SUNITA PRASAD
Sunita Prasad is a New York City based artist and filmmaker. Her projects employ techniques of hybridization between documentary, fiction, and performance to address issues of gender, public space, and the history of social movements. Her work has been exhibited internationally at venues and institutions including the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Homesession in Barcelona, Torino Performance Art in Turin, Momenta Art in New York City, and Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia. She has received awards from the Art Matters Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Warner Bros. Production Fund. She has also participated in residencies at TAJ & SKE Projects in Bangalore, the Contemporary Artists Center in Troy NY, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
In “Danger Came Smiling,” art historian and published author, Maria Elena Buszek, brings together work by contemporary artists who use popular music as a medium, subject, and reference point for feminist messages. The show takes the title of an album by the unabashedly feminist punk band Ludus, led by artist Linder Sterling, whose career—emerging in the first wave of punk in the 1970s—is a pioneering example of the approaches at play in this exhibition. The show will be on view July 23, 2016 – Jan 1, 2017. Free public reception, July 23 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with a VIP member preview from 5:00 – 6:00pm.
“By the late 1970s, visual artists like Robert Longo, Barbara Kruger, and Jean-Michel Basquiat joined bands, and musicians like DEVO, Talking Heads, and Ann Magnuson treated their music as performance art, blurring the lines between popular music and visual art in ways that have profoundly affected contemporary art ever since,” explains Buszek. Music and feminist activism are often associated with art student Kathleen Hanna’s work in starting the “Riot Grrrl” movement by way of her punk band Bikini Kill in the 1990s. This rich intersection of art, music, and activism will be explored more broadly in “Danger Came Smiling” through the work of artists who use punk, hip-hop, electronica, and jazz as part of their studio practice, and a reflection of their politics. The Franklin Street Works café will include an audio portion comprised of a “mixtape” relating to the items on display and eras under consideration in the exhibition.
Exhibiting artists: Damali Abrams, Alice Bag, DISBAND, Wynne Greenwood (A.K.A. Tracy + the Plastics), Eleanor King, Ann Magnuson, Shizu Saldamando, and Xaviera Simmons
ABOUT MARIA ELENA BUSZEK
Maria Elena Buszek, Ph.D., is a scholar, critic, curator, and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado Denver, where she teaches courses on modern and contemporary art. Her recent publications include the books Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture (Duke University Press Books, 2006) and Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art (Duke, 2011). She has also contributed writing to the numerous, international exhibition catalogues and scholarly journals: most recently, essays in Dorothy Iannone: Censorship and the Irrepressible Drive Toward Divinity, Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, and In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. Buszek has also been a regular contributor to the popular feminist magazine BUST since 1999. Her current book project, Art of Noise, explores the ties between contemporary activist art and popular music.
Writer, actress, musician and performance artist, Ann Magnuson, will visit Franklin Street Works for a casual conversation about her boundary-pushing, three-decade career.
As part of Franklin Street Works’ programming for their current exhibition Danger Came Smiling: Feminist Art and Popular Music, curated by Maria Elena Buszek, we will host genre-bending, counter-culture legend Ann Magnuson for a casual conversation about her work.
Ann Magnuson is a writer/actress/singer/
The event is free to the public and takes place at Franklin Street Works on Saturday, October 15 from 4:00 – 6:30 pm. Magnuson will talk with Franklin Street Works Creative Director, Terri C. Smith, and those in attendance from 4:15 – 5:15 followed by social time where beer, wine, coffee and snacks will be available for sale at the Franklin Street Works Café. Those attending will enjoy post-talk tunes spun by WPKN DJ Douglas Hovey, who will design a special set inspired by Magnuson and her work. WPKN 89.5 listener supported community radio is the media sponsor for this event.
Ann Magnuson, who is based in Los Angeles, is an exhibiting artist in Franklin Street Works’ current group show “Danger Came Smiling,” which brings together work by contemporary artists who use popular music as a medium, subject, and reference point for feminist messages. As part of the show, Magnuson is exhibiting two of her videos from the 1980s, Made for TV (1984) and Vandemonium, which Cinemax aired as part of its alternative programming in 1987. This is a rare east coast appearance for Magnuson, who also will perform songs from her new album “Dream Girl” as part of “Dream Sequencing: An Evening with Ann Magnuson” at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City on Monday October 17, at 7:00 pm.
Prior to her visit Magnuson will call in on WPKN to discuss her new album and other music projects with WPKN DJ Valerie Richardson, Tuesday October 4, at 6:00 pm. Along with Terri C Smith, they will discuss the “Danger Came Smiling” exhibition and explore Ann Magnuson’s past music projects, which have included: the sardonic folk trio Bleaker Street Incident; her heavy metal band, Vulcan Death Grip; and the psycho-psychedelic band, Bongwater with whom she released five albums and gained an international cult following that remains rabid today. In addition to her September 2016 release of Dream Girl, Magnuson has released two previous solo albums, The Luv Show (Geffen 1995) and Pretty Songs & Ugly Stories (Asphodel 2007).
Special thanks to event media sponsor WPKN!
Artist Xaviera Simmons will discuss her work Monday, October 24 from 4:30 – 6:00 pm in room 108 at UConn-Stamford (just down the block from Franklin Street Works at the corner of Franklin St. and Broad St.). Xaviera Simmons is currently in Franklin Street Works exhibition “Danger Came Smiling: Feminist Art and Popular Music.” This event is sponsored by UConn-Stamford’s Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program and Franklin Street Works.
Xaviera Simmons completed a BFA in Photography from Bard College after spending two years of walking pilgrimage retracing the Atlantic Slave Trade. She participated in the studio program of the Whitney ISP while also completing a 2 year actor training conservatory with The Maggie Flanigan Studio. Xaviera has exhibited nationally and internationally where major exhibitions and performances include The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, Nouveau Museum National de Monaco, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, The Public Art Fund, The Kitchen, and The Sculpture Center. Simmons is a recipient of numerous awards including The David Driskell Prize, The Jerome Foundation Travel Fellowship, an Art Matters Fellowship, and a SmARTPower Fellowship. Simmons was a 2012 AIR at The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Franklin Street Works is collaborating with The Ferguson Library– Stamford’s public library, The Aspen Institute and New Haven artist, David Livingston, on “Vote Your Conscience,” which is a site-specific, interactive artwork that is part of the Ferguson Library’s contribution to the Aspen Institute’s “What every American should know” initiative. For this artwork, Livingston will direct and produce a seemingly patriotic video with all the pomp of a political ad, but with only vague indicators of any real political messaging. A posted sign with questions for visitors will accompany the video. These components are designed to intimate a perspective of privilege and aim to encourage passerby and library users to write potentially dissenting thoughts from each person’s unique perspective, including concerns about our country’s challenges and areas where it may fall short.
The installation will be on view starting October 26 and the comments left by visitors will inform a political speech that Livingston will give at the library on Saturday, December 3 from 3:00 – 4:00pm, followed by cocktails and coffee at Franklin Street Works. On November 17, Livingston, involved library staff, and curator, Terri C Smith, will have a public meet-and-greet/think tank coffee at Franklin Street Works’ cafe at 10:00 am to discuss the audience answers gathered at the project’s halfway point.
“Vote Your Conscious” is, in part, an extension of David Livingston’s past public performances during his project “The Candidacy” where he ran for Alderman in New Haven and continues his exploration of the relationship between psychology and politics. David Livingston, who has exhibited nationally, works in sculpture and performance that include public happenings. He received his MFA from Pratt and is an adjunct professor at University of New Haven and Gateway Community College.
Activists Make a Tool Kit for Public Events with Artists Pedro Felipe Vintimilla and Julian Phillips
Join artists Pedro Felipe Vintimilla and Julian Phillips for an A.I.M. inspiration workshop designed by Vintimilla and documented with video and photography by Phillips on October 30 from 1:00 – 5:00pm at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (1231 Washington Blvd, Stamford, CT 06901). A.I.M. (Artistic Inspiration Methods) is a four-hour workshop that will bring together activists and artists in a series of experimental physical, writing and drawing exercises as a starting point for stimulating inspiration and creativity. To sign up email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the event is open to the public, Franklin Street Works has invited activist organizations they’ve worked with in the LGBTQ and Immigrant Rights communities to join the artists and create a visual tool kit they can use in their public sphere activist work. Both artists are currently MFA students at Queens College Social Practice Queens Program, and the workshop is organized by Franklin Street Works as part of it’s November 12th fundraising event “Art Activism: Celebrating Socially Conscious Art.”
During the workshop, participants will reflect on their personal experience, their relationship with society, and their life of activism. Participants will be encouraged to bring a personal object that represents their past or childhood as a point of departure. Those in attendance will be introduced to elements and principles of artistic production in order to streamline ideas and visually channel their goals, concepts, and vision. The artists will create a creative environment that encourages finished products such as masks, posters, murals and more to be completed during the workshop.
In addition to living on as materials for public activist events, the objects and artworks produced, along with Phillips’ video artwork inspired by the event, will become part of the exhibition area at Franklin Street Works’ benefit party, which is themed around activism and will honor three activist artists Andrea Bowers, Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani. This thematic exhibition at the benefit party site will bring the important work of local activist groups to a new audience, connecting art and activism in an organic, grass roots manner. After the party, the banners, signs, and murals will be returned to the activist groups who made them for future activities.
Project documentation will be in the form of photography, and video and audio recording. The purpose of this will be to capture the sense of the creative process the participants’ experience. Only participants who agree in writing to be part of the documentation will be included in Julian Phillips’ multimedia artwork.
A.I.M. Inspiration’s mission is to promote, through art, a society reflective of its reality and sensitive to its surroundings. In which individuals can find their own space and can recognize themselves as members of the collective. A.I.M. Inspiration is built in four fundamental concepts: sensibility, ingenuity, collaboration and experimentation. Participants are encouraged to allow themselves at each stage to step out of their comfort zone and experience these concepts in order to stimulate a flow of creative ideas. A.I.M. is an organization started by Pedro Felipe Vintimilla, who received bachelor degrees in communications and visual arts in Ecuador and the U.S., is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City.
ABOUT JULIAN PHILLIPS
Julian Louis Phillips is a New York based artist and photographer. He primarily inquires about social issues through, photography, video, and performance. The themes of race, identity, poverty, and religion are throughout his work. Generally his questions seek to find the persisting nature of societal problems and its constructs. Julian graduated from Saint Joseph’s University, after studying Studio Art and Psychology. He leads discussions and lectures on race and art throughout the northeast.
David Livingston Performance for “Vote Your Conscience” at the Ferguson Library followed by reception at Franklin Street Works
New Haven Artist David Livingston, in Collaboration with Franklin Street Works and the Ferguson Library, Creates a Political Speech that Incorporates Dozens of Comments from Library Patrons.
December 3, 2016: Performance: 3:00 – 4:00, Ferguson Library Auditorium; Artist Reception: 4:15 – 5:30 at Franklin Street Works
With “Vote Your Conscience” by New Haven artist David Livingston, Ferguson Library patrons have been invited to share their personal convictions and lived perspectives as part of his interactive installation. The prompt he provides is a fictitious political candidate’s commercial that is paired with a set of questions. The video and text are designed to spark conversation around themes such as patriotic imagery, race, gender, class and manipulative messaging in the American political system.
The installation opened on November 3rd and runs through November 30. During this exhibition’s run, folks voted in a divisive election that caused conversations about the state of this country to proliferate. Today many people living in the U.S. find themselves to be more introspective than ever about what it means to be an American. “Vote Your Conscience” will continue to provide a platform for library patrons and the general public to voice their thoughts on our political system through November 30th.
The answers and comments placed in the box at the Ferguson will be the inspiration for David Livingston’s political speech/performance on December 3rd from 3:00 – 4:00pm in the Ferguson Library auditorium. His imaginary political character will make a speech that is informed very directly by the community’s comments regarding their concerns, aspirations, perceptions and more. The speech will be followed with a cocktail reception from 4:15 – 5:30 at Franklin Street Works, which is walking distance from the Library at 41 Franklin St. in downtown Stamford. The performance and reception are free and open to the public.
This three-partner project is collaboration between The Ferguson Library, Franklin Street Works and artist David Livingston. It is part of The Ferguson Library’s contribution to The Aspen Institute’s national project “What Every American Should Know”. It is funded by a Regional Initiative Grant awarded to The Ferguson Library by the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County in partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
ABOUT DAVID LIVINGSTON: David Livingston received his MFA from Pratt and is a New Haven artist who has exhibited nationally and is an adjunct professor at University of New Haven and Gateway Community College. Livingston works in sculpture and performance that include public happenings.
ABOUT THE FERGUSON LIBRARY: The Ferguson Library is Stamford’s public library system, consisting of the Main Library, DiMattia Building; the Harry Bennett Branch; the Weed Memorial & Hollander Branch; the South End Branch and a traveling Bookmobile. It provides free and equal access to information, ideas, books and technology to educate and enrich the Stamford community.