We used to take it for granted that winter is for hibernation and rest, at least January and February. But for the past several years contemporary performance makers and presenters have changed the game – transforming winter from a period of hibernation to a flurry of activity unleashing the energy under icy surfaces in an efflorescence of live art. NYC has been experiencing this with Under the Radar, COIL, American Realness and Other Forces to name a few of the most popular. For 25 years The Walker Art Center has brought winter to life with the Out There Festival and now Chicago has joined the fray with IN>TIME 13.
Running until March 2nd IN>TIME 13 is a “winter-long city-wide multi-venue performance festival for Chicago.” It connects twelve of the city’s vibrant visual and performing arts venues/organizations ranging from The Chicago Cultural Center, to galleries such as Threewalls Gallery and the Red Rover Series together as hosts for this “cutting-edge, global performance incubation and exhibition series.” Its main curator, Chicago based performance/installation artist, educator and former member of the now-disbanded Goat Island, Mark Jeffery writes: “The mission is to expose new and returning audiences to the diverse perspectives of performance art through a variety of mediums and venues.”
Sadly we’ve missed the first week of the festival but highlights for the end of this month include FROZEN INTENSITIES: A workshop intensive with Joseph Ravens, which will be held January 22nd and 23rd. In this two-day workshop Ravens will share his process of time-based work. “Ensemble developed imagery (devised work) will be combined with pre-arranged gestural movement to create a performance focusing on the use of spacial and temporal dynamics. Beginning with the body as a place for research, the process will incorporate objects, a sensitive use of space, and a refined awareness of time. Blending highly stylized moments with task and pedestrian actions, students will be encouraged to work outside their comfort zones yet bring to the table some of their own sensibilities.”
The last week of January will also offer OPEN STUDIO: MINOUK LIM, VLATKA HORVAT & JEREMIAH HULSEBOS-SPOFFORD at Hyde Park Arts Center, which identifies itself as “a contemporary art exhibition space, learning lab, community resource, and social hub for artists and art-curious alike.”
And from January 31st to February 3rd you can find Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People’s And lose the name of action. Culturebot’s Andy Horwitz wrote about the performance earlier this year. For anyone interested in investigating it prior to attending they can find his response here. And for anyone desiring a hands-on experience with his process, Guitierrez is conducting a workshop January 28th: “Participants will use their full range of emotional and expressive possibilities to answer the questions ‘what constitutes communication, good improvisation, listening and development?’” Sign up for it here.
More highlights for February include Chicago-based multi-media artist, educator, and arts administrator Trevor Martin; choreographer, sculptural object designer and cultural organizer Erica Mott; Spanish-born, Swiss-based choreographer, performer and visual artist La Ribot’s Laughing Hole which explores “how the terms ‘performance’ and ‘exhibition’ once marking the difference between dance and fine art have now in fact merged in performative art.”; and Black Took Collective’s ON INTIMACY AND ORIGIN: Betraying Blackness II.
March will conclude with work from choreographer Peter Carpenter. Carpenter’s work explores the intersections between choreography, political activism and political theory. His work, which will be presented at DEFIBRILLATOR, Rituals of Abundance for Lean Times #7: Divisions of Labor, which began in 2011, and is a continuation of his examination of the labor of the solo choreographer/dancer. “Drawing from Marxist perspectives on labor and capital, Carpenter identifies the distinct yet inter-related processes of dancing and choreography as a struggle for agency that resonates beyond the concert stage and into arenas of privilege and access to power.”
March also holds the performance OOUR: Salon by Zagreb based performance group OOUR, “a collective of friends who were willing to explore their own authorial positions and oppositional friction within the given performative concepts.” The performance will explore our notion of “need” and systems of production.
The venues IN>TIME 13 has partnered with seem as exciting and diverse as the performances. I wish I could be in the Windy City to explore the conversations and situations Mark Jeffry’s and his collaborators are cooking up! As always we welcome thoughts and responses to the festival from all participants.