On this page: Video stills, QuickTime movie previews, all program information - http://www.astriasuparak.com/elusivequality.htm
A screening of videos.
ELUSIVE QUALITY champions the realities of failure in relation to fantasies of athletic, sexual, and political mastery. Together, the works make for a powerful aesthetic of the undone. Consciously inglorious and imperfect, they reset the goalposts for success and then win at their own games. Nice jobs to all! Named after the stud Elusive Quality, sire to our almost national hero, the prize horse Smarty Jones, the program proposes: What may be sweeter than success are the thresholds crossed while making of all sorts of socio-personal mistakes. Includes work and premieres by Lynne Chan, Mariam Ghani, Rohesia Hamilton Metcalfe, Caroline Koebel, Jeremy Laing and Will Munro, Math Bass and James Tsang of Marriage, Tara Mateik, Seth Price, Chadwick Rantanen, Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson and toyshop.
Elusive Quality is part of EXPLOSION LTTR, a month long exhibition at Art in General and series of events celebrating the third edition of the feminist journal LTTR. The title of the new issue is “Practice More Failure”. See http://www.lttr.org for more details.
- Curated by Lauren Cornell and Astria Suparak.
Contact: a(at)astriasuparak.com / le_cornell(at)yahoo.com
For more information on this program read
the essay by Lauren Cornell titled "Fail Better" - http://www.astriasuparak.com/elusivequality-essay.htm
|Description of Works||For larger,
print-ready images, click on still.
Links to some QuickTime previews and excerpts are listed as such.
|1. “The Most Real Death 2000” [excerpts] / Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson / 2000 / approx. 2 min.||Documentation of 37 Swedes being shot by imaginary bullets while left alone in a room.||QuickTime preview of artist's project|
|2. “Mud Wrestle in The Earth Room” / toyshop / 2004 / approx. 2 min.||Toyshop
crashes the untouchable art party (hosted by Walter de Maria), acting on
their synesthetic feelings and keeping the line thin between earth and mud.
|3. “Demolition Derby” / Lynne Chan / 2004 / 10 min||Skowhegan, Maine, Summer 2003. After a summer spent spattering himself with pink paint and combing body shops and thrift stores for suitably flashy automotive accessories, self-declared superstar JJ Chinois enters Demolition Derby combat two times. The first is a spectacular failure as his car stalls at the start line; the second is a success of gradual obliteration. A detour on his cosmopolitan-hopping world tour, Chinois’ dip into this local ritual of virility effects both a full-force embrace of the sport of demolition and a back-handed riff on its status quo.|
|4. “Universal Games” / Mariam Ghani / 2000 / 2:20 min.||“Universal Games isolates, freezes, pairs, manipulates, and sequences images appropriated from one week of New York network TV news footage aired in October of 2000, when the two top stories were the Subway Series (The Yankees-Mets World Series of baseball) and the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (the Al-Aqsa Intifada), in order to expose the strange similarity in the way our media outlets report stories of wildly varying gravity” - MG|
|5. "Everyone Must TIghten Their Belts" / Rohesia Hamilton Metcalfe / 1997 / 4:30||"A whimsical piece in which a late-night television interviewer attempts to get an unusually wordy guest (a labor relations expert of sorts) to explain the relationship between unemployment and inflation. The language is repetitive to the point of becoming almost abstract in its rhythms— setting up an interplay between the ideas and the aural pleasures of the text." - RHM||
"I want to have your baby” / Caroline
Koebel / 2003 / 6:10 excerpt
is global peace actionism subverting rightwing USA©ˆs stranglehold on the
concept of 'family' and its appropriation of such to justify the aggression
machine. Participants become 'moms' who give birth to hypothetical babies,
thereby repopulating the world with humane beings and crafting autonomous
histories and radical futures. Each mom©ˆs videotaped performance appears
on the web and on a video compilation. BABY asks the international resistance
to come together and digitally reproduce, generating the power of the many
to overwhelm the ruling few." - CK
Preview of artist's project
7. "PYT” / Tara Mateik / 2004 / approx.
"In Never Never Land identities collide and adult imperatives of binary gender have not yet taken hold. We suspend our disbelief and salute a constant state of preadolescent gender. In the tradition of the pantomime, the lead roll of Peter (the principal boy) is played by a woman. Michael Jackson plays the modern day Peter Pan in a state of arrested development. PYT throws social codes of masculinity into crisis and suggest MJ, Peter Pan, and (me) are theoretical and cultural transvestites. Imitation is the highest form of flattery." - TM
8. “Touch Cinema”
/ Valie Export / 1968 / 1:08
[included in the NY screening]
|"Touch Cinema is a document of VALIE EXPORT's famous street performance, in which the public was invited to touch her inside a curtained box attached to the artist's upper torso. The work is a witty and confrontational comment on the objectification of women's bodies." - Electronic Arts Intermix|
|9. “The Claw” [excerpt] / Chadwick Rantanen / 2003 / approx. 4 min.||Rigged to crush the excitable and materialistic desires of youngsters, and to ease them into gambling with their milk money, crane machines almost became illegal in California. Rantanen is also from California. And he's created a sunny alternative to chronic losing.|
|10. "Fortunate Living Trilogy, Part I: Soccer,” / Marriage / 2004 / 6 min.||"Soccer invites us to participate in the trans effeminate interception of hegemonic practices, a rupture of principle, discipline and athletic display. To build a set, the utilitarian body fits itself into a new form. We are champions of this changing prosthesis.” - Marriage|
11. “Rejected or Unused Clips arranged in order of importance” / Seth Price / 2003 / 11 min.
|A collection of tossed clips from Price’s studio is tightly edited into a work that distills the artists’ continuing fascination with the ways authorial voice, masculinity and violence are insinuated into spiritual and material realms.|
|12. “Inside the Pavillion of Virginia Puff-Paint” / Jeremy Laing and Will Munro / 2004 / 8:35 min.||“Peer
through the glory hole into The Pavilion of Virginia Puff-Paint, porn superstar
of the glittery craft underworld. Watch as this insatiably versatile vision
of hand-stitched poly-sexuality tickles multiple lacy orifices with detachable
foam-stuffed spandex cocks in a heavily embellished and much anticipated
triple crossed-stitch debut release. Freshly plowed by a rhinestoned stiletto
and dripping pearled entrails from padded stomach cavities, Virginia, having
exhausted the possibilities for penetration, collapses in a shower of sequins.”-
Total running time: approximately 62 min.
Massachusetts show poster designed by Lex Young : web
LYNNE CHAN is a visual artist living in New York City. Her experimental film and video works have screened internationally and she is a MFA candidate in the Visual Arts Program at Columbia University. Currently working in live and media-based performance, she is interested in public events that break down viewer expectations. Riffing off of entertainment cultures’ fascination with ritualized violence and competition are some of her strategies for disrupting narratives of space and identity.
"Austrian artist VALIE EXPORT has been an influential and provocative figure on the international art scene for over three decades. Her practice includes film, video, photography, text and performance. Initially expanding the Actionist project to confront a complex feminist critique of the social and political body, her works achieve a compelling fusion of the visceral and the conceptual." - Electronic Arts Intermix [included in the New York screening]
"MARIAM GHANI was born in New York in 1978 to an Afghan father and Lebanese mother, and in her practice as a media artist uses these multiple identities to position herself as a translator, revealing channels of communication between cultures that consider themselves foreign to each other by investigating the border zones where those cultures intersect. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from NYU and her MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts, and over the past few years has also been a Paul & Daisy Soros New Americans Fellow, a Bronx Museum Artist in the Marketplace, and a Visiting Artist in the MFA Computer Arts department at SVA. She exhibits her work in video, installation and new media nationally and internationally, with recent and upcoming projects including screenings at the New York Video Festival, the Asia Society, Cinema East, Rooftop Films, the Boston Center for the Arts, Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, the Canal Street Projection Project in New Orleans, Smart Project Space in Amsterdam, the 13a Mostra Curtacinema in Rio de Janeiro, and transmediale.03 in Berlin; site-specific installations at the Queens Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, White Box, Exit Art and the Bronx Museum of the Arts; a collaborative video/dance/sound work produced as an artist in residence at the Woolworth Building through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; and net art commissions for Turbulence.org and PS122's artwurl.org. She is currently an artist in residence at Eyebeam Atelier, where she is working on the second phase of her ongoing web-based interactive documentary and public dialogue project http://www.kabul-reconstructions.net." - MG
ROHESIA HAMILTON METCALFE has been making experimental films and video art since 1984 and Net-Art since 2002—exploring an edge between formal experimentation and personal/social issues. Dogma-resistant, her work asks us to look again at things we might have thought we knew already. She has invented her own lexicon, using images, sound and texts with quirky and surprising rhythms and associations—inviting the viewer to stay with and even enjoy the experience of incompleteness, uncertainty and imperfection. - http://www.panix.com/~hamiltro/
"CAROLINE KOEBEL's experimental practice roams between film, video, installation, performance, net art, curating, and writing. Her postconceptual artworks often confront the problematics of female being-in-the-world, the expression of subjectivities at odds with commodity culture, and how individuals embody the collective past. Other work—i.e. I Want to Have Your Baby—is birthed of the need for creative, critical and communitarian resistance to the fanatic authoritarianism of the US administration. Caroline has a serious commitment to DIY ethos, a fruit of her tendency to daydream and also of her teenage days as a punk in Columbus, Ohio." - CK www.buffalo.edu/~cgkoebel/projects/baby.html
JEREMY LAING (Virginia Puffpaint) is a young Toronto-based artist and fashioner who works in many media including photo, multiples, performance and costume. Seasonally, Jeremy does freelance work for Alexander McQueen and, recently, has created costumes for the Toronto Dance Theatre, Canada's premier Contemporary Dance company.
is an erased line, it is not force-fed. It comes from Chicago and stays home
a lot. A sweet harsh air around it makes videos and drawings. Humor Beauty and
Sports, we like to support each other. This union of James Tsang and Math Bass
sings songs, tells stories and takes its clothes off for public. Naked for blowing
things up." - Marriage
"TARA MATEIK is a media artist and activist in New York. Tara's videos and collective productions have screened internationally. As Coordinator of the video collective, Paper Tiger Television, he collaboratively advocated dozens of alternative media production and distribution initiatives. Tara is a co-founder of Dykes Can Dance (DCD) with Emily Roysdon and JD Samson. The troupe, was started as a conceptual dance group which choreographs dances that are performed unannounced, as interventions in New York City. Tara has contributed to the publications Felix: A Journal of Media Arts and Culture, GRIP: A Book of Manifestos and LTTR, a new feminist art journal. Recent curatorial projects include programs for the MIX Experimental Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS). As an MFA candidate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Integrated Electronic Arts program, Tara explores the politicized forms of gender variance through biological intervention and direct action." - TM http://www.rpi.edu/~mateit/PYT.html
(Virginia Puffpaint) is a Toronto based installation artist and promoter. Born
in 1975, he is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. (OCAD 2000)
His work has been exhibited extensively in commercial and artist-run galleries.
Reviews of his work have been included in Dutch, Mix, Now, I-D, and Lola magazine.
Will is also involved in organizing events like Vazaleen, and is currently collaborating
with another local artist and fashioner Jeremy Laing.
SETH PRICE http://www.distributedhistory.com
- Born in Wausau, Wisconsin and received his undergraduate degree from the Minneapolis
College of Art and Design. Participated in the New York Studio Program and the
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Lives and works in San Francisco.
“THORVALDUR THORSTEINSSON is one of the most versatile and productive artists in Iceland. He writes books, plays and material for radio and television, and has received awards and grants both for visual arts and writing...In some of his works Thorsteinsson becomes almost invisible and absent and makes the viewer and the public the protagonists of the pieces; they create the art." -Thorgeir Olafsson, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Reykjavik, Iceland. http://this.is/mypocket/
"TOYSHOP is a Brooklyn-based collective working towards the democratization of our public spaces through creative forms of productive mischief. Rooting around at the edges of appropriate acts of citizenship we are using every means at our disposal to make a city that instigates our creative impulses and fosters the feral spirit." - Swoon http://www.toyshopcollective.com/