Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mobius presents: The Politics of Shoes, with the following artists: (in alphabetical order)

Karen Aqua
felt-tip drawing on canvas shoes

More than any other article of clothing, you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear. Karen Aqua, who usually works in the medium of animated film, has recently expanded her creative expression and love of drawing to a new canvas: the surface of shoes. These shoes were created for Jane Wang expressly for this exhibit.

Karen Aqua has been making animated films since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in 1976. Her award-winning films have screened worldwide, at festivals in Europe, Asia, North/South America, New Zealand, and the Middle East. She has received fellowships from American Film Institute, the MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony for the Arts, Fundación Valparaíso (Spain), the LEF Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Trust, and the Puffin Foundation. Aqua has taught animation at Boston College, Emerson College, and at workshops and residencies around the US. She has served as a juror for film festivals in Japan, the US, and Canada, and has presented numerous one-person screenings of her work. Since1990 she has directed, designed, and animated 22 segments for "Sesame Street." Aqua's newest film, "Twist of Fate," recently premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

Karen Aqua/Jane Wang
"Meditation on The Politics of Shoes"
mixed media

"shoes and death shoe bombs
cancer cells radiation skulls
animation/cartoons cute fuzzy animals? vicious animals?
violence in Sunday morning cartoons?
shoes flung over telephone wires...
is it about ennui in youth
is it about something as innocuous as getting a new pair of shoes?
is it a neon sign saying“drugs here”?
is it about gangs and territory?
is it about someone died here/a child's sneakers?
could you fry if you touched a live telephone wire?

white for bones, red for bodies which have been skinned alive"

Rosemary Banach
“Under Foot”
Sat May 23, 2009: 3 hour durational performance which was completed before 6pm
resultant installation on patio + dvd of performance shown through windows of gallery

This installation/performance piece will document the gradual degradation of the artist’s original installation. This disintegration will occur by the foot traffic, other performances, and natural forces that enter the space during the exhibition. This will be video taped and made available for viewing.

“I will be doing the stream of conscious writing on Friday the 22nd after 6pm and Saturday the 23rd before 5 pm. The video can be shown throughout the entire exhibition. I will be able to be present to answer questions and represent my work on several occasions.”

A Boston-based artist, Rosie Banach’s current work integrates the tactics of graffiti art with the constraints of performance art. Using real-time stream of conscious writing, each performance is unique and creates an inimitable dialogue between the artist, the surface, and the audience. Upon completion, each piece becomes an impermanent installation and is left to the whims of the environment. Wear and tear from traffic and natural forces speak to the fragile nature of communication and self-expression.

Rosie has completed and documented over thirty of these performances. Her work has recently been shown at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, MA as well as the Gallery at One Washington Center in Dover, NH.

Chuck Chaney
“Old Style Ways: Shoes from a simpler time”
Sat May 23, 2009: audience participatory performance led by artist
resultant installation of a completed pair of woven sandals

An audience interactive performance of weaving sandals in an old style manner from Banana or Ki leaves. These sandals will then be offered to audience members to create a social relationship and bond of unified experience as we will walk together in them, and perhaps even work together in producing them, depending on time and willingness. Having this shared experience that is one one hand the everyday, walking, it will also be unique as we will all feel the sensation through our feet of the way it may have felt to walk the land before the adoption of animal and eventually synthetic based footwear.

Chuck Chaney is the director of a summer artist residency in Alaska, The Homestead AK. He is also teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He received his Master of Fine Arts in 2008 from SMFA/Tufts. Before graduate school Chaney worked in the photographic industry, from owning a commercial studio to managing professional retail entities. The artist’s current multidisciplinary practice spans photography, performance, and installation. Recent exhibitions have included venues such as Seven Stars Center (VT); VQS (Puerto Rico); Palac Mastactva (Belarus); Firehouse 13 (RI); Mobius, Studio Soto, Gallery 1581, and Space Other (MA).

One Was Too Many

David Chin
"The People's Shoes"
photographic installation
Sat May 23-Mon May 25,2009: MC for all 3 evenings of performances

This exhibit of photography will present a cross-section of the shoes of visitors to Mobius during SoWa Art Walk. Wearers of the shoes will record their reasons for wearing those particular pairs of shoes. With the pictures, I redirect the audience's perspective to one that is uncommon in everyday life. With the shift in perspective, I hope to catalyze thoughts of how one's response to another shifts as well.

David Chin was born and raised in Malaysia, where his interest in photography was sparked by his mother's fashion magazines, weekly news photography magazines, and the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Mary Ellen Mark. Photographing a cousin's wedding cemented his interest in capturing moments of everyday life. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. While at Michigan, he trained in dance, and performed with the Weave Soundpainting Orchestra, an improvised performance art group. His training in empirical science and in dance have combined to intensify his interest in observing people and the unspoken emotions they project with their bodies.

James Ellis Coleman
"Stay In Your Own Backyard"
mixed media installation

An installation that examines the subtle relationships between the images of shoes and the coded messages of turn of the century song lyrics about African Americans and the Irish.

As the Artist states:
“lyrics that were intended to be humorous but are in fact racially insensitive lyrics..”

James Ellis Coleman has an MFA and a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art. He has had solo shows at the Sherborn Public Library, Sherborn MA., Harris Berman Diversity Gallery, Tuffs, Watertown MA, Gallery at Concepts, So. Natick MA, and The Center for Art in Natick, Natick MA. He has also shown in group shows at the Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, MA, Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA, MPG Contemporary, Boston, MA, Limner Art Gallery, Hudson NY, Amazing Things Art Center, (juried), Framingham MA, Brush Art Gallery and Studios, Lowell MA, Hera Gallery, (juried), Wakefield RI, and the annual juried show at the Zullo Gallery, Medfield MA. He was honored to have a commission from Urban Arts, in Boston Ma. in 2004 as well as a residency at The Vermont Studios in Johnson Vermont in 2005 and won first prize at the Amazing Things Art Center in Framingham Ma.

Sara June and Joleen Westerdale
May 24-25, 2009 - butoh dance performance

Butoh performance with human installation (Joleen Westerdale), power drill and taped music by Richard Lainhart.

Sara June is an independent choreographer and artistic director of the Umi no Bodi dance troupe. Her movement work is known for its odd, humorous, and other-worldly qualities; she finds her dances through stripping away the foundations of movements we create in our daily lives to uncover states of stillness, birth, and the primitive qualities of animals and machines.

Sara founded Umi no Bodi (a Japanese phrase meaning ‘Ocean’s Body’) in 2008 with the goal of creating large-scale, site-specific installations that transform outdoor spaces not traditionally used for performance. Umi no Bodi dancers create isolated movement studies that explore a range of states and conditions in nature; troupe members train through an image-based choreographic process that results in spontaneous improvised work based on each mover’s internal process developed during rehearsals. Essential elements of the site environments feed this process; dancers train using methods that will help them to experience and transform these spaces on several sensory levels, (e.g., through blindfolds and partner work). The installations are shaped by thematic structures and each performance includes innovative costuming, original sound compositions performed live, and the use of machines as non-human dancers.

In addition to Juddertone, Sara co-curates the Zeroplan performance series with musician Max Lord. This series was created in order to offer seasoned experimental musicians and dancers an opportunity to improvise together in informal performance settings. Other projects include the Anywhere Performance Project, an online collaboration with California-based artist Deborah Butler that utilizes remote video technology as a basis for dialogue between the two dancers. Sara’s training and background is based in a decade of study in butoh, a Japanese avant-garde form, and other indigenous dance forms. Since 2000, she has shown solo and group work at venues in Boston, Providence, Philadelphia and New York City. Sara is a former member of the Boston-based Kitsune Butoh (2003-06) and the NYC post-modern butoh troupe, the Vangeline Theater (2006-08). She has performed with Master butoh artist Katsura Kan (Curious Fish, 2002, 2008), and trained with international artists Hiroko Tamano, Su-En, and Diego Pinon. She received her formal education at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, 1997), and Harvard University (Ed.M., 2005).

Kate Hanrahan (Brooklyn, NY)
“The Drowned Children”
mixed media installation

This work examines the effects of war on children and the broader political and societal effects. A case in point is the recent war waged by Israel against the Gaza Strip which has resulted in the deaths of 1434 Palestinians. These deaths included 960 civilians, among these were 437 children under the age of 16, 110 women and 123 elderly, in addition to 14 doctors and four reporters. These statistics show that the number of children who died amounted to more than 45% of the total number of civilian casualties of the war. Nearly 1500 children have joined the already lengthy list of orphans in Gaza.

Kate Hanrahan is from Pennsylvania. She received a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia also studying on their campuses in Lacoste, France and Atlanta, Georgia. She is currently living and working Brooklyn, New York. During the last two years her work has focused on painting, installation, performance pieces, and experimental video which explore the psychological effects of war on society and children. Memory, loss of life, and loss of innocence are common themes in her mainly figurative work.

Jennifer Hicks and Matt Samolis
"Submergence", a full length dance piece choreographed by Jennifer Hicks
Mon May 25, 2009: butoh performance with live music

Jen's in depth study of Butoh and other forms of movement are a natural pairing for Matt's unusual flute style which also draws largely on eastern cultural influences.
The politics of shoes is the politics of leather, which is the politics of meat, which is the politics of land use and corn and fuel and hunger and of poverty. It is of confinement and freedom, allowing one to do something one could not do otherwise, while also restricting so much on another end. But this is a simple dance in a complicated world, a series of movements which will be performed in shoes made of only wood and rope from China. These are shoes of the land and shoes of the poor and shoes that limit ones movements.

Joshua Kent (Chicago, IL)
"I Heart America and America Hearts me, or How the mighty have fallen"
Sat May 23, 2009 - durational performance art

March 17, 1993 supermodel Naomi Campbell walked a Vivienne Westwood runway show wearing 10-inch platforms, causing her to not only fall, but also to create a moment that has since become part of a greater runway lexicon.

In May 1974, Joseph Beuys spent three days in a room with a coyote in a performance of his piece, I Like America and America Likes Me. In I Heart America and America Hearts me, or How the mighty have fallen I would like to combine the two events and create a hybrid meditation on politics in regards to; fashion, how we transcribe politics onto our bodies, the politics of our desires, and this complex thing called America.

Joshua Kent was born and raised in the Midwest. He attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003, where he received the Presidential Merit Scholarship for his portfolio. While at SAIC, he became interested in fiber and material studies and explored this area for some time in his undergraduate. Through his process oriented fiber pieces Joshua began to investigate labor in a more intentional way, which lead to his development of a performance practice. Within Performance art, Joshua found he was best able to explore his interests in labor, human interaction and the complexities of identity that he had begun to examine in his earlier work. He is in his last semester at TheSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago, and his work has been in Minneapolis, Southern Illinois, Chicago, and its surrounding suburbs.

Karen Klein
"Brand Names"
cedar, styrofoam, cardboard, paper, mixed media

The purpose of this installation is to call attention to the comodification of shoes and of art. The artist states that her work: “It is not part of any performance, but could be destroyed during a performance, or persons, could throw their shoes at the tower of shoe boxes, if they wished.”

Karen Klein is a visual artist and a dancer. As an artist, she makes wood and wire sculptures, installations, and ink drawings. A member of New England Sculptors and Studios Without Walls, she has had eight solo exhibitions and been in numerous juried and invitational shows. As a dancer, she is a member of Prometheus Dance Elders Ensemble and has also performed in works choreographed by Daniel McCusker, Emily Beattie, and Kee Chin.

Note from the curator: small cedar shoe was hand carved by the artist.

Karen Krolak
“a series of dance improvisations using shoes”
Mon May 25 - dance performance (Piece #1 and Piece #2)

Using a character by the author, in 1999, named Princess Pamplemousse, Karen plays with how shoes make us move and how they make us feel. As part of the performance she initially planned to record people's shoe stories or encourage the audience to write their stories down.

Karen Krolak is choreographer, performer, costume designer, teacher, and writer. Since 2000, she has been the Founder/Artistic Director of Monkeyhouse ( , an award winning nonprofit that connects communities to choreography. Through Monkeyhouse, her work has been presented at First Night 2009, the Cool NewYork Dance Festival 2009, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Mobius, and fringe festivals in New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Winnipeg.

She recently traveled to Italy for a workshop and performance and danced in David Parker and the Bang Group’s Nut/cracked, was invited to the Jacob’s Pillow Choreographers’ Lab, and became the Artistic Director for the BoomTown Festival.

She is a professional shoe blogger and was quickly dubbed Fitness Footwear Guru for (

Karen choreographed Coriolanus for Actors’ Shakespeare Project. For the last 13 years, she has been a faculty member at Impulse Dance Center in Natick, MA where she developed the Modern Dance curriculum. In 2005, she co-taught two workshops on movement and technical design at Theater Methods 05 in Malpils, Latvia with her favorite collaborator Jason Ries.

Milan Kohout (Mobius Artists Group)
photographs, collage & political commentary

"Shoe is the dirtiest think in Iraq as you know .. therefore I put it on the hands of that tortured person american cowboys boost.. -also taken immediately when the abu graib prison scandal was exposed... even my mobius comrades were pissed about me... well while it was so so so so so obvious what this empire was doing.. but in some ways the native americans were so brainwashed and blind and did not admit that... and are still unfortunately...there is so deep propaganda bullshit embedded in the heads of the people here that I can believe that... well fascist Germany was a similar story..

Something about our export of "democracy" ; what is also intensely interesting is that after each big bombing in IRAQ the reports said that there was a lot of shoes all around and some of them were falling from heaven seconds after the explosion...

Something relating to Bush & Shoe performance in Bagdad. This picture I took in the rebel camp in Bangkok where I performed two weeks ago -just the illustration how strong is a symbol of a shoe in those cultures.

To call somebody a dog is the worst offense in Iraq- therefore I used a dog as a symbol for our soldiers (picture taken at the beginning do the iraqi war - of-course some people here wanted to kill me for that at that time)..

Let us express the solidarity with our real performance artist from Baghdad!!!!! Those shoes on the american flag were the homage to the painting of a surrealistic artist Magritte called This is not a pipe. Did you notice? On the side of the flag there is Made in China and it is a scarf."

Milan Kohout (now a US citizen) is originally from The Czech Republic.. Here he got his M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He was an independent artist in so-called “Second Culture”. Later he becomes a signatory member and art activist of the dissident human rights organization CHARTER 77 (group of mostly artists from “Second Culture” was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1985 and initiated non violent Velvet Revolution which toppled totalitarian regime in 1989). Following many interrogations he was forced by CZ security police to leave his country in 1986 due to his political art activism. After several years in a refugee camp he was granted asylum in the United States.

In 1993 Milan received his Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Since 1994 Milan has been a member of the Mobius Artists Group ( Here he has created many full-scale Performance Art pieces (both collaborative and solo) His work concentrates mostly on the subject of human rights (recently rights of Roma/ Gypsies) and politics (critique of totalitarian capitalism and fundamentalist religions) As Mobius Artists Group member he has participated on numerous international art exchange programs and festivals around the world (China, Thailand, Croatia, Taiwan, Czech Rep, Poland, Cuba, USA etc). and has been the recipient of number of awards, grants, residencies (Grant from The Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, Tanne Foundation Annual Award, First Prize at International Theater Festival in Pula, Best National Czech Independent Film Award, Arizona State University residency, PSi conference in London 2006 etc.)

Burns Maxey and Maggie Nowinski
video installation

The piece is a free-standing video with audio of a collaborative performance with Maggie and Burns of a conversation or attempt to communicate via shared tap shoes -- one on the left, one on the right. The audio is a translation of the conversation/story.

Burns Maxey
2009 "Politics of Shoes", Mobius, Boston, MA
"Project Elements Easthampton: Earth, a preview", Grubbs Gallery, Easthampton, MA
2008 "Art Can Be Useful aka Whenever I do Laundry, I am a star", collaboration with San Huxley, Easthampton Laundromat, Easthampton, MA
"Experimental Dance/Movement WIP, collaboration with Sara June, Mobius, Boston, MA
2007 "DIMENSION: determining the dynamics of space", Repetti Gallery, Long Island City, NY
2006 "Works on Paper", Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, MA, first prize
2005 "your travel environment", A.P.E. Ltd., Northampton, MA
"Works on Paper", Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, MA
2003 "Paintings, Prints & Installations", Up/Stair/Fine/Art, New Bedford, MA
"POV: Bringing the World into Focus", Artoconecto, Washington D.C.
"Halpert Biennial", Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, NC
2000 "Tails of the City", Metreon, San Francisco, CA
1999 "Post-Postcard 4", Four Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1998 "The Norms", Benson Hall Gallery, Providence, RI, Solo show
1997 "Mother", AS220, Providence, RI, Performance, actor
"Paraphilia", Benson Hall Gallery, Providence, RI
"Union", Union Street Gallery, Providence RI

1998 Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI BFA
1993-1995 Bard College. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Maggie Nowinski is an interdisciplinary artist in Western Massachusetts. Her work incorporates a variety of materials and contexts. She makes paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptural installations, with constructed and/or found objects, video and sound. She received her B.F.A. in painting from SUNY New Paltz in 1997, and her M.F.A. in Visual Art in 2007 from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Lauren McCarthy
interactive sculpture

The work is a pair of shoes that allows the wearer to exist simultaneously in formal and non-formal social situations. An ordinary pair of running shoes have been transformed through decoration and the addition of hinged heels. The heels can be folded down to function as heeled dress shoes, or folded up to lay flat and function as running shoes. The transformable qualities of the shoes provide the wearer the freedom of spontaenous movement while maintaining the ability to conform to formal dress situations.

Viewers are invited to try on the shoes and experience their function as convertible dress and running shoes.

Lauren McCarthy is a designer, artist, and programmer currently living in Cambridge, MA. She recently graduated from MIT with degrees in visual arts and computer science. Her work explores the structures, systems, and boundaries of different social spaces, and the way that these affect our relationships with our physical bodies. Participants are invited to interact, experience, and question through participatory interventions that require both physical and mental engagement. She also works as a designer at Small Design Firm, creating interactive installations and media environments for various museums and institutions, including the Visitor's Center at Monticello, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
(more work here)

Gwen Murphy
"Lonely Wooden Tower"
wall sculpture

"Lonely Wooden Tower" is an image of the feet of Christ and looks at the crucifixion as supreme personal sacrifice and as political assassination.

Gwen Murphy is a figurative sculptor who was raised a Christian. She now has doubts about the literal truth of Christ’s life, however she feels that: “...never portraying the crucifixion would be like a song writer never writing a song about a broken heart.”

She sees the metaphor of Christ’s life as a series of powerful messages, like forgiveness.

She sincerely hopes: “... not to offend anyone, but if a work of art doesn't disturb just a little, or at least surprise, then it's not an aesthetic experience, it's anesthetic. It's exciting and a little scary.”

"I am sculptor living in Acton, Ma., with a studio at Art Space Maynard. I have been making figurative sculpture for over twenty years. I have a BA in fine arts from New College of Florida, and an MFA in sculpture from Boston University College of Fine Arts. I have taught and exhibited in museums & galleries in New England and New York. My recent work has been the "Foot Fetish" series of shoe sculptures."

John Murphree
"Cultural Juxtaposition"
steel gongs and rack installation

Viewers are encouraged to take off their shoes and throw them at the gongs! The act of throwing a (probably) Chinese made American icaon (the tennis shoe) at an American made chinese icon is the impetus of this piece.

John Murphree makes his home in Medford wiht his wife Jeanna Allegrone. He studied composition at the Berklee College of Music, B.M. and recently completed his master's in composition at the Boston Conservatory. Through collaborations with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, John has begun making bowed sculptures whose purpose is to explore the transfiguration of artistic energy into musical output.

DeAnna Pellecchia and Matt Samolis
"PLATFORM - A Live Performance Installation"
May 24, 2009 - dance performance with live music

Originally designed for the stage, PLATFORM can be adapted to any performance space and includes a series of movement structures both set and improvisational which take place in , on and around dozens of platform shoes. The solo addresses the socio-political "platforms" of our time. Adorned in red, white and blue DeAnna incorporates strong visual imagery with sharp, disjointed choreography to comment on the personal choices we as Americans make on a daily basis. Matt Samolis accompanies on tenor banjo with a mash up of americana from different genres and styles, adding a layer of association and depth to the imagery set in motion by the visual movement.

DeAnna Pellecchia is a dancer, athlete, aerialist, actress, and choreographer committed to collaborating with artists of different mediums including musicians, filmmakers, and visual artists. She creates performance pieces that seamlessly blur lines of integration between disciplines, ultimately producing multi-sensory works of live art. Her mission as an artist is to expand the perception of ‘dance’ as an accessible form of art by engaging audiences of all kinds. In the process of achieving this goal she has not only danced, but soared, climbed, hurdled, hydroplaned, hovered and flown through countless unconventional landscapes across the United States; she has been featured in rodeos, operas, plays, fashion shows, magazines, movies and music videos; and she has taught and been taught by movers of all kinds. The Boston Herald has described her as “stunning…one of the area’s finest artists”. Bay Windows has defined her as “…muscular, mesmerizing, unforgettable…” As co-choreographer of Kairos Dance Theater, she crafts original performance pieces with Ingrid Schatz. She also creates site-specific performance installations incorporating all-live music with musician Ed Broms under the name Savage Amusements. DeAnna is a principal dancer with internationally acclaimed New York-based Paula Josa-Jones/Performance Works (featured soloist and original cast member of RIDE, PJJ/PW's Equestrian Dance Theater Performance, in which DeAnna dances with live horses). She also dances with Boston-based Kinodance Company (named one of Dance Magazine's "Top 25 to Watch" in 2008). DeAnna resides on dance faculty at Boston University; she is also a mentor-artist-in-residence at The Cloud Foundation.

Matt Samolis has been working in sonic and visual mediums since 1987. He began studying flute, and later composition and tenor banjo. He has worked with ensembles at New England Conservatory, Brandeis University, Berklee, and Tufts, as well as Open Hand Theatre, Pilgrim Research Collaborative, Mobius, Roy Hart Theatre, and numerous other projects. Currently, his primary work is with his collective, The Metal & Glass Ensemble, freelance photography, flutist, and as old time songster, Uncle Shoe.

EL Putnam
May 23-25, 2009 - durational performance all 3 evenings

A durational performance that will behave as commentary on the treatment of shoes as a status symbol, determined by a variety of factors involving cultural identity, including class and gender.

EL Putnam is an interdisciplinary artist who works predominately in photography, video, and performance art. She has a studio located at the Washington Street Arts Center in Somerville, MA. Drawing from multiple themes and sources, though are all intertwined through notions of personal and cultural circumspection, she is explores the potential of subtle radicalism and its contribution to a new feminist aesthetics.
Currently working on a doctorate in aesthetics, art theory, and philosophy at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, El Putnam also teaches at Emerson College in the Visual and Media Arts department.

“Fauxmance: Misadventures of Wonderlust (Stay Tuned for Details)”

“Artist’s Statement”:

“A sucker born every minute. And she has nothing but time”:

Shana Robbins (Atlanta, Georgia):
“Tree Ghost”
May 24, 2009 - performance art with tree installation

A performance installation representing a hybridization of American military camouflage, an Islamic Burqa, a tree, and a "stripper" or courtesan in a ritualistic and sexually charged interaction with a dying, decrepit tree. Some of the inspiration of this work comes from:
Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed--by Harold Koda: “..the platform sole's impairment of a woman's walk was seen as a way to control her morality, since mobility was directly associated in many cultures and times with the potential for unrestrained sexuality."

"..the Oiran of the Yoshiwara, the quarter of the "Floating World," wearing their dochu-geta, were known for their slow progress when walking through the streets. These shoe styles lifted women higher than the norm, endowing them with greater public stature. Their encumbered walking was also an asset; it imposed a slow ceremonial gait that allowed the crowds to study the courtesan's beauty and fashions more closely.”

Liz Roncka and Haggai Cohen Milo
"a site-specific improvisational duet of movement and music"
May 23-24, 2009 - movement and live music performance

The piece will be a structured improvisation and will incorporate interactions with the audience, artists and installations in the space. The architecture of the space (physical, sonic, energetic) will also heavily inform the improvisation. Thematically, the question of what it means to be "political" in one's "art-making" will be explored.

Liz Roncka is an avid practitioner of movement improvisation and contemporary dance. Her early training was in the tradition of classical ballet at the School of the New Bedford Ballet. In college, Liz’s focus shifted toward contemporary dance and improvisation.
She was a member of the Dance Collective of Boston from 1998-2005.
Liz has had the pleasure of performing modern dance and improvisational work under the direction of: Ramelle Adams, Emily Beattie, Ruth Benson-Levin, Debra Bluth, Alissa Cardone, Sean Curran, Andrew Harwood, Dawn Kramer, Light Motion, and Micki Taylor-Pinney.
Her improvisational work has been presented in Boston, NYC, Paris and Budpest.
In addition to her own improvisational work, current performance projects include the Falling Flight Project, Moving Sound, The White Box Project and the Moment Quartet.

Scott Rummler
“Politics and Tabloid Headlines and Shoes”
xeroxed collage from newspapers and magazines

Images are of Adlai Stevenson with a hole in his shoe, Howard Dean's famous scream, and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in dress shoes.

Back story:

Stevenson's picture was taken showing a hole in his shoe, unusual since he was very sharp and well dressed. His team claimed it showed his common-guy pavement pounding approach. Those opposed to him may recall differently: that he lost the election because the photo made him look bad.

Howard Dean had to yell to be heard in a giant noisy room because the audio wasn't working. Journalists used a special mike to drown out the background noise making him sound like a yelling madman. Journalists acknowledged the piece was fake, but said Dean should have expected it, therefore he wasn't presidential, and replayed it endlessly.

Bloomberg is in favor of green projects. He doesn't quite fit in here with his fancy shoes. At a city pool opening he wore a white t-shirt and shorts to go swimming. Here he is in Bermuda shorts - he is criticized for going to his Bermuda mansion and being out of pocket on weekends. He is sometimes thought out of touch. His financial info company was used to create the derivative products that ruined the economy; he is the only top billionaire to get richer last year. He sent his former deputy mayor to be the new co. president and restructure the company as the housing bubble burst, so some think he knew what was going on. Used cosmetics kingpin pal to change city law allowing him to run for a third term, on grounds his expertise is key in handling the financial crisis. Owns giant news conglomerate.

Scott Rummler is a creative artist in New York City. He has shown his art work in a number of alternative spaces and currently is in a show at Gravity Arts in Norwalk, CT. He has an MFA from RIT, and works in other areas including Web design, writing, and acting.

Anne Stanner (NYC)
"If the Shoe Doesn't Fit, Wear It Anyway?"
mixed media

"This is a welded woman's high heel shoe, life size, created with welding rod, sort of like a fanciful cage, and a copper piece for the heel. Inserted inside is an old wooden shoe stretcher with a metal handle. I think of this as a commentary on the pain and discomfort, as well as lack of full mobility (ie, ability to run) that women have had to endure in order to seem fashionable and more attractive.

I have worked in metal sculpture for over 25 years, and have been a technical instructor in the Art Students League of NY’s metal program since 2003. I also taught art in New York City public schools and served as an assistant welding instructor at the Educational Alliance Art School. I have also more recently created figurative sculpture in clay, plaster and concrete. Professional affiliations include the Sculptors Alliance, Inc. (President), the New York Society of Women Artists (Vice President), and the City College of New York Art Alumni (Treasurer). I have curated group exhibitions at the Theatre for the New City and Third Street Music School. I have held one-person exhibitions at the Ellenville (NY) Public Library and Museum, Pace University, Long Island University and the City College of New York. Two-person exhibits include The Brooklyn YWCA and Middlesex County College (NJ). I participated in numerous group shows in galleries and other venues including the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College, Pleiades Gallery, Noho Gallery, Broome Street Gallery, 2/20 Gallery, Salmagundi Club, Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center, Pfizer, Inc., and A.I.R. Gallery, all in New York City, and Bertoni Gallery in Sugar Loaf, NY, Northern Westchester Center for the Arts, Hopper House Art Center in Nyack, NY, Kleinert Gallery in Woodstock, NY, Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Conn. I have an MFA from the City College of New York."

work can be seen on the following group website:

Ival Stratford-Kovner (CT)
"Voting Shoes 1970's Edition #2
mixed media installation

"I was studying at Boston University College of Fine Arts and living in Cambridge with eight other artists/architects/students when the presidential elections rolled around. We were voting for president of the United States for the first time in our lives and I was voting for the first time ever. I was eager to feel this important step in my life and decided to hand paint my pump shoes - stripes of red and white with big, white stars on a field of blue - on both shoes. I recall that the day of the election the town mothers looked a little bewildered by the fact that we'd also painted our faces, red, white and blue. Years later, I would be a poll checker at that same election site when I worked for Carolyn Mugar's late husband who was then running for Congress. Many decades had passed by the excitement of that first election remained in my mind clearly. I was asked to join a show with twelve women called "Fitting" and I thought of how I fit into those shoes each time I voted - wearing them proudly in various states where I'd lived over the years. My fellow artists could not believe I still had the shoes -and they ended up in our show - now formally presented within a white box with flag and wooden stars. I have made many assemblages as well as my large format oil paintings over the years - and one small box was called "Little Dig" about our big dig in Boston - with monopoly pieces of battleships glued on the inside lid with small hotrod pieces driving through a white bone within the box.”

Ival Stratford-Kovner has a BFA from Boston University, MS, MFA, from Western Connecticut University Ival is a certified Art Teacher in Massachusetts, also in Computer Graphics/Web Design (Clark U.), and has an Arts Management Certification (UMass Amherst). She was awarded a fellowship in 2006 and 2008 from the Vermont Studio Center. Ival has taught at Rivier College, Newbury College, Bunker Hill Community College, Harvard GSD (faculty workshop offered), BU (alumni drawing), WCSU. She is currently with the Cavalry Trooper of 2nd Co. Governor's Horse Guard, studying hippo therapy and equine riding therapy for NAHRA certification. Ival has had solo exhibitions internationally & nationally including: Milan, Italy, Ukraine, San Diego, Nashville, NYC, Boston, NH, Maine etc.

Kira Seamon and Matt Samolis
May 24, 2009 - dance performance with live music

A dance/spoken word and sonic exploration of foot-binding as a function of the politics of China, from the Dynasty era to the Communist era, when the practice of the foot-binding was finally prohibited. The dance piece will use highly specialized movements to highlight the nature of the cramped foot position and then grow into a "healthy dancer.”

Kira Seamon is an award-winning dancer/choreographer who has produced concerts in the Cambridge area, specializing in unique, original choreography and live music. She was named to Capezio's list of Rising Stars and am also on Dance Magazine's List of Active Female Choreographers. She recently auditioned for a Reality TV show and was sent an email from the producer after the audition, which stated in part: "We are creating a list of all the acts we loved in Boston and you are on that list!" Kira trained across the US and in Europe and has an extensive music background as well. She was a State winner in piano performance and have received gold, silver and bronze awards for my playing. Kira was thrilled to have played the keyboard at the Harvard Theatre Collection as part of a long-term research project by the composer Lugwig Minkus. Kira was born in Hawaii, and is familiar with Asian History and customs.

Sam Tan
“63 in '08”
site-specific installation

There were 63 homicides in Boston in 2008. The installation offers the opportunity for the viewer to question oneself the degree of connectedness to such crimes in the city as well as ruminate on ways that everyone could help to lower violent crimes in the future.

Sam Tan is an emerging artist who is based in the Boston area and he has been exhibiting extensively for the past eight years. He currently has works in The Boston Drawing Project at Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston, as well as Pierogi Flat Files in Brooklyn. He recently had a solo exhibition at the Artists Foundation Gallery in Boston. Tan’s works have entered into private and corporate collections, and have been acquired by public companies. He has been awarded scholarships from the Bertha Walker Foundation and his works have been published in various publications, including the Harvard Advocate.

Leigh Waldron-Taylor
“I dream of boots and an army of women”
mixed media installation

Original intention was to place a very tall aluminum ladder resting against the window. Pairs of varied types of women's boots are placed around the base of the ladder enclosing and encircling it.

The artist states in an email to the curator:

"In my perfect world, the ladder would be an unextended aluminum extension ladder affixed to the floor invisibly with very strong double-sided tape and the top resting against the window. I would put some soft material such as fleece invisibly between the metal and glass to protect the window. The boots would surround and fill in the space at the bottom of the ladder to form a circle. That's what I see in my mind's eye.

That said, the height of the ladder issue is important and an interesting challenge to be reconciled as I think about it and your suggestions. There's a solution somewhere"

Leigh Waldron-Taylor explores what is the same but different through various genre and media. Leigh’s recent work is conceptual and organized as performative installation in which anything is up for scrutiny and rendered in any way possible. This represents a movement away from work done previously which focused on visual representation via painting and printmaking. Leigh has studied in Providence, Toronto, and Provincetown and exhibited in Boston, Toronto, Provincetown, Berlin, and San Francisco.

Jane Wang
"Giant Red Ruby Shoe"
electrical wire installation (outside on patio)

"Keep tight inside of them -- their magic must be very powerful, or she wouldn't want them so badly!"
- from the Wizard of Oz film with Judy Garland

Lermontov: When we first met ... you asked me a question to which I gave a stupid answer, you asked me whether I wanted to live and I said "Yes". Actually, Miss Page, I want more, much more. I want to create, to make something big out of something little – to make a great dancer out of you. But first, I must ask you the same question, what do you want from life? To live?

Vicky: To dance.
- from the Michael Powell film “The Red Shoes”

“Dance you shall,” said he, “dance in your red shoes till you are pale and cold, till your skin shrivels up and you are a skeleton! Dance you shall, from door to door, and where proud and wicked children live you shall knock, so that they may hear you and fear you! Dance you shall, dance—!”
- from Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale “The Red Shoes”

"Something about the power of ruby/red footwear – either to empower or overpower the wearer. It's strange that both although the ruby slippers and the red shoes ostensibly represented these two very different kinds of power, the end result was similar - for wasn't Dorothy flung back (even though through her own will) from a dreamland in lurid color to an arid, Grapes of Wrath type existence in black and white – a kind of living death? And in both cases, one could only remove the red shoes/ruby slippers by dying.

Isn't that kind of weird that so many children's stories turn out to be about death?"

Jane Wang is a member of the Mobius Artists Group. Although she primarily composes music for dance, theater and performance art theater-based work, her principal instruments being double bass, piano and toy pianos, she has recently returned to her on-going love of sculpture and 3-dimensional structures. Inspired in part by the touring exhibition, Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting, and the performance artist Hanne Tierney who she frequently collaborates with, she started working in the medium of wire to create large sculptures.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Exhibit @Mobius Extended until May 31st

The Politics of Shoes
Installations @Mobius
725 Harrison Ave Boston, MA


WED MAY 27, 5-9pm
THU MAY 28, 5-9pm
FRI MAY 29, 5-9pm
SAT MAY 30, 12-5pm
SUN MAY 31, 12-5pm

"Wide range of work = Excellent!"

"63 in '08" seemed very heartwrenching for me - the transparency ON WINDOW with tiny black text of deaths (so how come so many in Dorchester??) yet, as you read the names my eyes also took in the flowering shrubs outside and the beautiful blue flowers. Why is it like this?"

Please come see this diverse group of installations because in the blink of an eye, it will be gone.

with Installations by

David Chin (Winston-Salem) - photography
Milan Kohout (MAG) - photography
Sam Tan- mixed media installation and variation
Burns Maxey & Maggie Nowinski - video installation
Karen Aqua & Jane Wang (MAG) - felt-tip on canvas shoes and wire/mixed media
John Murphree - audience participatory sound installation
Gwen Murphy - small wall sculpture
Lauren McCarthy - small sculpture which may be worn
Leigh Waldron-Taylor - mixed media installation
Ival Stratford-Kovner (CT) - mixed media installation
J. Ellis Coleman - mixed media installation
Scott Rummler - xeroxed paper collage
Rosemary Banach - graffiti chalk writing (outdoors)
Jane Wang (MAG) - giant red ruby shoe wire installation (outdoors)
Anne Stanner (NYC) - welded shoe installation
Chuck Chaney - natural shoes, result of performance
Karen Klein - mixed media and hand-carved cedar
El Putnam - paper and mixed media

Kate Hanrahan (Brooklyn) - mixed media installation
- unfortunately we only have a photo of this piece from May 26th on