Saturday, June 6, 2009

David Chin
- "The People's Shoes" & MC all three nights

David Chin: "The People's Shoes"
photographs and installation

Dave as MC:
May 23, 2009 @mobius

May 25, 2009 @mobius
photos: Bob Raymond (MAG)

This exhibit of photography presents a cross-section of the shoes of visitors to Mobius during SoWa Art Walk. Wearers of the shoes recorded 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.

Photographs are available for sale by the artist at $30 each. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Mobius.

Notes from the Curator:

1. You can see each of his twenty photos if you watch the two videos posted on June 6th from the POV of a visitor to the exhibit. If your shoes are in one of the photos, please comment on this blog if you wish.

2. David Chin was also the MC/stage manager for all three evenings of performances.

Quotes from The Politics of Shoes Exhibit Visitor's Comments Book:

" My favorite is the shoe pictures ... From left to right... Picture #5. The comment "I like my shoes, I love them" that's how I feel about my shoes today ... and every day."

"I really enjoyed the shoe photos and the reasons why people chose to wear them."

The Politics of Shoes Exhibit
- The Movie

Short and Full Length Versions:

1. In both cases, a brief comment/conversation with James Ellis Coleman who was de-installing his installation.

2. You can see each of David Chin's photographs and in some cases the accompanying text in the full length version - kind of a blur in the less than 2 minute version.

hyper-sped up video from the point of view of a visitor to The Politics of Shoes exhibit:

The Politics of Shoes Exhibit @mobius (Short Version) 1:41 mins from MobiusArtistsGroup on Vimeo.

full length version video from the point of view of a visitor to The Politics of Shoes exhibit (for those who want to spend a little time with the installations):

The Politics of Shoes Exhibit @mobius (Full Version) - 14:55 mins from MobiusArtistsGroup on Vimeo.

Friday, June 5, 2009

El Putnam
- "Status": May 23,24,25 2009

photos: Bob Raymond (MAG)

Photos by David Chin of El's Performance @mobius

Durational performance over all three evenings (May 23-25, 2009) with resultant installation of
paper, yarn, mixed media

El Putnam  - The Politics of Shoes @Mobius from MobiusArtistsGroup on Vimeo.

Youtube video of El Putnam tracing shoes including videographer's:

Artist's original proposal and statement:

I will be dressed in business attire and a pair of “Fuck me” heels. I will trace the outline of the shoes of the audience, making note of their occupation, gender, and the type of shoe. Images of shoes are then measured and organized according to size, creating an installation that will last the duration of the exhibit. This will be a durational performance. I will only speak to the audience to ask them questions pertaining to the information I need, as listed above. When not tracing shoes, I will be pacing the installation space, counting my steps, whispering the number and marking it on a legal pad when I have to stop to trace shoes. I will only be allowed to drink water from a specific container (still to be determined) during the duration of the performance.

This work behaves a commentary on the treatment of shoes as a status symbol, determined by a variety of factors involving cultural identity, including class and gender. The reduction of the shoes to an outline while presenting only the information that the shoes are meant to symbolize plays with notion in a literal sense, pointing out that the use-value of a shoe extends beyond the need to protect the feet. My actions are also related to this commentary, with my pacing in intentionally uncomfortable shoes that will harm my feet functioning as a painful reminder of the concepts I present through this work.

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

Video Clip of Final Installation:

El Putnam's Installation - The Politics of Shoes @mobius from MobiusArtistsGroup on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Karen Aqua - installation artist

video clip: Jane Wang (MAG)
from telephone wire installation hanging from ceiling

from shoe bomber installation on floor

photos: Bob Raymond (MAG) except as noted

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.

“Much of the Karen Aqua universe is populated with creatures spawned from a mating between Matisse cutouts and carvings on Incan tombs. Made of neon-bright colors and sharp angles, her exuberant stick figures give off an energy that’s neither entirely human nor entirely animal. What’s more, they’re caught up in a natural system that may be sinister, but never lacks a sense of humor.”

— Robin Dougherty, Boston Phoenix

“Aqua ... is clearly one of the finest animation artists in the country.”

— Michael Blowen, The Boston Globe

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rosie Banach
- "Under Foot" May 23rd, 2009

photos: Bob Raymond (MAG)

"Under Foot"

May 23rd, 2009 durational performance on patio of Mobius, 725 Harrison Avenue, Boston MA

with resultant videos:

1. original 3 hour video of performance and

2. DVD specifically created for exhibit by the artist (sped up and edited version).

If the videos become available online for viewing, the links will be added here.

The artist/performer states:

"In continuation of my current work, I am proposing an installation/performance piece, for presentation at the “Politics of Shoes: Installations and Site-Specific Performances”. I will use the patio pathway and patio outside the gallery as the surface on which the real-time stream of conscious will be recorded. I will use chalk to cover the entire area with writing prior to the opening of the show. The performance will be video taped and made available for viewing. The foot traffic, other performances, and natural forces will then take part in the gradual degradation of the installation."

The videographer was standing slightly over ground level in the corner of the patio next to the front door of the gallery.

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.

Notes from the Curator #2
- Thanks to ...


I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank those artists and people behind the scenes (including ones not in the show) who gave their extra help to make this exhibition and set of performances happen and basically helped me keep from collapsing in a heap many many times. Hopefully I didn't forget someone - please forgive me if I do forget.

First though, an explanation of why this show was thrown together so quickly:

I had been thinking about putting together an exhibition with related site-specific performances at some point on The Politics of Shoes since December 2008. As many of you may know, Mobius the space has been up in the air for some time due to a huge property tax bill, the troubled economy and discussions of whether to stay or not, or buy or not. Basically we the Mobius Artists Group have been operating by the skin of our teeth for some time, not knowing if we will have to move within a week or stay for an extra month. We have thus been under the unfortunate burden of having to book month to month since we had no idea if we'd even be in the space the following month.

At one of our meetings late in April 2009, we decided we would stay through May 2009. We all felt that given that circumstance, we needed to book May as much a possible and try to fill every weekend with events.

Since none of the other artists were available to book something for Memorial Day weekend, I decided to finally put together The Politics of Shoes that long weekend even though I'd already planned to be in Italy from May 11-22nd. The fallout from that was that I needed a LOT of help to make this thing happen.

Therefore - Extra Special Thanks to:

1. Ian Colon: Ian gamely agreed to co-curate the performance art part of the show even though he was about to graduate and had twenty zillion things he had to do simultaneously. He was fine with just trying to work around whatever I booked for the three nights and fill in where he could.
Before I left for Italy, Ian said he had two proposals and hoped to get some more while I was gone. We agreed to meet and so on when I got back and he was willing to MC all three evenings.
When I got back from Italy, I saw an email from Ian saying that the two artists who had submitted proposals didn't work out and no one else had submitted proposals. I immediately called Ian on the phone and asked what happened with the two artists? Ian said that what they proposed would be destructive to the installations. I said, I could work around that by giving them more gallery space and moving the installation to the sides of the gallery, and what is it that they proposed? Ian replied that one artist wanted to flog himself with paint and walk all over the gallery - I replied ok, you're right, that won't work - what about the other artist? Ian said that artist wanted to get the entire audience to PEE ON THE FLOOR OF THE GALLERY...

Needless to say, at that point I had to agree with Ian that those two performing artists would not be appropriate for this site-specific installation led set of performances.

2. Jennifer Hicks: for throwing together a poster and some PR last minute and putting me in contact with an Italian Online Magazine all while she was driving across the country (?!) and for bringing in additional performers to the mix.

3. Sandy Huckleberry (MAG) for checking the and answering questions from artists while I was away, handling any late proposals and offering to let one of the out of town artists stay in her house.

4. Cathy Nolan (MAG) for trying to organize the mass (mess) of emails which were in random order into something that made sense for this blog, for artist profiles and for keeping up with the mobius facebook related information.

5. David Chin (honorary MAG and miracle worker and all around great person) for taking wonderful photographs for the SOWA Art Walk, posting a facebook page for this event and for taking on MC duties last minute all three nights (which included being a stage manager/ tech/
and putting the program order together the last night) and for helping with putting artists bios and statements together to be printed for the exhibit.

6. Bob Raymond (MAG) for his awesome photos of all the performers and the installations.

7. Margaret Bellafiore (MAG) for her considerable help both mentally and physically in putting up the installations.

8. Kate Hanrahan (one of the guest installation artists) who drove in from Brooklyn, NY with her beautiful installation and asked "how can I help" - she also worked on the artist profiles and dressed two stacked speaker cabinets in white craft paper to display another artist's installation.

9. Marilyn Arsem (MAG) for patiently making the program for the last evening of performances.

10. Joanne Rice (MAG) for moral support and enthusiasm when it was most needed.

11. Matt Samolis for performing with three very different choreographers/performers and for taking on extra tech support at the last minute.

12. Charles Daniels for running my ultra-flip cameras for me the last evening and for also taking some fantastic photos with his own camera - simultaneously...

13. Liz Roncka and El Putnam for surviving all three evenings intact and for tackling some last minute mayhem and whackiness.

14. G, S & J...

and finally Milan Kohout (MAG) without whom this show would not have even been conceived.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Notes From The Curator #1
- Blog Intent

It's June 2nd and sadly, The Politics of Shoes Exhibit is completely down except for some wire hanging from the ceiling and the rolling video station from which I hope to periodically display both videos specifically created for the exhibition and videos documenting the installations and performances in the evenings which may be viewed through the windows of Mobius, 725 Harrison Avenue, Boston MA.

Because of the mad dash nature of how this series of performances and exhibit were thrown together, we were unable to blog in real time as events occurred.

It was always my intention to document the performances and installations as much as possible and blog in reverse so to speak.

Over the next several weeks, I am planning on daily featuring either:

1. one of the installations artists (or in some cases, collaborative teams) in surname alphabetical order


2. one of the performers (or collaborators) from each of the three evenings of performances in order of appearance.

I am hoping the featured artists will upload, add their own stories and particulars/experiences to this blog and that visitors to this blog will add their comments to this documentation in reverse blog.

I also plan to add notes/commentary along the way about the experience of the exhibit and performances and events leading up to the Politics of Shoes as well as articles/reflections/comments from visitors to the exhibit including two invited writers/journalists who are not art critics because I think of this particular exhibit as one that crosses boundaries into disciplines other than the arts. One journalist G. Jeffrey MacDonald principally writes on social and religious issues/news and the other, Jill Furumoto, has written for Spare Change, one of the local Boston papers which focusses on social issues and more specifically, the homeless and disenfranchised in our community.

Thank you for reading and enjoy,

Jane Wang aka angryjane
on behalf of The Mobius Artists Group

ps, I "borrowed" this Daily Dose of Art concept from Liz Roncka's Dance-A-Day