GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE, BROOKLYN
ATOM-r [CHICAGO, USA]
KJELL THEORY: PROLOGUE
Kjell Theøry is an Augmented Reality (AR) performance juxtaposing the historical narrative of gay computing pioneer Alan Turing’s theory of morphogenesis with algorithmic mutations of the prologue to Guillaume Apollinaire’s 1917 play, Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Tirésias’ Tits), a gender-fluid burlesque spectacle for which the author invented the word surrealism. In Apollinaire's play, a woman Theresa, transforms into the mythological male prophet, Tiresias, while her husband gives birth to 40,049 babies.
In the last two years of his life, Alan Turing visited Scandinavia, seeking tolerance and following desire, following his prosecution for crimes of indecency and the forced estrogen treatments that resulted in gynecomastia (development of breasts). He had shifted his focus from computing to biology and was developing a theory of morphogenesis, his account of the autonomous generation of flowers and other natural forms, that he named, in his notes, for a male Norwegian love interest, Kjell.
Kjell Theory blurs the boundaries between the binaries of physical and virtual space, past and future, male and female genders, and human and machine. In the work, temporary tattoos on the bodies of the performers are scanned to reveal virtual layers including texts, 3-d objects, and historical film clips.
Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey are a collaboration merging performance, language, and emerging technologies. The work is interdisciplinary and evolves through large-scale projects with long durations of research and practice resulting in outputs across multiple platforms including internet art, augmented reality, site-specific installation, choreographed movement, books and objects. Projects culminate in a final piece cohesively integrating multiple elements into a distinct hybrid form. Jeffery, a performance artist and choreographer, and Morrissey, a writer and computer programmer, began collaborating in 2004 on works that incorporated the live body into complex visual poetic systems driven by code. Later, the performances, influenced by external scores, expanded to include dancers and public participation. This led to the formation of Anatomical Theatres of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r) in 2012, a collective exploring the 21st century technologized body through an implementation of Augmented Reality in which physical space and the bodies of performers are enhanced with layers of virtual material. ATOM-r was conceived when the two artists encountered the architecture of early modern anatomical theatres, small amphitheaters designed for viewing of human dissections and surgical procedures. This architecture became a symbol for the fluid re-shaping of our experience as embodied humans in an age of ubiquitous computation. The projects have a queer perspective and make use of extensive research into historical anatomical narratives. In The Operature, the early history of surgery is combined with the biography of Samuel Steward, a 20th century writer and tattoo artist who created the Stud File, a card-catalogue that used self-devised encryption to record thousands of personal homosexual experiences when gay sex was still an outlaw practice. Kjell Theory, a gender-queer work of augmented surreality, engages the persecution and forced estrogen therapy of gay computing pioneer Alan Turing in conjunction with The Tits of Tiresias, the first surrealist French play from 1917.www.judisdaid.com
Since their inception in 2012, ATOM-‐r are artists-‐in-‐residence at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Chicago. The group has performed recently at Perform Chinatown (Los Angeles), ZERO1 Garage (San Jose), Eyebeam (NYC), Defibrillator Gallery (Chicago), Anatomy Theatre and Museum (London, UK), Performing House (York, UK), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), while variants of the work have been presented at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (Buenos Aires), Casa das Caldeiras (Coimbra, PT), Le Cube (Paris), and Inspace Gallery (Edinburgh), among other venues. They have led workshops at King's College, London Southbank University, Sussex University and York St. John University (UK), Edinburgh College of Art, and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.www.atom-r.com
21ST SUFFRAGETTES: PERFORMANCE ART BY WOMEN
This Spring, Grace Exhibition Space celebrates the 15th anniversary of 21st Suffragettes, a seminal Brooklyn-based performance art event originally held in 2001. Jill McDermid (Director and Co-Founder of GES) curated and directed 21st Suffragettes, a 72-hour event of works made only by women in the galleries and bars of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, featuring performances at Galapagos Art Space, exhibitions at numerous galleries, DJ’s at a Williamsburg bar and DJ’s and bands at all-nite Rubulad. Participating galleries included: Sideshow, Front Room Gallery, Figureworks, Fish Tank, Roebling Hall, South First, The Williamsburg Art & Historical Center and more
ABOUT GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
Grace Exhibition Space opened in 2006 and is devoted exclusively to Performance Art. We offer an opportunity to experience visceral and challenging performance works by the current generation of international performance artists, whether emerging, mid career or established. Being a Brooklyn loft, our events are presented on the floor, not on a stage, dissolving the boundary between artist and viewer. Grace Exhibition Space is run by Jill & Erik with Quinn Dukes. Jamie is our bartender and Leah runs the door.
Please also support PANOPLY PERFORMANCE LAB [Brooklyn] GLASSHOUSE GALLERY [Brooklyn], MOBIUS [Boston] DFBRL8R GALLERY [Chicago] and EAMES ARMSTRONG [Washington, DC] - when you want to see more Performance Art!
"On each night, and in each performance, the human body is redeemed from the mundane and made anew." -David Lagaccia, Williamsburg Greenpoint News+Art (June, 2012)
"I have found Grace Space to be a breath of fresh air, and a new way to see and experience feelings you may have not faced in a long time. It’s a place to let yourself be exposed, amused, delighted, and terrified all at the same time, and I can say I haven’t experienced this combination of emotions at any gallery or theater I have ever stepped into, and that’s a wonderful thing. The space provides a refreshing perspective on an art scene that has been somewhat shackled and restrained for quite a bit of time now. Grace Exhibition Space is a brave pioneer as it puts Bushwick, as well as New York City, on the forefront of exploration and exposure into the minds and bodies of artists who are truly gifted, fearless, and unique."
- Terri Ciccone. Bushwick Daily January, 2013