Irma Optimist [Finland] Shola Cole [USA] Praba Pilar/Adam Zaretsky [USA] Giulia Mattera [Italy] Honey McMoney [USA] + Ensamble Ferroeléctrico de Marte
IRMA OPTIMIST [FINLAND]
Mathematician Irma Optimist started doing performance art in 1989. Since then she has performed at dozens of festivals, museums and galleries all over the world. During the beginning of her career, she was famous for the ironic and parodying aspects of her performances. These were directed as criticism of the prevalent masculine concept of art. Many of the works were interactive and simultaneous, based on mathematical dynamics of chaos.
In most of her work, Irma Optimist has been very personal, discussing the conditions of identity, femininity, death. Gender, locality and nature have been her themes. The works themselves are transformations, in which the existence of the artist is connected to ritual and live installation.
Irma Optimist has also acted as a curator and brought many well-known international performance artists to events she has organized in Finland. Since 2000, she has been involved in organising Là-bas, a permanent forum for living art and experimental culture. This project has succeeded in realising the ideas of contemporary theory concerning non-hierarchical strategies of organization and rhizome-like networks. The forum continues to operate as a situation-specific and site-specific continuum both in Finland and internationally. The experimental space Studio Là-bas is located at Cable Factory, Helsinki.
Irma Optimist has got in Finland 2012 the Lifetime Achievement Award of Finnish Art Society and 2013 the State Prize of Art.
PRABA PILAR + ADAM ZARETSKY [USA]
Praba Pilar is a diasporic Colombian artist disrupting the overwhelmingly passive participation in the contemporary ‘cult of the techno-logic.’ Over the last two decades Pilar has presented cultural productions integrating performance art, street theatre, invisible theatre, electronic installations, radio programming, digital works, video, websites and writing. These projects have traveled widely to museums, galleries, universities, performance festivals, conferences, public streets, political meetings, bookstores, bars, and radio airwaves around the world.
Shaped by resistance to the colonial project throughout the Americas, Pilar focuses her solo practice on projects challenging complex state/corporate systems of control, domination and death. She is also embarked on an all-encompassing post-human/microbiomial multi-species journey with Anuj Vaidya titled Larval Rock Stars; is working with Ignacio Valero on a digital humanities initiative, and collaborates extensively on one time events. Some of the artists and scholars she has worked with include Alex Wilson, Balitronica Gomez and Pocha, John Jota Leanos, Rene Garcia, Erika Hannes, Larry Bogad, Adam Zaretsky, Freya Olafson, Mia S. van Leeuwen, Theo Pelmus, Luna, Lyndsay Ladobruk, Martin Franco and various photographers and videographers who have helped document her work. She is immeasurably helped by Janet Sarson on numerous aspects of her practices.
SHOLA COLE [USA]
Body of Water, Biographie of Service*
OluShola A. Cole was born in the United Kingdom to Nigerian and Caribbean parents and is proud of her “early onset bouts” of chasing the carnival in Antigua, public dancing in London’s Brixton Market and/or singing at high volume on the city’s double decker buses.
Classical training in piano, trombone, movement and voice has led to debut shows at Carnegie Hall with Bobby McFerrin in his 'Instant Opera' Concert, The Hip Hop Continuum with Rennie Harris at Jacobs Pillow's Cultural Traditions Program and the off-Broadway hit STOMP. Hands on research of social movements such as house dance, samba, West African dance, hip-hop, tango and capoeira have inspired Cole to observe the relationships of the artistic, coded response of oppressed groups. Cole's ongoing mixed disciplined work Jenny.Was.A.Pirate.Hater centers around her inquiry of the historical intersection of pirates and slaves and it’s personal connection to navigating life as a queer, black female and immigrant/naturalized citizen in the US – most notably in the Trump Era. Her newest works in progress include, Body of Water, The Biographie of Service, The Tales of Pirate Jenny and #PirateRadio. Cole’s work as an emerging performance artist has appeared via workshops & projects with Ebony Golden, Sharon Bridgforth (NYC/MN), Franko B, and VestandPage (Belgrade, RS) and with Andrigo & Aliprandi (Venice, IT) for Venice International Performance Art Week.
Cole attended the University of Connecticut receiving a Bachelor of General Studies and a minor in Women's Studies. She completed her MFA from Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Cole has also performed in venues such as Artspace NH, Songs for Presidents Gallery and La Mama Theater – she is thrilled to be presenting her works in progress at Grace Exhibition Space www.piratehaterjenny.com
(*Team Biographie: Heather Holmes, Linus Ignatius)
GIULIA MATTERA [ITALY]
May Artist-in-Resdence at Art/Life Institue, Performance Art Residency in Kingston, NY www.ArtLifeKingston.com
Giulia Mattera is performance artist, whose research-based practice questions gender, daily life and social structures as ritualised behaviours.
With a strong visual focus she explores natural elements via the body,
By using repetition as a tool to erase pre-constructed meanings, she sets herself tasks that deal with failure and challenge the preconceptions of body-mind limitations.
HONEY MCMONEY [USA]
Honey McMoney is an artist
ENSAMBLE FERROELÉCTRICO DE MARTE [ARGENTINA]
Totemismo Animal & Tecnología Musical Aplicada
ABOUT GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
Grace, n. - simple elegance or refinement of movement
Grace Period - an extended period granted as a special favor
The Three Graces (Greek Mythology) - charm, grace, and beauty
Opened in 2006, Grace Exhibition Space is devoted exclusively to Performance Art. We offer an opportunity to experience visceral and challenging 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. This is how performance art is meant to be experienced and our mission is the glorification of performance art.