Retrospective by nature, What Remains: On the Sacred, the Lost, and the Forgotten Relics of Live Art is the first exhibition of Defibrillator Gallery's 10th anniversary year. Curated by Netherlands based ieke Trinks, this visual art exhibition and performance art series features a cohort of Dutch artists and others from around the world who responded to an open call to reanimate Defibrillator's collection of objects from performances that took place over the past nine years.
What Remains will take place from February 7th to the 28th, 2020 at Defibrillator's former home [now ARC Gallery] - framing the site itself as a relic or record of ephemeral practices. The storefront is located at 1463 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60642. The one-month exhibition is broken into four chapters and will include a performance art series, visual art installations, discussions, and satellite events on the following days:
_CHAPTER 1: FIXING | FRI 07 > SUN 09 FEB
FRI 07 FEB | 6PM | Opening + Performance Program
SUN 09 FEB | 2PM | Discussion: The Impulse to Collect.
_CHAPTER 2: MERGE | TUE 11 > SUN 16 FEB
WED 12 FEB | 12PM | Off-site: Guerrilla Street Performance.
SAT 15 FEB | 6PM | Performance Program + Late Night Program [Off-site: Bridgeport 10-12am]
_CHAPTER 3: REFERENTIAL | TUE 18 > SUN 23 FEB
THU 20 FEB | 7PM | Off-site Performance Program: No Nation Unspace Lab
SAT 22 FEB | 6PM | Performance Program
SUN 23 FEB | 2PM | Discussion: Activating an Archive of Ephemeral Practices.
_CHAPTER 4: CONSUME | TUE 25 > FRI 28 FEB
TUE 25 FEB | 7PM | Off-site: Video Program at Nightingale Cinema
FRI 28 FEB | 6PM | Performance Program + Finissage
About What Remains:
What Remains explores the connection between performance and relic. Instigator and artist ieke Trinks conceived of a curatorial project that would speak to the challenges of keeping records of live performances beyond the dominant and didactic lens of video and photographic documentation. The project is structured around proposals from artists to re-interpret the relics in the Defibrillator object archive and provide a framework for reconceptualizing their value and meaning through new works.
What Remains tackles several questions, including: What impact does history have on a performance object's status? What value does it have when it is not specifically an artwork itself, or not intended to be an art object that now stands on its own as a relic? How much will the relic tell us about the performance for which it was originally used? What value can we place on the collection itself? These questions and more are addressed through performances and discussions throughout the month.
The exhibition will focus on a different theme each week: FIXING, MERGE, REFERENTIAL, and CONSUME. The presentation of objects will change from week to week, with new pieces added when relics are reactivated as performances or installations. The relics that aren't yet activated will be on view downstairs in the basement on shelves waiting to be used and displayed throughout the month. The overall idea for the exhibition is to keep it vivid and in a constant flux, just like the nature of performance art itself. Transformation of the space and installation of objects will be done during open gallery hours, underlining the performativity of the accumulation and exhibition of relics. There will also be space given to display the 91 submitted proposals from around the world.
What Remains features four Netherlands-based visiting artists Nina Boas, Jolanda Jansen, Frans van Lent, and Kirsten Heshusius; all other artists have been selected from an open call. When putting out the call Trinks wrote, "Proposals can be bold, daring, (un)conventional, conceptual, personal, insightful, (de)constructive, (ir)responsible, monumental, fleeting, portable, technical, emotional, minimal, and all of the above." This foreshadows the wide range of works that will be presented in the exhibition. The entire open call is available at: dfbrl8r.org/exhibit/open-call-remains.