Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 7:30pm
Untitled Performances

Emma Hart and Benedict Drew
Performa 09 at Light Industry

Light Industry is proud to present Emma Hart and Benedict Drew in their first collaborative performance in New York. Juxtaposing and transforming the mechanics of 16mm film, video and sound, Drew and Hart will present Untitled 1. (2005), Untitled 2. (2006), Untitled 6. (2009) and other selected works.

“The collaborative work of Emma Hart (born London, 1974, lives in London) and Benedict Drew (born Kyneton, Australia, 1977, lives in London) returns cinematic experience to its constituent elements of image and sound. Exposing the interdependency of these two elements within a live setting, Hart and Drew orchestrate events informed by their respective expertise. Although both of the artists actively pursue their personal practices—Drew's background of musical composition and experimental sound, and Hart's interrogation of the still and moving image—the pair collaborate without hierarchy or specific roles.

“Working together since 2005, the artists' have produced four collaborative performance works to-date: Untitled 1. (2005) through to Untitled 4. (2008). With nods to the history of 'expanded cinema' and artists' film (both Richard Serra's Hand Catching Lead, 1968, and David Lamelas' 1960s and 70s films are echoed in their practice), Hart and Drew transform the 'black box' space into a notably mechanical and sculptural environment. All of the performances take the destabilisation of the moving image as their start and end point. In Untitled 1., for example, loose white washing powder lies in the cone of a speaker. The sound of the live projector fan plays through the speaker and the powder is moved in time to the audio. This movement is captured on camera and simultaneously projected. This technical process produces an image which is at once hypnotic and epic, while also challenging the usual precedence of cinematic visuals over scored sound.

“This Mobius-strip approach applies increasingly to the artists' collaboration itself, and is visibly intensified in their subsequent work, Untitled 2. (2006). One artist loops clear and black 16mm film leader between a film projector while the other, illuminated in the beam of the projector, extends the same ribbon through the strings of an electric guitar. In an abrasive performance, the guitar is dramatically recast as a mechanical extension of the filmic apparatus. The film strip is drawn across the metal guitar strings like a violin bow, as the projector simultaneously produces a flashing beam. The performance appears as if in a zoetrope or filmic countdown, to the soundtrack of a relentless score. The event becomes a test of endurance as well as a precarious endeavor: a willful misappropriation of tools to the point of their physical destruction, ending with the final snap of the film reel.” — ICA, London

About Performa 09

Performa 09, the third edition of the internationally acclaimed biennial of new visual art performance presented by Performa, will be held in New York City from November 1–22, 2009. The three-week festival will showcase new work by more than 80 of the most exciting artists working today, in an innovative program breaking down the boundaries between visual art, music, dance, poetry, fashion, architecture, graphic design, and the culinary arts. Presented in collaboration with a consortium of more than 60 arts institutions and 25 curators, as well as a network of public spaces and private venues across the city, Performa 09 will ignite New York City with energy and ideas, acting as a vital “think tank” linking minds across the five boroughs and bringing audiences together for brilliant new performances in all disciplines.

Performa is a non-profit multidisciplinary arts organization established by RoseLee Goldberg in 2004, dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth century art and to encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century. Performa launched New York’s first performance biennial, Performa 05, in 2005, followed by Performa 07 in 2007. www.performa-arts.org

Tickets - $7, available at door.