3Arts announced today the creation of two 3Arts Fellowships at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), unprecedented artist residencies focused on supporting the creation of new work by local artists with disabilities who are actively engaged in raising awareness about disability culture on and off campus.
Ooh! This will be open to “qualifying artists” in the Chicago metro. area next year.
Infiltration+Sid Branca= yessssssssssssss
Friday, August 22nd will be our third performance as part of our Infiltration series, a collaboration with Salonathon and us Neos in our State Park space before TML every Fri in August and September. Since I’ll probably be frantically setting my props for TML during Sid’s performance and won’t get to see it (shit!), I thought I would interview her and get a little insight into who she is.
I love your name. It reminds me of Fernet Branca, a digestif that I enjoy over ice. Do you have a preferred digestif?
Thanks! Every time I see those Fernet Branca ads around town, I feel like I have some really wacky cousin running around that I haven’t met yet. I would love to hang out with her. I actually really love Fernet Branca, and weird bitter intense drinks in general. I am also a huge fan of Malört–bartenders all over this city regularly make fun of me for ordering Malört and club soda, which is called a Lake Michigan and is totally refreshing and great.
When did you first encounter Salonathon? Would you consider it your artistic home? What keeps you coming back?
So in an attempt to figure out when I first went to Salonathon, I searched for “Salonathon” in my gmail archive. There were 920 results, daaaaang. The first related email is from July 18, 2011, so I guess I’ve been attending since near the beginning of this whole crazy thing. The first time I performed at Salonathon was December 19, 2011, at the request of the lovely Kelly Kerwin. The theme was, appropriately, Endings/Beginnings. I did a monologue that included the line “This hangover has taught me that today is a new day and that the future is ours,” which in hindsight was pretty on point.
The Salonathon community is definitely exactly that for me–a community. The people I have met and grown closer to as a result are some of the most important people in my life. I’ve seen a lot of really incredible work, and a lot of daring and beautiful attempts at something new. I’ve witnessed people change and grow as artists over time. I’ve begun collaborations. I’ve fallen irrevocably in love, over and over. I’ve gotten to share many things both rawly new and intimately familiar with a room full of people I value.
The world is a kind of a terrifying and overwhelming place to me a lot of the time, but I know Salonathon has my back and that means a lot. It’s that, as much as the performances themselves, that keeps me coming back whenever I can.
What is your favorite article of clothing right now? Why?
I recently acquired this big red plaid flannel that makes me feel like a character on The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and I am really excited for fall weather so I can wear it constantly until I am gross.
Where do you live? What’s your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
I live in Ukrainian Village! I love all the signs in Cyrillic lettering, and the weird little dive bars, and the bells of the church across the street from my house. But I think my favorite thing about where I live is my roommate, Amanda. She is my best friend and is great, and a room of our apartment is essentially the main office of First Floor Theater, of which she’s the Managing Director and I’m a company member. She is eating a croissant next to me while I am typing this and I am obviously trying to figure out if she can see what I am typing right now.
I feel like every time I see you, you have a different look. Would you consider yourself a chameleon?
Totally. I try to approach every day of my life like I’m attending a theme party, but I’m the one who gets to pick the theme! Sometimes I will even assign myself one, or ask my friends for a prompt. (I often also try to dress in response to a given Salonathon theme even if I’m not performing that night.) I am a complicated and somewhat fractured person with a lot of different interests and like, so many feelings, and it’s sometimes fun for me to try and channel those into different looks. Artistic practice is often a process externalizing some kind of interior experience, and that’s also on some level happening when you decide which black band t-shirt with the sleeves cut off you’re going to wear that day, ya know?
Friday, August 29th @ 10:30 we head into the fourth installment of our collaboration with Salonathon by featuring LADY/WATCH, the performance-duo spawn of Kieran Kredell and Tien Tran. Enjoy this correspondence between them and Neo-Futurist Kurt Chiang. Can’t wait to see you deep down and all up with INFILTRATION.
Hello Tien and Kieran. Can you please begin by describing the relationship that is being established in the following picture?:
Great question. This is LADY/WATCH in a nicely wallpapered nutshell: two devastatingly awkward individuals doing their best to appear confident and self-assured. For each of our pieces we like to begin by selecting/considering a subject, defining our own personal relationships––as LADY/WATCH––to that subject, and using that information to inform the direction of the piece. This photo was taken before our Pride Weekend performance at Berlin. In devising the piece, we began by asking “Who would LADY/WATCH be if we put them back in the closet? Probably, miserable.”
My idea of quintessential Chicago art is when people take genres/forms/things and fuse them together. You describe yourselves (on your Facebook page, at least) as a “Chicago-based queer performance art dancejoker duo.” I’m curious how you define “performance art” as well as “dancejoker.” Can you elaborate?
When we use “performance art” to refer to ourselves, we are describing a style of storytelling that simultaneously draws on multiple mediums and techniques. We come from a collective background of hip hop and modern dance, clowning, sketch comedy, and improv. And sometimes puppetry. There didn’t seem to be a single word that aptly described the perspective with which we told these stories, and so we made one up––”Dancejoker”. We wanted to emphasize the dance parts and the joking parts of our work. Those were the parts that brought us together in the first place––our mutual desire to make people laugh through movement. We also wanted to further confuse our parents when asked, “So, what is LADY/WATCH?” Mom, Dad, we’re dancejokers.
Tell me what the audience should expect from you guys this weekend.
This weekend, audiences can expect us to get real weird with them. Expect to enter a David Lynch-ian bizarro world full of movement, paper folding, and wigs.
And can you tell me what is happening here?:
This was from the end of a piece we did at Salonathon a couple years ago. In it, one of us (Tien) played a bloodthirsty unicorn hunter, and the other (Kieran) a unicorn. The twist–after all these centuries of myth and legend, no one stopped to tell that unicorn hunter one important fact: unicorns are, in fact, vampires. So the unicorn kills the hunter and they both become unicorn-vampires. The End!
What is your favorite way to move?
This is a tough question. In truth, any movement is good movement. We’ve had pieces consisting of tiny, controlled movements, even one in almost pitch darkness. To actually answer your question, though: we love to entertain ourselves. Often we’ll stand in front of Photobooth moving our bodies around until somebody says, “Wait. Do that again.” Then we know we’ve got something to work with.
Once Infiltration is done, there’s the idea to create some guerrilla theater works in collaboration with Neo-Futurist ensemble members. Any ideas yet?
We’re still waiting for this first phase of Infiltration to take place before we get into more detailed conversations with the Neos about the guerrilla portion, but we’re definitely excited to get the proverbial ball rolling. Oh man, once that ball gets rolling it’s going to get so weird. It’s going to be the weirdest, rollingest ball ever.