SITE/less, Chicago’s new experimental gallery, performance venue, workplace, and community gathering space operated by Zephyr Dance, announces its 2018–19 season of events, including collaborations with movement-based artists, visual designers, and partner venues in various Chicago neighborhoods. SITE/less is located at 1250 W. Augusta Boulevard, on the western border of Chicago’s North Branch Corridor between the West Town and Noble Square neighborhoods.
(MCA) Chicago with “Perfect Worlds/Propositional Attitudes,” a showcase of interactionist dance and instructionist performance works, profiled in Propositional Attitudes, edited by Elana Mann and John Burtle (Golden Spike Press, LA, 2018). Following its one-day installation October 23 at the MCA (220 E. Chicago Ave.), Mat Rappaport’s “range”—a delivery truck mounted with multiple external cameras—travels to SITE/less, capturing images from the environment live along the route and mixing and live-projecting them onto truck-mounted screens while simultaneously streaming to SITE/less and the MCA. The truck will “dock” at the SITE/less building’s loading bay, where, in collaboration with architect David Sundry, it will become an architectural interface and interactive point of entry. During the weekend of October 26–28, artists featured in Propositional Attitudes—Michael Workman, Elana Mann, Dana Reason, and Udita Upadlhyaya—along with other Chicago movers, will perform based on a selection of the book’s instructions, which also will be on display for viewers to perform. In addition, conversations focusing on instructionist art, social practice art, and politics featuring editors Mann and Burtle and 1960s activist Bill Ayers will take place.
Beginning in November, SITE/less collaborates with Defibrillator Gallery in Bridgeport and Pivot Arts in Edgewater on Video Corpo, a festival of video work celebrating movement-based artists who have used video as an extension of their practice and/or as an alternative corporeal perspective. Curated by the directors of the three venues—Michelle Kranicke (Zephyr and SITE/less), Joseph Ravens (Defibrillator), and Julieanne Ehre (Pivot Arts)—Video Corpo focuses on broadening the audience for experimental time-based artists by creating a platform for viewing their work beyond traditional live performance. Opening events take place November 16 at Defibrillator Gallery, 1029 W. 35th Street, and November 17 at SITE/less, 1250 W. Augusta Boulevard. Video installations will remain available at SITE/less and Defibrillator through December 7. Pivot Arts hosts two special screenings/events connected to the work at SITE/less and Defibrillator. Auxiliary events include panel discussions and conversation focusing on creating video viewing and streaming platforms as a means to broaden the visibility of body-based work.
For Video Corpo, Zephyr premieres The Wall Dance—Film Version (working title), an excerpt of Kranicke’s 2012 durational work Allowances and Occurrences re-envisioned for the camera. Though Kranicke originally designed the work as an installation piece for performance at a gallery, allowing the audience to move about the space and choose their viewpoint, Zephyr re-lit the work and filmed it at SITE/less from multiple perspectives and proximities to more fully emphasize the deep, dramatic spatial qualities of tableaus reminiscent of Renaissance or Baroque master painting.
A multifaceted month-long event (as-yet untitled) comes to SITE/less in March 2019, when Kranicke, Sundry, and Zephyr collaborate with fashion designer and visual artist Abigail Glaum-Lathbury for an art/architectural installation coupled with performances and a lecture/symposium exploring principles of American copyright and trademark law, which aims to stimulate new ideas that give individuals and businesses rights to the intangible information and goods they develop. How do those laws apply to fashion and movement? The architectural installation highlights Glaum-Lathbury’s theories about luxury and fast fashion, and performances question the ways those ideas apply to time-based work that essentially disappears after its performance.
Zephyr revives its 2015 work Study #2—Not the Madison Dance, But a Love Letter Just the Same, featuring choreography that grew and developed from a dance sequence in Jean-Luc Godard’s film Bande à Part. The lifted dance was itself a common American line dance that Godard translated to French cinema. Glaum-Lathbury displays her designs simultaneously, operating through Genuine Unauthorized Clothing Clone Institute (G.U.C.C.I.), an educational platform and free online pattern library. She combines selfies of luxury brand clothing with original garment designs to create parodied digital clothing files and invites individuals to download them free and use them to create their own designs, digitally print the transformed work onto fabric, and sew their own luxury garments.
Closing the inaugural season is a Zephyr premiere (choreography by Kranicke with a new architectural installation by Sundry) in April and May, with more details to come early in 2019.
SITE/less, located at 1250 W. Augusta Boulevard, is a guerrilla storefront and an edge site with ancillary relationships to a variety of urban crossroads and infrastructures. Positioned as an experimental architecture, movement, and research center, SITE/less seeks to rethink the relationship between the typical model of most performance venues and how the organization of those venues inevitably limits and conditions the curatorial practice. SITE/less does not exist in a traditional “finished” state, but rather continues to evolve and grow with time, functioning as an incubator, a laboratory, a physical structure, a dance, and a place where distinct art forms can speak directly to each other. In addition, SITE/less aims to facilitate connection with the public and promote social interaction by creating an atypical arena to host non-art events, such as community meetings and pop-up dinners. The center will work to establish an open gathering zone not unlike a reading room, Internet hotspot location, long-term art installation, or other types of public space located within a private building. Read the initial SITE/less announcement here.
Zephyr is an experimental dance company with a strong artistic presence in Chicago for more than 20 years. Zephyr pushes to the edge of the discipline to question current trends in dance making and the reduction of the art form to its most quantifiable, easily recognized patterns. Zephyr works to critically investigate the overreliance on virtuosity, popular definitions and/or understandings of dance and the tendency to lean on narrative to inform the abstract nature of movement without confronting the history/meaning of that movement. Zephyr considers the interaction between performer and viewer and the movement possibilities that arise through that interaction. The company stages its performances in various spaces, from the proscenium stage to large auditorium spaces to galleries, to allow viewers choices in how they encounter, and engage with, movement. The results are works that transform the atmosphere of a space with rich images, sensual movements and unexpected occurrences. For a history of Zephyr, visit zephyrdance.com/about/history/
Zephyr Dance is supported, in part, by, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Bucktown Art Fest, Friends of Holstein Park, and numerous individuals.