what remains: chapter one

CHAP1_what remains

What Remains:



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 and is curated by Netherlands-based ieke Trinks. Massive in scale and retrospective by nature, this visual art exhibition and performance art series features a cohort of artists from around the world who responded to an open call to reanimate Defibrillator’s archive of objects from performances that took place over the past nine years.

CHAPTER 1: FIXING relates to placing, installing, and positioning oneself or an object – the performance relic in this case – through means of performance and action-based gestures. Fixing implies a beginning, and is a term meant  to inaugurate the What Remains project. Below is the schedule for Chapter 1: Fixing. An intimate and pronounced displacement, the works and performances in this inaugural chapter of What Remains introduce the project with a focus on themes of placement and removal, presence and absence — a meditation on proclamations, possessions, proxies and desires across distances and in relation to one another. For Chapter 1 of What Remains we’ll be joined by the following artists:

FRI 07 FEB | 6-9PM | Performance Program + Opening

SAT 08 FEB | 3-6PM | Installations

SUN 09 FEB | 2-4PM | Soup Kitchen Conversations: Activating an Archive

On Sunday February 9th we invite you to join us for a brief introduction on the What Remains project by Joseph Ravens and ieke Trinks. Guest speakers Nicholas Lowe and Felicia Holman in a conversation around the dynamism of the archive and a communal meal of soup or stew [vegan+gluten free]. Occupied in the periphery of the gallery, collaborating artists Lola Blake + Ezra Hawkins will install a durational project whose culmination can be witnessed in Chapter 4 of What Remains.

What Remains is divided into FOUR CHAPTERS, each with a specific theme, that features a suite of performance art events. CHAPTER 1: FIXING includes an official opening and performance program on Friday, February 7th at 6PM; live installations on Saturday, February 8th at 3PM; and a Soup Kitchen Conversation on Sunday, February 9th from 2-4PM. Gallery hours that weekend will be Saturday, February 8th from 12-6PM, and Sunday February 9th from 12-4PM.

What Remains will take place from February 7th to the 28th, 2020 at Defibrillator’s former home in Noble Square – honoring the site itself as a relic or record of ephemeral practices. Now ARC Gallery, the storefront is located at 1463 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60642. Gallery hours for the visual art exhibition are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12 to 6pm and Sundays 12 to 4pm. Events at ARC Gallery are free and open to the public. Satellite events may request a small donation at the door. 


**In these works, artists are unaware of the context of the relic in the original performance..

Angeliki Tsoli photo by Carlos Salazar Lermont 2017

Angeliki Tsoli photo by Carlos Salazar Lermont 2017

Angeliki Chaido Tsoli [Greece] is a conceptual artist using text, photography and/or performance art in her work. She is a Fulbright Scholar from Greece and in 2018 graduated from the MFA program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The following year Tsoli worked as the curatorial assistant of Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery in Chicago. Angeliki graduated with distinction from the department of Fine and Applied Arts at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and for a year studied with the Erasmus Program at UPV Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain. In Chicago has exhibited in Sullivan Galleries, Lithium Gallery, Ground Level Platform, New Blood Festival at Links Hall, Moving Image 00:04 biannual festival at ACRE, dfbrL8r, Zhou B Art Center, Rosekill and Satellite Art Fair, Art Basel Miami. Angeliki has worked voluntarily as staff for ACRE Residency and as an archivist performer for the Goat Island Archive – we have discovered the performance by making it at the Chicago Cultural Center.

PROJECT: How Can We Keep This Moment Alive? | In June 2018 Tsoli was the invigilator of Michelle Murphy’s performance. After they finished and while they were standing by the creek Tsoli asked them if she could capture this moment. They asked her what she would do with this photograph. She didn’t know at that time and didn’t have any plans. She only knew she was archiving special moments and time-based works with her Polaroid camera.

Exploring Don Quixote, Kunstverein Montez, Frankfurt am Main 2019, Fotograf Jürgen Fritz.

Jacqueline van de Geer, Exploring Don Quixote, Kunstverein Montez, Frankfurt am Main 2019, Fotograf Jürgen Fritz.

Jacqueline van de Geer [Canada, b. The Netherlands] has a masters degree in Visual and Performance Art and is based in Montreal. Intimacy and reconnection are the key words in her work, inviting for a collective experience to happen.

PROJECT: H.A.I.R** | Van de Geer responds to a handful of fur, a relic saved from the inaugural performance in December 2010 by. Hair: head, armpit, pubic, mustache, bears, random fur of the naked human body, traces after sleep, sex, wrestling, grooming, shaving,  combing, fighting, brushing, waxing hair.

Nick Tobier, Red Crossing, Photo by Oscar Tobier

Nick Tobier, Red Crossing, Photo by Oscar Tobier

Nick Tobier [Ann Arbor + Detroit] is a Libra, and a designer of projects and performances in public places. Recent places include Medellin, Colombia; Cholula, Mexico; Ishinomaki, Japan; and Detroit, Michigan.

PROJECT: Broom Works** | Tobier presents the launch of Eagle brand artisanal broom works complete with on-site performance testing and a collection of competitors, including a broom used in two earlier performances used in 2019. Tobier would like you to participate by bringing a broom to be included in the performance or installation. If you would like to provide a broom, please fill out this quick form that contains all the details. As appreciation for your (broom’s) participation, you will receive a made-in-Chicago whisk broom made by the artist.

Nina Boas, Paper Body, Photo by Thomas Lenden

Nina Boas, Paper Body, Photo by Thomas Lenden

Nina Boas [Netherlands b.France] graduated in 2003 from the art academy AKI ArtEZ in Enschede the Netherlands and graduated in 2016 from the Master of DAS Theatre (formerly known as DasArts). She has a visual arts background and developed a practice in performance art and gradually came into the theater circuit. In 2012 she made an object theater production for the Feikeshuis, a theater in Amsterdam. Boas is co-founder / co-director of the performance program PAE (Performance art event) and part of the performance ensemble TRICKSTER (with ieke Trinks, Nathalie Smoor, Marielle verdijk, and Barbara Ellison). During her time at DASTheater she learned about the shamanic journeying practice over a period of 10 days in a self-curated program. This experience brought her to look for ways that art can create a mystical experience and inspired her to experience the world as a place that is alive and interconnected. She is interested in investigating the performativity of objects, and the abilities materials have on their own and as ‘collaborators’ with performers.

PROJECT: Constellation Placement Method with relic number 43** | Not aware of the original source of the objects, Boas uses relics that look like broken stones and reloads them with new meaning.

Nora+Mana_by_Telo_Hoy_2 - Mana Taylor

Nora + Mána photo courtesy of the artists

Nora + Mána [Chicago] Nora is an art historian specializing in Southeast Asian Art. Mána is an artist and writer who recently graduated with a B.A. in Human Rights and Literature. 

PROJECT: Spilled Ink** | This is an ongoing exploration of letter writing. Throughout her travels, Nora has collected hotel stationary from many countries with the idea to use them for an art project. Mána had additionally been interested in writing letters as an art form. They are both inspired by the book “Griffin and Sabine” and the artist Sophie Calle. Together, they will write fictional letters by hand and typewriter throughout the month responding to an ink-stained watercolor painting and a full bottle of ink. Nora + Mána’s piece will re-occur in multiple weeks and culminate in CHAPTER 3: REFERENTIAL.

Zander Porter photo courtesy of the artist

Zander Porter photo courtesy of the artist

Zander Porter [Germany b. Los Angeles] is an artist working in the space between liveness and onlineness, proposing new modes of social relations via complications of selfhood, communication, and (dis)embodiment. In performance and video forms, Zander negotiates attention, connectedness, affect, subjectivity, and participation through an approach to popular/internet culture and commodity detritus with a mixture of curiosity, reverence, and skepticism. Material develops out of personal, identity-(de)forming experiences from virtual and physical spaces of roleplay, including online reality TV competition games, MMOGs (massive multiplayer online games), Berghain, the (Southern Californian) nuclear family, and anonymous/online intimacies. Zander works individually as well as part of XenoEntities Network (XEN), a platform for discussion and experimentation focusing on intersections of queer, gender, and feminist studies with digital technologies. https://www.instagram.com/z3ndxr

PROJECT: Blood Swan-.5 (emoticon)** | Witness a new intercontinentally concocted component of Porter’s 2020 Emoji-bot performance production, in which emotion icons are tested against and resurfaced from the body. 0.5 of a plastic swan. A relic used during Rapid Pulse 2016 will be re-incarnated in collaboration with proxy performer Stevie Hanley.

Bernard Roddy

Bernard Roddy

Bernard Roddy [Chicago] lives in Uptown and attends events at the Nightingale and Dfbrl8r. He was once an associate professor of art and has taught college philosophy since the late 1990s in four different states. Current interests concern computing and the drawings of industrial design. Between 1998 and 2014 he made experimental film and diary video.

PROJECT: Four Platitudes | Roddy responds to Marita Bullmann’s relic and performance from 2017 with a series of drawings developed on the basis of what remains in his memory of Bullmann’s performance. For Roddy the actual uses of the relics in his installation are of less interest. Instead, it is the documentation of their remembered form,  their character and representation, that are important.

Janneke Schoene photo courtesy of the artist

Janneke Schoene photo courtesy of the artist

Janneke Schoene [Sweden b. Germany] is an art historian and academic/non-academic researcher with a focus on performative art as well as art and autobiography/auto-fiction, currently based in Sweden. She studied in Germany and Sweden and did her doctorate on Joseph Beuys’ stagings, arriving from an interest in discussions around the artist’s ‘private mythologies’. She has presented her projects in Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the USA, from which emerged the editing of an anthology on displaying ‘the immaterial’ and numerous writings on performativity, authorship, museum practices, etc. Besides, she has worked within galleries, museums and curatorial/educational contexts in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. Her current interest is on art educational projects for impaired visitor groups, irony in art, an exhibition on exhibitions and finishing her first novel. 

PROJECT: untitled (that we can scarcely) | Featuring an embroidered poem by Dutch writer Ida Gerhardt made from a friend’s hair, this installation responds to the hairpieces used in Vivian Chinasa Ezugha’s performance during Rapid Pulse 2015 and allows Ezugha’s private archives to become part of public performativity with all its own connotations and vagueness. 

Lola Blake + Ezra Hawkins

Lola Blake + Ezra Hawkins

Lola Blake + Ezra Hawkins [Chicago] Lola Blake is a bioartist engaging with sustainability through performance, sculpture, installation, video, and new media. Lola is currently studying for a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is working as an apprentice with DFBRL8R Gallery. They are interested in reevaluating science and culture in western epistemology through considerations of our relationship with microbiology. They have been posing such questions through their ongoing series The Posdiatom, where their relationship with a certain microalgae is investigated. Their work has been shown in San Francisco and Chicago through gallery exhibitions and commissioned works for private clients. Ezra Hawkins is a transgender performance and bio-artist based out of Chicago. His performance background is in Butoh and explores the mind-body relationship in which identity is created and kept while his BioArt focuses on edible plant cultivation, sustainable food practices, and plant growth patterns in relation to physical embodiment. Ezra is currently an apprentice with DFBRL8R Gallery.

PROJECT: ASMR LICHEN KITCHEN (no talking):  Phase #1 | Lola and Ezra will repurpose Jason Lim’s relics from his performance Duet with Light from 2014 including a stone, candles, infusion bags, and large syringes to cultivate lichen. In the final performance the lichen will be cooked and consumed in a multi course meal. Working with the modalities of time, ceremony, body, and element, the final piece will take the form of a simultaneous video installation and live performance inspired by ASMR videos – featured in CHAPTER 4: CONSUME.


What Remains explores the connection between performance and object. Over the last nine years, Defibrillator director Joseph Ravens has amassed a unique archive of relics from past performances.  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 features 40 local, national, and international artists:

A_Marcel [Boston b. Latvia] | Alice Vogler [Atlanta] | Angeliki Chaido Tsoli [Greece] | Ashley Hollingshead [Minneapolis] | Bernard Roddy [Chicago] | Christian Bujold [Canada] | Christine Ferrera + Dan Hanrahan [Chicago] | Doro Seror [Germany] | Emilia White [Ann Arbor] | Erin Evans Delaney + Maria Luisa [Chicago] | Erin Peisert [Minneapolis] + Amy Whitaker [Cincinnati] | Esther Neff + Kaia Gilje [St. Louis] | Eunjin Choi [Los Angeles b. South Korea] | Frans van Lent [Netherlands] | Heinrich Obst [Belgium, b. Washington D.C.] | Jacqueline van de Geer [Canada, b. Netherlands] | Janneke Schoene [Sweden b. Germany] | Jeremy Saya [Canada] | Jessica van Deursen [Netherlands] | John Thomure [Chicago] | Jolanda Jansen [Netherlands] | Katya Oicherman [Minneapolis, b. Russia] | Kirsten Heshusius [Netherlands] | Kristin McWharter [Chicago] | Lola Blake + Ezra Hawkins [Chicago] | Madison Juliana Alexander [Chicago] | Marina Resende Santos [Chicago b. Brazil] | Marval A Rex [Los Angeles] | Maya Nguen [Chicago b. Russia] + Noa/h Fields [Chicago] | Nick Tobier [Ann Arbor + Detroit] | Nina BoasbNora + Mána bOwen Moran [Milwaukee] | Patrícia Janeiro [Netherlands b. Portugal] | Peter Baren [Netherlands] | Renan Marcondes [Germany b. Brazil] | SUNGJAE LEE [Chicago b. South Korea] | will sōderberg… [desplaines] | Zander Porter [Germany b. Los Angeles]

What Remains is divided into FOUR CHAPTERS, each with a specific theme: 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. 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 letter-size proposals from around the world. Gallery hours for the visual art exhibition are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12 to 6pm and Sundays 12 to 4pm

Overview of important dates [click CHAPTER links for detailed information]:


  • FRI 07 FEB | 6-9PM | Opening + Performance Art Program.
  • SAT 08 FEB | 3-6PM | Witness work being installed
  • SUN 09 FEB | 2-4PM | Soup Kitchen Conversation: The Impulse to Collect


  • WED 12 FEB | 12:12PM | Off-site GUERRILLA STREET ACTION | Location TBA
  • THU 13 FEB | 12-6PM | Witness work being installed  
  • SAT 15 FEB | 6-9PM | Performance Art Program
  • SAT 15 FEB | 10-12PM | Off-site Late Night Program | Bridgeport Location TBA


  • WED 19 FEB | 4-6PM | Witness work being installed  
  • THU 20 FEB | 4-6PM | Witness work being installed  
  • THU 20 FEB | 7-9PM | Off-site Performance Program: No Nation 
  • SAT 22 FEB | 6-9PM | Performance Art Program
  • SUN 23 FEB | 2-4PM | Soup Kitchen Conversation: The Impulse to Collect 


  • TUE 25 FEB | 7-9PM | Off-site Video Program: Nightingale Cinema
  • FRI 28 FEB | 6-10PM | Performance Program + Finissage


ieke Trinks [www.ieketrinks.nl] | Curator (b. 1977) is an artist living and working in the Netherlands where she received a Master of Fine Arts. In 2017 she finalized her second Masters degree in Critical & Pedagogical Studies at the Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. Trinks has performed extensively at international venues, including: Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst [Leipzig, 2019]; 13 Festivalen [Gothenburg 2018]; Performance Site [The Hague 2017], New Performance Turku Festival [Finland 2015]; Amorph!14, performance art festival [Helsinki 2014]; Bienal Internacional de Curitiba [Brazil 2013]; Out of Site Chicago [2013]; FADO Performance Art Centre [Toronto 2013]. And since 2013 Trinks has been a returning performer at DFBRL8R. In the past three years Trinks has done research on performance art documentation, and wrote on performance art initiatives in the Netherlands as a contribution for the publication ‘Art Action 1998 – 2018’ by Le Lieu, centre en art actuel [Quebec City]. Trinks is since 2010 co-organiser of PAE (Performance Art Event) and works since 2008 in collaboration with the all-women performance troupe, TRICKSTER. 

ARC Gallery [www.arcgallery.org] is a non-profit organization with a mission to bring innovative, emerging and experimental visual art to a wide range of viewers, and to provide a nurturing atmosphere for the continued development of artistic potential and dialogue. A cooperative operated by a collective of women artists since 1973, ARC works to empower women and serves to raise public awareness surrounding community-based issues by presenting exhibitions, workshops, discussions, and programs by and for underserved populations.

Defibrillator Gallery [www.DFBRL8R.org] is an international platform for Performance Art known for bold and courageous programming that aims to provoke thought and stimulate discourse surrounding experimental time-based practices. DFBRL8R actively contributes to a global dialog surrounding conceptual, ephemeral, or enigmatic modes of expression – aiming to raise awareness, appreciation, and respect for the discipline of Performance Art. Based at Zhou B Art Center in Chicago’s historic Bridgeport neighborhood, DFBRL8R LTD is a 501c3 arts organization made possible with support from The Tanne Foundation Award; Reva and David Logan Foundation; Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust; Martha Strutters Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation; Zhou B Art Center; DFBRL8R Board of Directors; and generous contributions from our loving community.