what remains: chapter two

CHAP2_what remains

Yellow Underwear Relic: “Kiss My…” by Arianne Foks [@arianne.foks | www.ariannefoks.com]


Defibrillator Gallery proudly presents

What Remains: On the Sacred, the Lost, and the Forgotten Relics of Live Art



Massive in scale and 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 artists 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.

CHAPTER 2: MERGE | In this context Merge takes on many meanings. In the most literal sense, Doro Seror will be weaving together different textile relics into a new object. Merge also stands for the meeting of the past with the present – bringing new ideas to a relic that already has a history –  as we will experience with an installation by Peter Baren, installed by proxy. Merge is also to assimilate, mutate, and transform, as Esther Neff & Kaia Gilje exemplify by exploring the place between animating relics and embodying them. In one way or another, the works in this chapter bring things together.

What Remains is divided into FOUR CHAPTERS, each with a specific theme that features a suite of performance art events. CHAPTER 2: MERGE features a Guerrilla street action on February 12, a live installation on February 13, and two performance programs on February 15 beginning at ARC Gallery and ending in Bridgeport. Refreshments will be served.


WED 12 FEB | 12:12PM | Off-site Guerrilla Street Action > Location: NEAR WACKER + WABASH + 1PM Installation @ARC Gallery

THU 13 FEB | 12-6PM | Witness work being installed

SAT 15 FEB | 6-9PM | Performance Art Program

proxy* | when the artist isn’t able to be present, a local artist will produce the work.



SAT 15 FEB | 9:30PM PERFORMANCE ART SCHOOL BUS from ARC Gallery in West Town [1463 W Chicago] to Bridgeport for the What Remains Late Night Event. ONE WAY TRIP!

10-12PM | Off-site Late Night Program begins at JOHNNY O’s [35TH + MORGAN] then to ZHOU B ART CENTER LOWER LEVEL: 1029 W 35th Street. 

What Remains will take place from February 7th to the 28th, 2020 at Defibrillator’s former home in Noble Square – framing 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. 


**Artists are not aware of the context of the original performance in which the relic was used.

A_Marcel_horizontal_promo - Anna S.


A_Marcel [Boston b. Latvia] is a speculative conceptual artist. Their practice is transdisciplinary and draws from the vernacular of graphic design, critical and queer theory, playwriting, music videos, karaoke and performance art. A_Marcel’s work is a play of text and image, a pitting of the hyperreal and surreal, and a disorienting glitche of fact and fiction. Their work investigates migration, surveillance, borders and ritual, gender and labor. A_Marcel is a copy of a copy of a copy without an original.

PROJECT: On the Clock** | Reanimating the relic [a clock] A_Marcel’s project will be a 12 minute outdoor migratory dinner  held on February 12th at 12:12 p.m. Food to go, on the go, guests will gather for an improvisatory dinner of hotdogs. It will be an orienting score for when one is a migrant, a displaced citizen of one’s own world, a refugee from one’s own home, from one’s own body. The dinner will be the feed we need. The dinner, the supper, should not be our last, but the first of many; a dinner, a movement that brings us all together. Forever more. In love. In connection. In an everlasting hope and strength.

>>> PERFORMERS: Anthony Joel Quezada, Madison Alexander, John Thomure, Karley Marx, Kaylie Engel, Angeliki Chaido Tsoli, Esther Neff, Kaia Gilje, A_Marcel

Doro Seror, Zauberland, Sierra Madre Mexico, Photo by Doro Seror 2019.jpeg

Doro Seror, Zauberland, Sierra Madre Mexico, Photo by Doro Seror 2019

Doro Seror [Germany] is a multidisciplinary artist and has been with her art all over the world. For a respectful treatment of the environment, she recycles used materials and relics of performances into art. Doro is assisted by Sandra Meder.

>>> BRING UNWANTED CLOTHES OR TEXTILES for Doro to weave into her piece. Items with memorable histories are encouraged. The items will not be returned but, rather, woven into a work of art.

PROJECT: Joy of Weaving_What Remains (Working Title) | The bright blue pants of the performance Dressing The Future in my Humility by Joshua McGarvey from 2015 are 13 in number. Seror wants to cut them up and weave with the blue fabrice strips and interweave them with the black ribbons left from EXTENSIONS a performance by Stephanie Black-Daniels in 2016. For Seror weaving is sorting, to her the process of weaving is decelerating and mediative. By doing this Seror immerses herself in the haptics of the material and the essence of their history. For years Seror has been involved in the transformation of relics of ephemeral works into objects of memory. Dirty, used, destroyed and shattered material being transformed by recombining, mixing, stitching, stacking, lacing and merged into new pieces of art who have their own (his)story. The thrill is to mix relics of performances from different artists. Whose creation it will be then? The created objects are there to be used by everybody in interaction: Cones can be knocked over with balls, textile frisbies be thrown, carpets be used as targets and mandalas for meditation. 

Esther+Kaia, Photo by Karl Cooney

Esther+Kaia, Photo by Karl Cooney

Esther Neff [St. Louis] is the founder of PPL, an experimental philosophy think tank, flexible performance-making collective, and organizational entity. Kaia Gilje [St. Louis] has been part of PPL since 2014. Together, Neff and Gilje have performed across the USA and in London and Berlin, making “operas of operations,” with other collaborators, as well as duo performance art work. Their practices attempt to (dis)correlate embodied sensation and perception with socio-epistemic constructions, moving between localized moments of presence and “withdrawn” diagrammatic conceptualizations. This year (2020) they are performing through a project called PROTAGONY, dealing with subjectification/objectification and selving processes.

PROJECT: PROTAGONY: I am a broom who sweeps** | Kaia Gilje and Esther Neff work on wearing down the ridges of perception that divide inanimate objects from humxn (esp. afab) bodies. “Performance art” often deals with animation and the vibrancy or liveness of matter/materials, both from ancestral perspectives and from contemporary theoretical physics perspectives. This work approaches “What Remains”? As a question about what and who and how is “alive,” inquiring into the qualities of liveness and deadness, use and function, enlivening, and being enlivened by. Relics used in this performances are a bell & a pair of underwear, broom, chain, clock, clothes pints & eyelashes, green paintballs, ironing board & tiles, red folding chair, sharpener, and broken stones.

Eunjin Choi, Goya, Photo courtesy of the artist

Eunjin Choi, Goya, Photo courtesy of the artist

Eunjin Choi [Los Angeles b. South Korea] uses somatic movement and improvisational speech in her practice. She is also the founder and organizer of Monthly Performance, an alternative performance platform operating in S. Korea, which focuses on being an autonomous arts organization and on assisting local performance artists in sustaining their practices. In 2012, she received her MA in choreography from the Korea National University of Arts. She presented works at places such as PACT Zollverein – Atelier, Judson Church, ARKO Arts Theatre, and Nam June Paik Art Center. She has received grants from Arts Council Korea, LIG Arts Foundation, and Korea National Contemporary Dance Company.

PROJECT: Drinking Red | This performance is based on Turning Red piece, 2010, by artist Jaeuk Song using the relics red folding chair and a bottle of soju. According to the artist, the piece was made when he was trying to define performance art for himself. It was a durational performance that attempted to deal with performance visually. As he drank Soju, he tried to change the color of his body into red to match the color of his clothes that he was wearing and the chair that he sat on. He noted that the performance became something entirely different as he got drunk very quickly. He turned pale instead of turning red, and he became emotionally expressive and started yelling at the audience about how lonely he felt being an art object. His body resisted becoming the art object in the way he wanted. The body objectified itself by breaking his rules and formed a more genuine relationship with the audience. Choi proposes to perform a durational piece in which she invites the audience to play a drinking game with her.

John Thomure photo by Sarah Pramuk

John Thomure photo by Sarah Pramuk

John Thomure [Chicago] says,I was born in Milwaukee to a lawyer and an art teacher. Initially, training as a chef at an early age, I learned the beautiful process through which simple ingredients could inspire amazing moments of love and affection. When I left the restaurant, I was given Marco Pierre White’s biography “The Devil in the Kitchen” which to this day inspires me to remain a humble, dedicated artist who works to engage his audience and invite them to partake. Whether in my art, my work, or in my writing, I am always reaching out to and exhausting myself for my audience. Growing up I moved around and never felt connected to any particular house or location, but I felt such a deep connection with the people of communities who would embrace my family. Whether I was living with Cuban refugees in Madrid or hosting Laotian monks, acts of cultural exchange, communal kindness, and generosity molded me into the person I am today.”

PROJECT: Not My Monkeys, Not My Circus | Reanimating John G. Boehme’s inflatable clowns from the performance New Social Contract, 2015, Not My Monkeys, Not My Circus is a dedication to the now closed Johnnie O’s Deli & Liquor Store, which was a member of the Bridgeport for nearly fifty years. It has hosted many artists and audiences who attended DFBRL8R gallery. In keeping with the theme of What Remains, Thomure wants to draw your attention to this sacred relic and he invites you to join him for one final drink before the last call. Salude…

Jolanda Jansen, Paper Study #6a, Photo by Joacques Martens

Jolanda Jansen, Paper Study #6a, Photo by Joacques Martens

Jolanda Jansen [Netherlands] In her carefully constructed but direct performances and video installations, Jansen submits her body to various transformations, or rather deformations, to engage with the possibility of self-reinvention and release from cultural determinations. Her work often stages the passage from a sexualized female body to an animal-like corporeality as a way of challenging constraining definitions of self and of femininity. She strives to dis-organize and transform her own controlled body and engage with issues of voyeurism and gender power relations. 

PROJECT: Ignorance; To Shame or Not To Blame | Jansen’s words: “I regularly catch myself having been ignorant to the meaning that others connect to materials. In different cultures materials and objects are given different meanings; materials are loaded differently, socially and politically.” Jansen will work with Chun Hua Katherine Dong’s gold paper used in The Lost Twelve Years, 2015, as paper has been the basic materials in Jansen’s ongoing series Paper Study #. She noticed that in Dong’s performance the paper is clearly used in a different way as in her series. In Dong’s performance it is loaded with symbolism and meaning while the paper for Jansen in her own work is a material that can be shaped and we are invited to project different meanings on. In Ignorance; To Shame or Not To Blame Jansen wants to ask the question if ignorance is something to be ashamed about, or whether ignorance is something that leads to no blame?

Marval A Rex

Marval A Rex

Marval A Rex [Los Angeles] is a queer + precious force of nature. They are a cultural producer, performer and curator. Their performances and films elicit a contrasexual thirdspace and have international exposure. Rex will be assisted by Vicente Ugartechea [Chicago]

PROJECT: Complete Marval A Rex** |Marval A Rex becomes Marval A Fuck to find completion of a WORK OF ART that begins and ends with a mysterious set of underpants labelled “art”. Attached to the body of Marval A Fuck are tools to help complete the WORK OF ART, as Fuck wanders around the space at DFBRL8R. Everyone in the space and everyone who views documentation of any kind is a collaborator. 

Nora + Mána

Nora + Mána

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.

PeterBaren, Rapid Pulse Festival, Photo by Jeremy Sublewski 2016

PeterBaren, Rapid Pulse Festival, Photo by Jeremy Sublewski 2016

Peter Baren [Netherlands] studied painting at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam from 1972 to 1977. Since his first public performance in 1980 his work has been shown frequently in the Netherlands and around the world. “Baren’s multi sensory work finds a meeting ground between sensual bewilderment and operational suffering which points out the constructed nature of our ideas of cultural memory and our sometimes superficial notions of identity.” [Lance Blomgren]

PROJECT: STILL WAITING NO REQUIEM | For Baren STILL WAITING NO REQUIEM is an outstanding occasion to be able at the one hand to indulge and at the other hand to transfer his projects that never saw the light of day onto Marilyn Arsem’s table, chair, and four dried flowers used in her performance still. waiting in Rapid Pulse 2015.

Renan Marcondes, THE LARGEST MUSEUM IN THE WORLD, Photos by Jansen Cardoso 2019

Renan Marcondes, THE LARGEST MUSEUM IN THE WORLD, Photos by Jansen Cardoso 2019

Renan Marcondes [Germany b. Brazil] is a visual artist, performer and researcher. His work articulates choreography, sculpture and theoretical research to create pathetic situations to think about the genealogy of performance art. His main projects include Human Proximity Protectors (MAJ SESC award, Paço das Artes Season of Projects; 43rd SARP prize) and How a tortoise killed a jaguar and made a harmonica of one of his bones (ProAc 2015, sp arte performance award) and INVISIBLE PROJECT (in process). Most recent solo shows: Against Body (Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade), What does the body shelter (CAAA, Portugal, 2017) and Deep Fake (Adelina Institute, 2018). 

PROJECT: Point-blank | Responding to the remains of a work by Victor de la Rocque called The Amazônia Is Not Here performed as part of Rapid Pulse 2015, Point-blank is an invitation to eat Brazilian ashes and keep our remains within the audience’s body. The ashes are the remains from de la Rocque’s banner holding the text: The Amazônia Is Not Here and a paint stained shirt.

Kristin McWharter

Kristin McWharter

Kristin McWharter [Chicago] is an artist whose practice uses multidisciplinary approaches to interrogate the relationship between competition and intimacy. She often integrates novel technologies and unexpected material forms to conjoin viewers within immersive sculptural installations and viewer- inclusive performances. Her work imagines new and alternative forms of social behaviors and relationships. Inspired by 20th century sorts and competition narratives as well as social/ psychology research concerning “the self”, collective decision making, and technology as a contemporary spiritual authority. 

PROJECT: SOLO** | SOLO is a performance that deconstructs the rhetoric of hype and sports narrative through an unworldly game of beer pong. An amateur athlete whose behavior and mannerism fuses abstract movement practices and macho athleticism attempts to throw a ping pong ball into a single solo cup. Motivational rhetoric propels the audience into an uncanny valley of pity and admiration where the narrative arcs of competition and ‘winner takes all’ mentality are twisted, contorted, and thrashed throughout the space. The relic McWharter selected is a pile of reflective gold mylar.


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 over 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] | Nicole Goodwin [New York] | 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: Activating an Archive


  • 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 


  • 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.