Sunflowers for Zvenigora | Performances
FRI 6 MAY – SUN 8 MAY | 2022
Performances take place on FRI 06 + SAT 07 MAY AT 8PM and during the fair from 1-7pm on SUN 08 MAY followed by a screening of the silent film Zvenigora with a live original score by Nika Kostyuk. The performances are free but donations are encouraged with proceeds going to Longo-Mai Co-Op and International Rescue Committee to help those displaced by the war in Ukraine.
featuring live performances by Roberto Sifuentes & Aram Han Sifuentes + Wannapa P-Eubanks + nunn + Gage Sixkiller + John Thomure + Nika Kostyuk + Maya Nguyen & Polina S. + Pegah Pasalar
Roberto Sifuentes [www.robertosifuentes.tumblr.com] Roberto is an interdisciplinary performance artist. His work fuses highly charged cultural issues with a wild pop culture aesthetic. From homeland security to extreme reality television – from video games to military training – from fetishism to evangelism – Sifuentes creates interactive performance installations where his personas wind their way through psycho/sexual/political/ universes. The result is a cinematic style that uses satire, humor, and spectacle to peel away the viewer’s protective layers and reveal society’s desires, fears and obsessions. A founding member of the performance group La Pocha Nostra, Sifuentes has collaborated and performed with Guillermo Gómez-Peña and other Pocha Nostra artists throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America. Sifuentes is currently a Professor of Performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Aram Han Sifuentes (www.aramhansifuentes.com) is a fiber and social practice artist, writer, and educator who works to center immigrant and disenfranchised communities. Her work often revolves around skill sharing, specifically sewing techniques, to create multiethnic and intergenerational sewing circles, which become a place for empowerment, subversion, and protest. Han Sifuentes earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been a recipient of a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Map Fund, Asian Cultural Council’s Individual Fellowship, 3Arts Award, and 3Arts Next Level/Spare Room Award. Her project, Protest Banner Lending Library, was a finalist for the Beazley Design Awards at the Design Museum in London in 2016.
nunn [www.instagram.com/nunnband] is the experimental electronic project of long-time collaborators Rachel Maudlin and Liv Mershon. The duo started playing music together in 2014 in Bloomington, IN, releasing music in noisy projects such as Double Mastectomy, Nyx’d, and Lech. Since moving to Chicago, Liv and Rachel are elated to put their little flavor of weirdness out into the world again. Mershon began the project in Summer 2021 with former vocalist Caitlin Minor whose presence was an integral part of the project’s aesthetic and message. The duo seeks to voice internalized pain through visceral exorcisms of shame. Sonically, the work is influenced by ASMR more-so than the music genre of “harsh noise.”
Gage Sixkiller [www.instagram.com/_theycon_] Gage is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and currently resides on the unceded homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations (Chicago, IL.) They are a conceptual artist and cultural producer who works in the mediums of painting, sculpture, installation, and durational performance. Their work confronts social convention through gender exploration and confrontation, critical examination of color and space, and a journey of self discovery and experience through creation.
John Thomure is a trans disciplinary artist currently based in Chicago. His work is based around the mantra: do more with less. Thomure’s performances center around using absurdity, improvisation, and collaboration to reanimate the histories embedded in the banal, in the cheap, in the idiotic. Despite the unassuming presentation of Thomure’s work, it always defies expectation.
Wannapa Pimtong-Eubanks [www.wannapa12.wixsite.com/wannapap-eubanks] is a *Butoh Artist, choreographer, movement coach, and actor. Her work is also including as a butoh inspired dance performer who creates movement based interactive performances. Her work often stems from a personal experience or a specific memory that grows into a poetic image that she imbues with the memory of the moment.
Pegah Pasalar [www.pegahpslr.com] is an Iranian interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker currently based in Chicago. Her autoethnographic practice explores motifs such as identity convulsion, cultural memory, fragmentation, and displacement. She is a full-merit scholarship awardee at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she holds her MFA with a focus on film and video. She is a recipient of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs grant and has received fellowships such as the Kala Media residency Award, Bemis, Yaddo, and Banff. She has shown her works in multiple national and international festivals and venues such as Athens International Film and Video Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de Buenos Aires (FIDBA), Austria International Film Festival, Onion City Film Festival, Ecra, and more.
Maya Nguyen [www.waveformssaicsound.net/maya-nguyen] is a Vietnamese-Russian interdisciplinary artist. Her work engages power relations inherent in human interaction and the environments that facilitate these interactions, such as border zones, the domestic sphere, and the colonial subject. She is currently an MFA candidate in Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Alexander Dozhenko [1894-1956] was a Ukrainian motion picture writer and director often cited as one of the most important early Soviet filmmakers and a pioneer of Soviet montage theory. He avoided military service during World War I because of a heart condition, but during the Civil War he served a year in the Red Army. Emotional intensity and mystical symbolism often took precedence over narrative structure in his films, many of which concerned the Russian Civil War (1918–20) and the collectivization period (late 1920s to early ’30s). Born to Ukrainian peasants, Dovzhenko graduated from teachers college and became a political cartoonist for a Ukrainian newspaper. He also studied painting under German Expressionist Erich Heckel. He began his film career in 1926, making his directorial debut with the short subject Yagodki lyubvi (“The Fruits of Love”). Zvenigora (1928), his first important film, is a lyrical history of the Ukrainian people from their Viking origins to the Russian Revolution, chronicling Ukraine’s tumultuous transformation from a pastoral, traditional, society into a modern communist state. His film Earth has been praised as one of the greatest silent movies ever made.
SITE/less [siteless.org] is a guerilla storefront located at 1250 W Augusta Blvd, an edge site with ancillary relationships to a variety of urban crossroads and infrastructures. Overseen by Zephyr artistic director Michelle Kranicke and architect David Sundry, the space is 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. One focus of SITE/less is to develop a space that is, in itself, performative and to make use of an architectural approach that serves to stage a program of expressed activities while, at the same time, employing a structure that is open to unplanned social interactions and chance events.
Defibrillator Gallery [DFBRL8R.org | founded 2010] is one of only a handful of organizations worldwide with a focus specifically on Performance Art. Recognizing a demand for spaces that adeptly present time and body-based visual art, founder and director Joseph Ravens created an international platform known for bold and courageous programming that aims to provoke thought and stimulate discourse surrounding experimental time-based practices. DFBRL8R is dedicated to cultivating emerging artists while broadening Chicago arts discourse through the presentation of professional contemporary artists of exceptional calibre from around the world. Actively contributing to global dialogues surrounding conceptual, ephemeral, or immaterial expressive forms, DFBRL8R exhibitions ask visitors and participants to reconsider what art is and what art may still become. Energetically building and bridging local and global communities while fostering discourse, DFBRL8R raises awareness, appreciation, and respect for the medium of performance art.