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Defibrillator Gallery + Zhou B Art Center proudly present

web bestUpheavals

Performance art by

Sami Hussain Ismat | Elana Katz | Patricia Nguyen

SUN 29 SEP | 6PM | Main Floor

Zhou B Art Center | 1029 W 35TH ST | CHICAGO | FREE!

The artists in this program have in common the fact that their lives and practices have been impacted by large scale traumatic events. This performance art showcase is part of a larger project called In The Other Room featuring exhibitions, performances, and discourse with Berlin-based American-born, Elana Katz who is in Chicago through our three-week Performance Artist In Residence Program. During her time in Chicago, Katz will present two new works of performance art; screen the performance film Running on Empty; and gather people together for discourse surrounding the body, landscape, and society in relationship to trauma.

b i o g r a p h i e s

Sami Ismat photo by Jackie Rivas

Sami Ismat photo by Jackie Rivas

Sami Hussain Ismat [www.instagram.com/sami8ismat] is a performance-maker, director and teaching artist whose work takes interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary forms. His work often approaches subject matters such as the Syrian crisis, violence, war, asylum, exile, Arab identity and perception of Muslims. Conceiving credits include: Picnic Summit (Collaboraction’s Encounter), Ghosts of Freedom (Greenhouse Theatre: Trellis Residency), Frivolous Future (Art Institute of Chicago: Associates Night), Finding a Loving Motherland (Collaboraction’s Peacebook), Real News: Human Trash (Pop Magic Productions and Nasty Brutish & Short at Links Hall). Collaborations include: In Progress: New Normal a project by Jonas Becker (MCA Chicago), Atlas Unlimited a project by Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne (Logan Center Exhibitions),  On a Shore Rested a Body with Armin Hayrapetian and Divyamaan Sahoo (New Blood at Links Hall). Select directing credits include: Uzbek, Pureland (Silk Road Rising: staged readings), Mihbaj (Theatre Royal Stratford East, London). Select performing credits include: 16-1546 Living Coral (GP01) by David Levine (MCA Chicago), Atlas Unlimited: Entr’acte by Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne (Graham Foundation), and The Locketeer by Catherine Sullivan (Trap Door Theatre). As a teaching artist Sami taught with Northlight Theatre, and at Stevenson High School, and is currently a teaching assistant at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago besides leading workshops & artists talks at Harvard University and Columbia College Chicago. Sami also previously worked as assistant director at the Goodman Theater and Trap Door Theatre. Sami is currently pursuing a studio practice MFA in Performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sami is a proud alum of the Sojourn Summer Institute and the Directors Lab of Chicago, and holds an MFA in Directing from East 15 Acting School, UK as a Said Foundation Scholar. Sami is originally from Damascus, Syria.

Elana Katz, [F]acts of Violence 2019, Photo by Kojo

Elana Katz, [F]acts of Violence 2019, Photo by Kojo

Elana Katz [www.elanakatz.eu] is a conceptual artist working primarily in the medium of performance art. Katz’s work confronts cultural conventions, critically examines the complexity that lies within contradictions, and thus aims to create an experience of unlearning the assumed. Her work concerning memory culture and instances of historical erasure in the Balkans, Spaced Memory (2011- 2018), has been realized in Romania, Moldova, and the region of former Yugoslavia, in cooperation with, among other supporters, the Goethe Institute of Bucharest and the Trust for Mutual Understanding of New York. Katz has exhibited/ performed at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium (2011), Diehl CUBE Berlin (2013), P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York (2013), DNA Berlin (2015), ROCKELMANN& Berlin (2016, 17, 18) and KWADRAT Berlin (2017,18,19). She studied in New York at the Parsons School of Design and earned a Meisterschülerin title from the Berlin University of the Arts (Class of Katharina Sieverding). Katz has been based in Berlin since 2008 and is represented by gallery KWADRAT.

Patricia Nguyen | In Progress, 2019 | photo by Nathan Keay | © MCA Chicago

Patricia Nguyen | In Progress, 2019 | photo by Nathan Keay | © MCA Chicago

Patricia Nguyen [www.patricianguyen.info] is an artist, educator, and scholar born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Asian American Studies at Northwestern University, where she received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies. She is also a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans. Her research and performance work examines critical refugee studies, political economy, forced migration, oral histories, inherited trauma, torture, and nation building in the United States and Vietnam. She has published work in Women Studies Quarterly, Harvard Kennedy School’s Asian American Policy Review, and The Methuen Drama Anthology of Modern Asian Plays edited by Siyuan Liu and Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. Patricia has over 15 years experience working in arts education, community development, and human rights in the United States and Vietnam. She has facilitated trainings and workshops with The Fulbright Program, American Center at the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, Jane Addams Hull House, Christina Noble Foundation, Social Workers Association in Vietnam, Vietnamese American Young Leadership Association in New Orleans (VAYLA‐NO), Asian Human Services, and 96 Acres on issues ranging from forced migration, mental health, youth empowerment, and language access. As a performance artist, she has performed at the Nha San Collective in Vietnam, Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, Jane Addams Hull House, Oberlin College, Northwestern University, University of Massachusetts Boston, Links Hall, Prague Quadrennial, Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Chile, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. She is co-founder and executive director of Axis Lab, a community centered art, food, and design studio based in Uptown, Chicago that focuses on inclusive and equitable development for the Southeast Asian community.

Spend time with the related exhibition on the Lower Level

In the Other Room: Visual art exhibition featuring the performance film Running on Empty and relics of the performance I Want to Give You Flowers But As a Matter of Precaution I Cut Off Both My Hands by Elana Katz + Drew Exildiscount, concept by Elana Katz + Philip Kojo Metz.

Gallery Hours: MON>FRI | 10AM>5PM | Closing FRI 11 OCT

Defibrillator Gallery [DFBRL8R.org]  is an international platform for Performance Art known for bold and courageous programming that aims to provoke thought and stimulate discourse surrounding genre defying 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.

The production of Running on Empty was sponsored by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, New York, and realized in cooperation with REX Cultural Center of Belgrade and DFBRL8R Performance Art Gallery of Chicago.

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