Friday, February 12, 2016

"Atlantic Terminus": Jon Kinzel's residency at Invisible Dog

Jon Kinzel
(photo: Erica Freudenstein)

Out of the blustery night, I arrived at The Invisible Dog Art Center around 7:15 only to find the space behind its streetfront windows pitch-dark. Puzzled, I reached for the doorknob anyway. It yielded to me.

For some reason, I'd had the start time for Atlantic Terminus, Jon Kinzel's performance, as 7:30, not 7pm. Even so, as I peered around the ground-floor space, it looked as it nothing was shaking. A faint glow emanated from something on the floor, but where was the audience? Had I made the trip from Manhattan in vain?

As it turned out, people were standing in random spots around the space, but it was a while before Kinzel lit a small light revealing himself, guest artist Jodi Melnick and a smattering of watchers.  I felt much relieved to see them but dismayed that I'd clearly arrived late.

Some context:
Atlantic Terminus rests on the pretext of using Kinzel’s own belongings as a set. Evolving over two weeks, he will sustain an onsite multi-faceted studio practice in the gallery creating new work daily. He aims to disclose his particular history of making connections between visual art and performance since 1988. Invited guests, collaborations, and set and improvised performances will contribute to the process and over all installation. Integral to the show will be the task of cataloguing and exhibiting some of his 25+ years of works on paper: drawings that informed his shows at The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, Danspace Project, and Dixon Place among others. This will also serve to provide an unprecedented opportunity to share — a retrospective gesture — his ongoing interest in how kinesthetic and visceral sensibilities can be brought into engagement with visual thinking.

Kinzel is open-mined [sic] about ways in which a consensual relationship between audience and performer can allow both parties to engage in an atmosphere in which a very special “social” equilibrium is possible. He sees his work as collaboration between performer and audience, and as such there will always be unknown and uncontrollable elements, which provide a desirable tension to the experience on both sides.
That "open-mined" might be accurate. He's open to mining his journey and--with appropriate lighting--we could see evidence of an extensive engagement with paper and marking, including a table of supplies and tools in strict, neat arrangement. It was also nearly impossible, as an audience member, to wander about without coming into contact with drawings collaged on the floors or posted or stacked elsewhere. Much delicateness and vulnerability here in this open-mining.

Of course, for me, the performance was truncated. I only got to see both dancers vigorously swiping at taped-up drawings with wooden sticks as if whacking piñatas; Kinzel wriggling a long Mylar streamer in a kind of ribbon dance; Kinzel raising a charming paper cutout "sail" and moving a light around it; and Kinzel repairing to another part of the space to dance a bit of movement which, interestingly, made him look a bit like a charming paper cutout "sail." And, with perhaps no more than ten minutes of that, the performance was over.

Atlantic Terminus's remaining performances are tonight at 7pm and Saturday, February 13, at 7pm. Remember: 7pm, not 7:30! For information and tickets, click here.

The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen Street (between Smith and Court Streets), Brooklyn
(directions/map link)

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