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The Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards is a ten-year program undertaken by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Creative Capital, to empower, invest in and celebrate artists by offering flexible, multi-year funding as a response to financial and funding challenges both unique to the performing arts and to each grantee. Launched in 2011, the Awards program supported individual artists in contemporary dance, theatre, jazz and related interdisciplinary work.
The Awards program is part of the larger Doris Duke Performing Artists Initiative—a commitment on the part of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to recognize the potential of individual artists and insure their future viability, in the core fields of the performing arts supported by Doris Duke during her lifetime. Through the Performing Artists Initiative, the foundation’s Building Demand for the Arts program also supports at least 50 partnerships between artists and dance companies, theaters, presenting organizations, and/or select service organizations. Creative Capital maintains administrative, fiscal, and legal oversight of the Awards program. The Building Demand component of the Initiative is administered by the Arts Program at Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
The core of my practice lies at the intersection of formal artifice and real life.
My work explores the emotional power of inanimate objects and puppets as bridges between the spoken and the mute, the live and the not so alive. The visual language of the performances and films suggests elliptical narratives and investigates issues of memory, loss, fear, mortality, power, transience, and the body. I work both conceptually and intuitively, often compelled by an image, an idea, a sound, a newspaper article, history, or a cultural artifact.
Puppets are the perfect vehicles for this investigation: they can be uncanny, confusing, durable, disposable, malleable, duplicitous, beautiful, ugly, scary, sublime, transcendent, or ambiguous. Using a spiral structure, a hieroglyphic visual/movement vocabulary, and merging projection with object performance, meaning is constructed through association; truth is elusive, and the questions are often between the layers.
Our March residency hosted artists Janie Geiser, Cassia Streb, and John Eagle, as they explored their new collaborative work SOUND HOUSE / Everyone is Working.
SOUND HOUSE is an activated performance/installation centered on a series of tasks that shape the sound in the room. The tasks, based sets of instructions, are enacted by a group of sixadditional artist/performers manipulating objects, controllers, walls, and performed wooden figures/puppets. Their tasks are specific and interdependent and emerge from our interest in several areas:bricklaying/construction, sound generation, the history of the Minuteman Missile project, time and its measurement, and object/task performance (the performance of the real).
Grand Lady Dance House/Jennie Liu and Andrew Gilbert will be in residence at The Mistake Room Gallery in Los Angeles April 9-30, 2016 with HOUSE MUSIC, a new project in development that was last seen as a work-in-progress at the 2015 LAX Festival.
The Mistake Room will launch a new initiative committed to supporting performance and body-based practices through research, residencies, and exhibitions. Conceived by Samara Kaplan, The Mistake Room’s Curator of Performance, Film, and Discursive Programs, this new focus within the organization’s broader curatorial program aims to explore performance as an intricate composite of processes and interactions rather than solely as a time-based object.
To launch this new initiative, performers Jennie Liu and Andrew Gilbert will transform The Mistake Room’s main gallery into an artist studio, ceremony space, and performance venue. Over the duration of three weeks, during regular operating hours, Liu and Gilbert will periodically use the space to rehearse, ritualize and share their daily performance practice. Ethically and structurally informed by their ongoing study of the highly disciplined Urasenke tradition of Japanese tea ceremony, the artists’ practice is rooted in modes of shared learning of music pieces and choreographies both by peers and artists throughout history.
Within the space visitors will encounter a large-scale house-like structure custom built by designer Shannon Scrofano, informed by attributes of traditional Japanese tea houses. For the final two weeks of the project, Liu and Gilbert will invite up to sixteen guests inside this structure to witness and participate in an original ceremony. Part electronic dance music recital, part travelogue of a creative journey, part biography of an artist relationship, guests will be absorbed into an elaborately coded system of interactions, designed to explore the idea that only within constraints lies the truest freedom.
This project takes the residency model as a point of departure, approaching performance as a long-term multifaceted practice. In dismantling the hierarchy of performance-as-product, this project proposes a new way to exhibit research as art, facilitating an exchange of ideas around process. In a climate that encourages us to produce more things more quickly than ever, HOUSE MUSIC: A Residency forces us to slow down and consider the many aspects of long-term practices, rituals, and relationships that make them truly meaningful.
HOUSE MUSIC: A Residency is organized by The Mistake Room and curated by Samara Kaplan, TMR Curator of Performance, Film, and Discursive Programs.
Thurs. April 21: 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm | Fri. April 22: 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm | Sat. April 23: 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm
Thurs. April 28: 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm | Fri. April 29: 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm | Sat. April 30: 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm
CLOSING RECEPTION: Sat. April 30, 2016, 3-6pm
To attend a performance, please RSVP to: email@example.com.
Please note that in addition to performances, The Mistake Room will be open during regular hours, Wed. – Sat., 11am-6pm.
The second artist to participate in our residency with Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA was Jennie Liu and her Grand Lady Dance House. We are thrilled to continue our work with these artists, following up on Actress Fury at the 2014 LAX Festival, and House Music, which is slated to premiere this Fall.
Grand Lady Dance House begins a new work set on a grand stage. Tropes-as-material include long hair, theatrical curtains, memories of Tanztheater Wuppertal, kimonos, white men, white women, and the choreographic history of the diagonal.
Jennie Liu has made performances with a close, evolving group of performers and designers since 2005. Her last work Actress Fury was presented in development at REDCAT, premiered at the Bushwick Starr in February 2014, and was co-presented by Show Box LA at the Live Arts Exchange festival. Her work has been been presented at venues including the former Dance Theater Workshop, HERE Arts Center, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Incubator Arts Center, and the Prelude Festival at the Segal Center for the Performing Arts. She has been awarded residencies from the Bogliasco Foundation, Yaddo Arts Colony, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), and the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. She was a Lead Artist on Soul Leaves her Body, which won a grant from the Multi-Arts Project Fund in 2010. Liu received her BFA at the Experimental Theater Wing at New York University, and her MFA in Dance at Hollins University/American Dance Festival. As a performer Liu has worked with Big Dance Theater, Faye Driscoll Dance Group, Witness Relocation Company, Cathy Weis Projects and LA-based experimental theater company Poor Dog Group.