Mar 22nd 2013

The spring programming series Knocking on Doors, Waking Sleeping Dogs will begin Friday, March 22 at 6pm with a performance of The Reading Score by Millie Kapp, and the presentation of Cleanings, the first of four videos by John Henderson to be shown over the course of the program series. This series is organized by Samantha Topol.

The Reading Score invites fifteen readers to enact a dance of sitting, laying, and standing as prompted by their encounter with the word “being” in the essay Being Singular Plural by Jean-Luc Nancy. The dancers/readers’ shifting postures create a choreography of relationality and withness—two ideas explored in Nancy’s essay as central to what he calls our “being-in-common.” The changing positions, and the entirely personal pace at which they occur, literalizes the readers’ plurality, and enacts their common multiplicity. In connection with this series’ explorations, this shifting is also an analog signal of the invisible labor of reading and comprehension. The score will take as long as the readers/dancers need to complete Being Singular Plural in the hopes of exposing the singular labor of each reader in their encounter with “being.”

In Cleanings (2010), John Henderson turns a routine studio chore into a kind of choreography, conflating the less glamorous labor of cleaning with the gestures of painting, and metaphorically, the dance of creating a work of art. This 6-minute, fixed point of view piece takes a cue from the spare, deadpan studio films of Bruce Nauman, and posits a tongue-in-cheek reference to the gestural floor painting of Abstraction Expressionist granddaddy Jackson Pollock. Cleanings will be on view throughout the evening in the eflux library, and is the first of four videos by Henderson dealing with studio labor that will be shown on each of the four nights of the series.


The Reading Score was conceived by Millie Kapp with the generous help from her performance collaborators, Annie Maurer and Matthew Shalzi. Kapp is a New York–based artist and an MA candidate in the Performance Studies department at Tisch School of the Arts. She received her BA in 2010 from SAIC and is a member of the performance collective, Husband. Kapp comes to the field of Performance Studies through her performance work, and aims to blur the lines between writing and practice, theory and play. Kapp’s past performances have been presented in Chicago at Links Hall, Alderman Exhibitions, and Roxaboxen and in New York at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center and Dixon Place. She has held residencies at Vermont Studio Center and the Chicago Cultural Center and is currently working on a performance with Husband for the spring at The Woods in NY.

John Henderson lives and works in Chicago. Henderson received his MFA from Northwestern University in 2009 and earned his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Recent solo projects include exhibitions at Peep-Hole in Milan, Italy and Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong (both 2013). Henderson’s work has been featured in publications such as Flash Art, Mousse Magazine, and Artforum.

Future program dates:

March 27: Monika Szewczyk speaks about “the blank,” with a screening of Commute by John Henderson

April 24: lecture with Geiger counter by Benjamin Pearson; new work by Michaela Murphy; and No Title by John Henderson

May 22: Tim Nickodemus and Mike Gibisser invoke Alvin Lucier; viewing of the final John Henderson video, Rehersal

Image credit: Noah Furman, A.A., 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 8 x 10 in.

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