Defibrillator Gallery + Zhou B Art Center proudly present
Bubbly Creek Performance Art Assembly
A Festival Celebrating the Bridgeport Neighborhood
June 13-16 | 2019
Featuring Live Art by
Santina Amato | Jessica Elaine Blinkhorn | Óscar González-Díaz | Carlos Salazar Lermont | Giulia Mattera | Smeza+Keegan | Diana Soria | Nicolina Stylianou | ieke Trinks
DAY 1 | THU 13 JUN | 7-9PM | cross-pollination: Community Partnering | Co Prosperity Sphere | 3219 S Morgan Street | Chicago IL 60608
DAY 2 | SAT 15 JUN | 5-9PM | in_visible: In Situ Performances around Bridgeport | Guerrilla-style: Follow instagram for times+locations: @DFBRL8R
DAY 3 | SUN 16 JUN | 7-9PM | inner.action : Live Art Event | Zhou B Art Center | 1029 W 35TH ST
FRI3RD | FRI 21 JUN | 7-10PM | [re]action: Visual Art Opening | Zhou B Art Center | Lower Level Gallery Hours: M>F 10AM-5PM | MON 24 JUN – FRI 12 JUL
All events are FREE!
This project celebrates the Bridgeport neighborhood and is an homage to Chicago’s rich labor history and how it relates to and influences the local art community. Bubbly Creek is a part of the Chicago river that forms the western border of Bridgeport. It derives this nickname from gases bubbling out of the riverbed from decomposing animal waste dumped into the river a century ago by the Union Stockyards. It still bubbles to this day. Brought to notoriety by Upton Sinclair in his exposé on the American meat packing industry, The Jungle, the contaminated river is a revolting reminder of the harshness of industrial capitalism, exploitation of [often immigrant] labor, and disproportionate concentrations of wealth in America. From the Haymarket Affair in 1886 to the Pullman railroad strike in 1894, labor issues were at the forefront of late 20th century social concerns and are [obviously] still relevant today.
An accompanying visual art exhibition will open on June 21st at Zhou B Art Center as part of their popular monthly FRI3RD event featuring exhibitions and open studios throughout the impressive five-story converted warehouse.
Statement by Director, Joseph Ravens:
“When I first heard the nickname “Bubbly Creek” I thought it was cute…so effervescent! Then I learned how this nickname came to be [rotting flesh and chemicals] and was both disgusted and delighted. Rooted in and inspired by locality, Bubbly Creek Performance Art Assembly draws a parallel between the river’s oxymoronic epithet and the perception and experience of performance art: visceral, contradictory, strange…yet [ultimately] fascinating. Bridgeport is a proud working class neighborhood. Carl Sandburg’s poem, “Chicago” coined the term, “City of the Broad Shoulders,” referencing strength and fortitude and the idea that Chicagoans could take on any difficult or demanding obstacle. I believe these qualities not only define citizens of Bridgeport but also the greater art community throughout Chicago. Appreciation for labor is further exemplified by practitioners of Performance Art who, working in an ephemeral and non-commodifiable medium, tend to value [by choice or by circumstance] process [labor] over product [wage], thereby challenging value-driven art production and the entire capitalist system. These are the associations and inspirations behind our three day festival.”
b i o g r a p h i e s
Santina Amato [www.santinaamato.com] is a multimedia artist whose work addresses the notion of the intimate body, especially the female body. Her practice incorporates video, sculpture, installation, painting and photography and is deeply rooted in psychoanalytic thinking and feminist theory, attempting to translate the complexities of her own female sexuality, desire, and erotica within a patriarchal system. As a material focus, her interest in using bread dough within an interdisciplinary artistic dialogue, is its life cycle. Once activated by warm water and sugar, yeast cells split and divide in a process reminiscent of when an egg is fertilized by sperm. There is a peak moment when dough is voluptuous, full, and ripe just before it begins to ‘die’.
Amato was born in Australia to Italian immigrants, and has lived and worked in the USA since 2010. She received an MFA (Photography) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2017) and a BFA (Painting) from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne Australia (2009). Her first solo exhibition in the USA titled Monster, was supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA), Individual Artist Support Project Grant and exhibited at Heaven Gallery in Chicago, IL. In 2019, Amato will be working on creating new portraits in her ongoing series Portraits of Women With Their Weight in Dough supported by the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE), 2019 Individual Artists Program (IAP) Grant.
Exhibitions and screenings include The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Here Arts Center, NYC, Governors Island Art Fair, NYC, Leroy Neiman Center, Chicago, IL, ExFest Film & Video Festival, Chicago, IL, Detroit International Videonale, Kuntshalle Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, MI, CURRENTS, Santa Fe International New Media Art Festival, NM, Brooklyn Public TV, NY, and The International Women’s Day Video Screening in Melbourne, Australia.
Amato has held positions as Fellow and Artist-in-Residence at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA supported by the City of Chicago DCASE, 2018 IAP Grant, Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN, Process Park, Artslant & Chashama, Pine Plains, NY, Filed/Work Program, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL, Artists’ Cooperative Residency & Exhibitions (ACRE), Steuben, WI, Artspace Visual Arts Center, Sydney, Australia, New York Art Residency and Studios Foundation, NYC and BRIC Media Arts House, NYC. Amato is Founder and Director of Moving_Image_00:00, a biannual festival in Chicago of moving image works created by Chicago-based artists. Her work is part of a collective photographic portfolio at The Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection and The Art Institute of Chicago and video collection at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia.
Jessica Elaine Blinkhorn [www.instagram.com/jessielaine79] is a visual artist and performance artist based out of Atlanta, GA. She is a full-time instructor in the Fine Arts for Georgia State University and Perimeter Colleges. She has performed throughout Atlanta, in Chicago’s Rapid Pulse Performance Festival, the Inverse Performance Festival in Fayetteville, AR, and, most recently Art in Odd Places in New York. Her work has been hailed “abrasively insightful,” “an educational exploration,” and “satirical sadism.” Jessica says about her work: “I am an Artist whose work is dedicated to the evocation of social empathy and advocacy for individuals who are living within the disabled and LGBTQ+ communities. My visual works are largely figurative and focus on accenting the beauty often forgotten in imperfection. I also employee the use of surrogates and symbols to contextualize my work. Oftentimes I will create an image and deliberately defile and isolate the form to build a narrative that discusses the objectification of individuals from these communities. This, in turns, forces the viewer into questioning their initial perceptions and judgement toward individuals who are seen as different. My sole purpose as an artist is to eradicate ignorance through beautiful forms. My performances are situated around routines common to individuals living with disabilities, as well as the perceived differences between the able-bodied and the disabled. I allow those watching to participate and subsequently educate themselves. Using my form as a training tool, I hope to change their reaction when facing difference in the future.”
Óscar González-Díaz [www.oscar-gonzalezdiaz.com] (US/MX) earned an MFA (2017) in Fiber and Material Studies from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Philosophy and Linguistics from The University of Texas at El Paso. He has exhibited in the USA, Mexico, Germany and S. Korea. He lives in Chicago, IL., enjoys discussions about wallpapers and occasional displays of human kindness. Óscar says about his practice, “The work I make arises from social systems and their relationship to content: quick shelter cement for refugees, plexiglas used in forensic studies, poplar and paint in American houses, bureaucratic forms used in asylum granting, etc. My work questions the way in which governments have self-exiled immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees in societies that remove all agency from the people, moving decision making away from them in relationship to their freedom, ability to negotiate social upheaval and creating a situation for them to reconsider their employment, religion and family under the framework of ‘politics’.”
Carlos Salazar Lermont [www.carloszamuro.blogspot.com] earned a BFA in Sculpture from UNEARTE (2012); a Technical High School degree on Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from the Escuela de Artes Visuales Cristóbal Rojas (2005); and is a candidate for the Dual MA program in Arts Administration & Policy and Modern and Contemporary Art History in the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) with the support of the New Artists Society scholarship. In 2013, Carlos was distinguished with and Honourable Mention in the XVI Jóvenes con FIA Salon and in 2014 with the Salón Jóvenes con FIA 2.0/3 Prize. He received an Honorable Mention for curating Desafío al Poder, framed in the International Contemporary Art Biennial of Los Andes. Salazar Lermont has shown work in several international events including Experiencias de la Carne (Lima y Trujilo, Perú, 2015); Soap Box Sessions (London, United Kingdom, 2015); PAEkort #14 (Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2014); Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival (Chicago, United States, 2013), TRAMPOLIM_plataforma do encontro con a arte de performance (Vitoria, Brazil, 2011); NADAQUEVER (Argentina, 2011); HORASperdidas (Monterrey, México, 2010); and Performar (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 2009). Among the national performance art events in Venesuela (his country of origin) are ID performance, Encuentro de Arte Corporal, Velada de Santa Lucía, Fugaz: Feria de Performance del Estado Lara, NOMASDECINCO, PerfoChoroní, and many others. In 2014, Carlos started the P3 Plataforma Para Performance organization, to impulse the creation, dissemination, research and education related to Performance Art. In 2015 he created the International Performance Art Biennial of Caracas. At SAIC Lermont was awarded with the Student Leadership Award, the Enrichment Fund Grant, and the Graduate Curatorial Fellowship. His practice adheres to the following objectives:
1. Use as few elements as possible.
2. Performativity based on concrete actions.
3. Addressing Venezuela’s historical circumstances by deconstructing the social, political and economic.
4. Paradoxes of economic value, shown through everyday social dynamics.
5. Subverting the burden of Catholicism’s self-sacrifice and martyrdom culture.
6. The awareness of our own death, as a path to make sense out of existence.
Giulia Mattera [www.giuliamattera.com] is an Italian performance artist based in London. Her research based practice explores ecology, gender, everyday life and its social structured mindsets. She says of her work: “I consider performance art as a means to change our perspective on the world, a moment of highlighted consciousness that creates the inner space for a change. With a strong visual focus, my practice revolves around daily life and social structures as ritualised behaviours. Through the exploration of natural elements via the body, I set myself tasks that deal with failure and challenge the preconceptions of body-mind limitations. I am interested in the use of repetition as a tool to erase pre-constructed meanings and discover new possible uses/purposes.”
Smeza+Keegan [www.keegansmeza.com] are a LatinX and Trans performance art duo from Southern California. They are both graduates of The Theatre School at DePaul University and utilize a creative practice that blends elements of experimental theatre, performance art, comedy, and athletics in order to facilitate self expression as a form of healing. By curating unique events they encourage audience members of different cultures, backgrounds, and communities to open their minds and allow creativity to flourish. With their roots being in LA’s alternative comedy scene and their craft growing in Chicago’s performance art community, Smeza/Keegan tell the stories of Latinx and Trans people in an authentic and empowering way to help normalize their identities and further the narratives of storytelling from their own traumas and marginalization.
Diana Soria [www.dianasoria.net] [b. Mexico 1983] is an independent artist focused on the exploration of visual and corporeal language mainly through performance art but also by using video, live installations, printmaking and drawing. She earned her BA in Fine Arts at La Esmeralda in Mexico; an MFA in Printmaking by the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki; and is pursuing an MA in Live Art and Performance Studies at the Theater Academy at the University of the Arts, Helsinki. Her work has been shown internationally in exhibitions and festivals in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Spain, Cyprus, England, Mexico, Colombia, Thailand, and China. Soria’s practice includes self-organised events as an effort to contextualize and expand views of Latin America in Finland. In 2017 she founded PROYECTO ANALCO as a continuation of this process. Currently she lives and works in Finland and Mexico. She has received working grants by Finnish Cultural Foundation (2018) and from Kone Foundation (2016).
Nicolina Stylianou [www.nicolinastylianou.com] is a visual performance artist and curator who has been showcased in different performance art festivals, group exhibitions, and residencies since 2013. She is the founder and the main curator at SENSORIUM SPACE, which hosts international and national, established and emerging artists, thinkers, and researchers. With a BA background in Art and Design, Nicolina is currently pursuing her MA degree in Live Arts and Performance Studies at the University of the Arts Helsinki. She has actively participated in performance festivals in Germany, Greece, Cyprus, France, Finland, and the United Kingdom. She has curated, co-curated, and assisted with exhibitions in Cyprus, Finland, and Italy.
Stylianou negotiates the state before the immanent existence of objects and how to delve into noise. She thinks about the pre-identification of an object, and the seduction of aesthetics considering the unmeasurable prompts if they were experienced by an infant. Nicolina Stylianou is a visual performance artist who builds wearable sound sculptures and experiments with sound. Her interest lies within ritualistic loops and looks into the relation between Apolline and Dionysiac culture: information and noise, cognition and sensation. Stylianou’s participation in Bubbly Creek is made possible with support from the Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki.
ieke Trinks [www.ieketrinks.nl] is a visual artist living and working in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Malmö, Sweden. For the past several years she has organized the annual Performance Art Event in Rotterdam and worked in collaboration with the all-girl improvisation troupe, TRICKSTER. Trinks has performed at international venues, including FADO in Toronto, Defibrillator in Chicago, and every sort of start-up, up-start occasion in Brazil. Her recent works are Value Products, Rings, Variety Show, and Performance Monologues. In Value Products she explores the role of a sales person in charge of her own merchandise. Rings, in collaboration with Bernard Roddy, is about visiting, listening and recording doorbell sounds in homes of Chicago citizens. In Variety Show her focus is on the act of reproducing photo documentation of her past performances. Performance Monologues is a work in progress that started out with making audio recordings of artists describing one of their previously performed works. At the moment she’s using the material to retell the spoken descriptions to a live audience.
Curator Angeliki Tsoli [angelikitsoli.com] is an interdisciplinary visual artist from Athens, Greece currently based in Chicago, USA. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow of the Harry D. Triantafillu Scholarship Fund, the Gerondelis Foundation and the New Artist Society Scholarship of SAIC. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Performance (MFA18’) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Angeliki works as the curatorial assistant at DfbrL8r Performance Gallery in Chicago. Tsoli holds a Diploma of Visual and Applied Arts with distinction from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In 2011-2012 was an Erasmus Exchange Student at the Universitat Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, Facultad de Bellas Artes (UPV). Her work explores the political, poetic and displaced body through actions in the public space, photography, video, sound, installations and experimental writing. Angeliki aims to create an open space to start a dialogue, create awareness and challenge the existence of social, economic, cultural and class-based inequalities. Moreover, she is interested in a conceptual and critical approach to education and the medium of performance. Tsoli is co-founder of the performance platform [MIND THE] G.A.P – Gathering Around Performance, in Athens.
Defibrillator Gallery [www.DFBRL8R.org] is an international platform for Performance Art known for bold and courageous programming that aims to provoke thought and stimulate discourse regarding time-based artistic practices. Actively contributing to a global dialog surrounding conceptual, ephemeral, or enigmatic modes of expression, DFBRL8R aims to raise awareness, appreciation, and respect for the discipline of Performance Art.
Defibrillator is proudly part of Zhou B Art Center, a privately funded complex founded in 2004 by the Zhou Brothers in Chicago’s historic Bridgeport neighborhood. DFBRL8R LTD is a 501c3 arts organization made possible with support from 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.