“Selina Trepp: I Work With What I Have” is an immersive, three-channel animated experimental score for improvised music. As an artist, animator, and experimental musician, Trepp often utilizes music to inform her animations, but in this participatory installation the artist flips the process, asking musicians to translate the movements and gestures in her silent animation into music.
During the opening reception sonic artist Verónica Soria Martniez and experimental musician Tyler Rudick will perform individual sets, followed by a collaborative set, each using Trepp’s animation as experimental notation. . On Thursday evenings throughout the seven week exhibition, more Rockford area musicians will be invited to publicly perform and interpret her three wall-sized animations as three separate modes: rhythm, melody, and harmony. Beyond the unique improvisation brought by each participating musician, Trepp is interested in revealing the commonalities among them. Even in the silence of the piece, the potential for improvisation is apparent since, as Trepp states, “the work is the music—visual music”.
In 2012 Trepp placed drastic limits on her art making practice: she would not buy any new materials (art or otherwise) for her studio. Since then she has relied on repurposing past artworks, drawings, and sculptures into raw art-making materials. Trepp approaches her self-imposed limited resources with ingenuity, wit, and a patient ferocity that enables her to continually produce complex and visually compelling animations and artworks. In I Work With What I Have these recycled materials become hand-made visual elements that move throughout the walls of the gallery with a hypnotic frenzy. The bustling stop motion animations include hundreds of photographs documenting the artist’s choreographed material manipulation.
The exhibition ends with an audio-visual performance by Spectralina, Trepp’s long-term experimental music project with her partner Dan Bitney of the band Tortoise. Spectralina produces electronic soundscapes, in which Trepp sings and uses her midi controlled video synthesizer to create projected animations in real-time as visual music.
Selina Trepp is a Swiss artist living in Chicago. Her recent solo exhibitions include Arts Club, Chicago; Ski Club, Milwaukee; Cleve Carney Art Gallery, College of Dupage, Illinois; Document Gallery, Chicago to name a few. She has been awarded the Propeller Fund Grant for Cultural Reproducers Lecture Series, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award, Art Award Stadt Zurich, Switzerland, and Swiss Art Award 2004 at Art Basel 2004.In Chicago she developed a practice of live video performance collaborating with several of Chicago’s finest musicians and has been performing on a regular basis in different venues in the city and abroad. Trepp received her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.