Link to tune in: https://youtu.be/c3GFnoF48Vg
With The Arts Club of Chicago in a pandemic-induced hibernation during the cold winter months, three polymath artists explore the club’s rooms and think experimentally about how to perform in an empty institution. Musician/composer/improviser Angel Bat Dawid (collaborating with composer/multi-instrumentalist Isaiah Collier), dance-maker/performer/choreographer Jasmine Mendoza (collaborating with filmmaker Keaton Fox), and theatre artist/performer Kurt Chiang (collaborating with performer Livia Chesley) present their findings in an evening live stream titled Tiny Performances in Empty Rooms on February 26th, 2021 at 6:00pm. Each artist is given free reign of the empty building to devise and produce with the support of a team from The Arts Club. Each performance is pre-recorded and runs between 15 and 20 minutes, streamed back to back.
In Kurt Chiang’s “Livia to the Stage, Please. Livia to the Stage,” a Performer (Livia Chesley), cast in an undefined role and committed to an ambiguous task, needs to get to the stage immediately. An Audience (Chiang), filled to a capacity of 1, waits with middling yet curious anticipation. With urgency Livia navigates all corners of the building’s galleries, salons, backstage corridors and emergency exits. Sounds of doors open-and-shutting fill the empty space. Playfully physical and highlighting the architecture of the Arts Club, “Livia to the Stage” is an ode to the absence of eventful circumstance.
A strange living organism made up of silvery, iridescent flesh investigates its own inquisitiveness and capabilities while stuck in echoing, never-ending rooms made up of kitchen utensils, staircases, mountainous pieces of furniture, and stacks of paper in Jasmine Mendoza’s new work with filmmaker Keaton Fox.
Angel Bat Dawid’s “Sonata for an Empty Room” reflects on the historical form of the sonata as a metaphor for our moment. Each movement a corollary to a frame of mind—the contrasting keys of the Exposition and our polarized political climate, the chaos of the Development and our absence of normalcy, the Recapitulation’s reminder that we do still have a ground beneath our feet–Dawid and multi-instrumentalist Isaiah Collier take the stage in the empty Arts Club’s salon for an exploration of musical consciousness.