November 17 – December 11, 2015
Nga Taonga Sound and Vision
Auckland, New Zealand
November 17 – December 11, 2015
Nga Taonga Sound and Vision
Auckland, New Zealand
November 11 – 24, 2015
Auckland Central Library, New Zealand
KHAL AT VIEWFINDER AND NGA TAONGA SOUND AND VISION, Nov – Dec 2015
November 5 – 28, 2015
Auckland, New Zealand
In September 2014, Helga Fassonaki sent scores in the form of sculptures from Tabriz, Iran to sixteen female artists and musicians living abroad to perform in public in lieu of her ability to do so legally in Iran.
Artists who received Fassonaki’s scores include Rachel Shearer & Beth Ducklingmonster (Auckland, NZ), Kali Z Fasteau (NYC, NY), Kelly Jayne Jones (London, UK), Heather Leigh (Glasgow, Scotland), Jenny Graf (Copenhagen, Denmark), Zaimph (Brooklyn, NY), Chiara Giovando (Los Angeles, CA), Shana Palmer (Baltimore, MD), Purple Pilgrims (North Island, NZ), Rachael Melanson (London, UK), Christina Carter (Austin, Texas), Gabie Strong (Los Angeles, CA), Ashley Paul (London, UK), Angeline Chirnside (Auckland, NZ) , Matana Roberts (NYC, NY), and Kathleen Kim (Los Angeles, CA).
Additional participating artists include Suki Dewey (Califon, NJ), Fariba Safai (San Francisco, CA), Nazanin Daneshvar (NYC, NY), Yasi Alipour (NYC, NY), Laura Sofia (NYC, NY), Julia Santoli (NYC, NY), Stainer Black-Five (Christchurch, NZ), Mela (Christchurch, NZ), Misfit Mod (Christchurch, NZ), French Concession (Christchurch, NZ), Instant Fantasy (Christchurch, NZ), Hermione Johnson & Zahra Killeen Chance (Auckland, NZ), Liz Maw (Auckland, NZ), and Piece War (Auckland, NZ).
Upon Interpreting the scores, the participants performed them publicly in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. The following videos document their performances and actions.
‘8 Pillars’ Score for Rachel Shearer
8 Pillars – A Free Score at Viewfinder window
November 11 – 24
Auckland Central Library, 46 Lorne Street, Auckland
Khal at Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
November 18 – December 11
300 Karangahape Rd Newton, Auckland NZ
Launch – November 17, 6pm
Performances – 8pm
KHAL continues to document a living score as a language used to tell a story, communicate a process, and provide instructions while remaining transient and undefined.
Presented alongside Fassonaki’s filmed reinterpretation of her score 8 Pillars will be Khal Open Book – an archival box filled with score images, text, notes, interviews, and performance stills collected from September 2014 to current and includes conversations, exchanges, and actions that took place between Fassonaki and the sixteen plus artists involved.
Angeline Chirnside, Purple Pilgrims, and Rachel Shearer – three of the original score recipients have chosen three new Auckland-based artists to perform the scores for the opening:
Tuesday November 17, 8pm
Hermione Johnson & Zahra Killeen Chance will perform ‘Hypocrisy’
Elizabeth Mary Maw will perform ‘Hum Hum Hum Hum Hum’
Piece War/ Live Visuals by Cutss will perform ‘8 Pillars’
8 PILLARS – A FREE SCORE
Working with the idea of a score as a living force containing the power to shape and reshape what enters our senses, Helga Fassonaki reinterpreted one of her scores ‘8 Pillars’ (originally created for New Zealand artist Rachel Shearer) into a performance composition for seven women. It was filmed on Independence Day 2015 in a forested area in Oldwick, New Jersey. The women (each representing a pillar) move in a slow and deliberate motion mirroring their meditative wordless humming of the Star Spangled Banner as they form a circular shape around the forest trees. The cameraperson is also one of the pillars whose motion and view is revealed through another camera frame that remains still, documenting the process of a composition being created but never finished. The group voices fade as one voice (the missing eighth pillar) continues chanting the anthem until the song becomes unrecognizable.
Presented as a kind of paradox, the ‘8 Pillars’ composition explores two sides of freedom – personal vs political, whilst stripping content from song until the sacredness of a singular voice is revealed. A solo voice whether banned by political law or censored by our own fears is a vessel for a powerful recalcitrant freedom, one that is always vulnerable to attack no matter how ‘free’ a country is.
Performers featured in the film include: Yasi Alipour, Julia Santoli, Gabie Strong, Nazanin Daneshvar, Laura Sofia, Suki Dewey, and Helga Fassonaki (also as cameraperson)
Solo Vocals: Julia Santoli
8 PILLARS LIVE PERFORMANCE (September 26, 2015)
Julia Santoli (solo vocals) alongside Helga Fassonaki performed the next sequence of the ‘8 Pillars’ filmed composition at Disjecta in Portland, Oregon. As Santoli continues to hum a deranged Star Spangled Banner anthem, the notes are elongated and blurred into solid tones of color.
KHAL OPEN BOOK
Presented as an unpublished book – an archive open to edits, renewal and dialogue. Contains notes, interviews, spoken words, score drawings, performance stills, and past exhibition iterations gathered from September 2014 to present from original score recipients:
Kali Z Fasteau (NYC, NY), Kelly Jayne Jones (London, UK), Heather Leigh (Glasgow, Scotland), Jenny Gräf (Copenhagen, Denmark), Zaïmph (Brooklyn, NY), Chiara Giovando (Los Angeles, CA), Shana Palmer (Baltimore, MD), Purple Pilgrims (North Island, NZ), Rachael Melanson (London, UK), Christina Carter (Austin, Texas), Gabie Strong (Los Angeles, CA), Ashley Paul (London, UK), Angeline Chirnside (Auckland, NZ), Matana Roberts (NYC, NY), Rachel Shearer with Beth Ducklingmonster (Auckland, NZ), and Kathleen Kim (Los Angeles, CA).
additional participating artists:
Suki Dewey (Califon, NJ), Fariba Safai (San Francisco, CA), Nazanin Daneshvar (NYC, NY), Yasi Alipour (NYC, NY), Laura Sofia (NYC, NY), Julia Santoli (NYC, NY), Stainer Black-Five (Christchurch, NZ), Mela (Christchurch, NZ), Misfit Mod (Christchurch, NZ), French Concession (Christchurch, NZ), Instant Fantasy (Christchurch, NZ), Hermione Johnson & Zahra Killeen Chance (Auckland, NZ), Liz Maw (Auckland, NZ), and Piece War (Auckland, NZ).
When asked to present a sound piece for the Audacious Festival, which began as a way consider the vacant lots in Christchurch’s central city as fading gaps in the collective memory of those who know the city, the idea of vacancy as something empty but open came to mind. Thinking about a time when Iran was apparently encouraging its pop singers and female vocalists to perform in concert halls, clubs, and cabarets – all of which were forced to shut down following the 1979 revolution, I began to consider the relationship between physical and cultural vacancy. Vacant is the culture’s soul that once occupied those spaces like a building swept away – both leaving only traces and echoes of stories remembered. But while a space physical or cultural is still vacant, there is an open gap of imagined possibilities. Past stories and new dreams.
I’ve reinterpreted the score ‘Celestial’ – one of the 16 Khal scores originally sent from Iran to artists (outside Iran) to perform publicly, into a sound installation which will occupy the corner of Manchester and Armagh street – a vacant lot since Christchurch’s 2011 earthquake.
The sound is comprised of twelve solo vocal recordings from female artists in Iran singing the well known Iranian song, Morq-e sahar (translated as Dawn Bird) sung by many renown singers including the iconic Qamar-al-Moluk Vaziri, who was the first Persian female vocalist to sing without the obligatory veil in 1924. Her performance of ‘Dawn Bird’ left a lasting impression on future generations of female vocalists. Most people in Iran know the song by heart. The first stanza is lyrical, and the second refers to more social and political issues.
The collected solo recordings (each recorded privately in Iran) have been layered one on top of each, forming an orchestra or group vocals (to be broadcast publicly). The physical vacancy of one city will be filled by remnants of the cultural vacancy of another.
The ‘Celestial’ score was made out of what was once a plastic table cloth found in Tabriz. The tablecloth was cut into squares following the floral design. The stack of squares is fluid, unbound, and unattached allowing for open interpretation. On October 24th, starting at 10am at the vacant lot on 281 Manchester Street, the square pieces were sewn back together reforming its past sequence as the sound of ghostly non-choir, out-of-sync voices vibrated out of a single mono speaker mixing into the vast sounds of nearby construction projects.
8 Pillars – A Free Score (live)
composed by Helga Fassonaki
performed by Julia Santoli & Helga Fassonaki for the Book of Scores opening – September 26, 2015
8 Pillars – A Free Score (film projection stills)
film features Suki Dewey, Nazanin Daneshvar, Yasi Alipour, Julia Santoli, Gabie Strong, Laura Sofia, and Helga Fassonaki
Khal Open Book
March 20, 2015 – April 9, 2015
Photos taken by Jens Jonason and Helga Fassonaki, 2015
246 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Glasshouse will be presenting the first iteration of Fassonaki’s project Khal on March 11th at 8pm. Sketched animation of visual scores will be accompanied by performing artist and environmental activist Suki Dewey’s spoken word interpretations.
In September 2014 Helga Fassonaki resided in an artist studio in Tabriz, Iran for a month. As a visual and performing artist, what she was able to share in public was restricted. Furthermore, as a female performing artist, the use of her voice in public performance was restricted.
Due to the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini ‘condemned all forms of music, other than classical and traditional Persian music’ as influenced by western culture, and therefore corruptive and forbidden. Khomeini also forbade women from singing solo in public because of ‘the seductive quality of the female voice’.
Since performing as she chose was illegal in Iran, Fassonaki sent compositions in the form of sculptural scores created during her residency in Tabriz to sixteen female artists and musicians living in the US, the United Kingdom, Denmark and New Zealand. The concept being that the scores be interpreted and performed publicly by these artists in lieu of Fassonaki’s ability to do so.
Different iterations of Khal will be presented at galleries in the US and New Zealand as a traveling exhibition in 2015/2016 where the scores and their interpretations by the participating artists will be displayed, heard, and reinterpreted – pushing the idea of a ‘living score’ as an archive open to edits, renewal and dialogue. As the series unfolds from one event to another, Fassonaki seeks to create a composition of voices and actions. Like the idea of Khal, (a derogatory term in Farsi for Iranian Pop music that was sent to Iran by Iranian US immigrants in the form of homemade mixed tapes so that Iranian residents could listen to their country’s own pop stars). Through these simple actions, the hope is that the reverberation of freedom of expression can echo back across the globe and via the clandestine channels of the world wide web find it’s way back to the country in which the scores had their origin.
The original recipients of Fassonaki’s scores include Kali Z Fasteau (NYC, NY), Kelly Jayne Jones (London, UK), Heather Leigh (Glasgow, Scotland), Jenny Gräf (Copenhagen, Denmark), Zaïmph (Brooklyn, NY), Chiara Giovando (Los Angeles, CA), Shana Palmer (Baltimore, MD), Purple Pilgrims (North Island, NZ), Rachael Melanson (London, UK), Christina Carter (Austin, Texas), Gabie Strong (Los Angeles, CA), Ashley Paul (London, UK), Angeline Chirnside (Auckland, NZ), Matana Roberts (NYC, NY), Rachel Shearer with Beth Ducklingmonster (Auckland, NZ), and Kathleen Kim (Los Angeles, CA).
Additional participating artists thus far include Suki Dewey (Califon, NJ), Fariba Safai (San Francisco, CA), Nazanin Daneshvar (NYC, NY), Yasi Alipour (NYC, NY), Laura Sofia (NYC, NY), Julia Santoli (NYC, NY), Stainer Black-Five (Christchurch, NZ), Mela (Christchurch, NZ), Misfit Mod (Christchurch, NZ), French Concession (Christchurch, NZ), Instant Fantasy (Christchurch, NZ), Hermione Johnson & Zahra Killeen Chance (Auckland, NZ), Liz Maw (Auckland, NZ), and Piece War (Auckland, NZ).
EXHIBITION & EVENT DATES:
September 26, 2015 (opening) – Disjecta (Book of Scores curated by Chiara Giovando) in Portland, Oregon
October 8 – 30, 2015 – The Auricle Sonic Arts Gallery in Christchurch, New Zealand
live performances by local artists on October 9: Stainer Black-Five (Jo Burzynska), Mela (Helen Greenfield), Misfit Mod (Sarah Kelleher), French Concession (Ella), and Instant Fantasy (Gemma Syme) – 7pm.
October 23 – 27, 2015 – Audacious Festival, Christchurch, NZ – A public installation of the Score ‘Celestial’
October 25, 2015 – Artist Talk, Audacious Festival
November 5 – 28, 2015 – Audio Foundation Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand
November 14, 2015 – Artist Talk at Audio Foundation Gallery
DUETS took play on June 22, 2013 at The Fields in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The duos included:
yek koo + Zaimph
Tom Carter + Tom Surgal
Ashley Paul + Greg Kelley
and DJ/video unit: tren::azul
Hosted by EMM
Curated by Helga Fassonaki
Day 2 of Trapdoor Fucking Exit
Human Resources Gallery, Los Angeles CA
Performances by Un Ciego, Gabie Strong, Peter Kolovos, Purple Pilgrims, 500 Mg, and Charalambides
Photos taken by Lemuel Barbour, 2012
Curated by Helga Fassonaki as part of her exhibition of ‘Touching Them, Touching Me – A Love Song for the Dead C’
Human Resources Gallery, Los Angeles CA
Performances by Adam Willetts (non-appearance) , yek koo, Queen Victoria, Glands of External Secretion, Brian Crook, and Tom Carter
Photos taken by Lemuel Barbour, 2012
The Source, a secret restaurant at the Free Church of Public Fiction, opened it’s doors for Dinner on Friday March 25th and for Brunch on Sunday March 27th.
The Source draws from Los Angeles’s lineage of cults, rituals and ceremonies surrounding food, and takes it’s name from Hollywood’s own Source Restaurant (founded by The Source Family cult and Father Yod in 1969.)
Friday March 25th – THE END (the last)
Dinner at 6:30 and 9pm
Sunday March 27th – THE NEW BEGINNING (resurrection)
Brunch at 11am and 1pm
The Source was set within Davida Nemeroff / Two By Two: The Church Of The Animals with work by Jennifer Boysen; Alika Cooper; Lauren Mackler; Davida Nemeroff; Mark A. Rodriguez; Eric J. Palgon; Wintergarden Ltd.
LACE is proud to present Elysian Park Museum of Art (EPMoA) running 13 October – 19 December 2010 as a part of its PUBLIC INTEREST initiative. A constantly evolving association of artists and curators involved with EPMoA have created site-specific performances, installations, and actions that consider the fractured geography of the park — its unmapped trails, picnic areas, a stadium, a police academy, highway onramps, radio towers, squatter communities, and parking lots — with the goal of creating a cohesive investigation into the contemporary function of a museum, a park, and public spaces in general.
Since October 2009, the EPMoA has existed as a curatorial workshop, initiated through Telic Arts Exchange’s Public School Project, and as a public forum encouraging participation from a diverse and unaffiliated section of the park-using community. Through a series of monthly meetings in the park, participants have worked together to address issues of how to implement creative actions within the parameters of public fair use of Elysian Park, as well as raise questions about the relevance and significance of this project within the overlapping contexts of art history, local politics, and public engagement.
The LACE galleries have been transformed into the park visitor’s center complete with artifacts, benches, and foliage. The installation documents and recreates past and current EPMoA actions inside the park. Representatives of both the curatorial workshop and the park-using community will take part in the selection and presentation of documentation (sound recordings, photography, video, illustration, re-enactment, written description, etc.)
Additional performances and site-specific interventions allowed by fair use of the park are scheduled to occur inside Elysian Park during the course of the exhibition. Public events at LACE include performances, a class in museum studies and a guest speaker series to discuss the role of a museum, the ecology of the park, and more.
Participants include (but not limited to): Beau Sievers, Gabie Strong, Amy Howden-Chapman, Luke Fischbeck, Sara Rara, Lauren Mackler, Fiona Connor, Akina Cox, Helga Fassonaki, Cindy Rehm, Paul Pescador, and Pod Blotz
The hunt for Spirulent Green began at the tree dotted picnic area adjacent to the Grace E. Simons Lodge in Elysian Park at 1:00 PM, December 5th.
Lisa Tucker and Ron Chiarello invited participants to join them in gathering Spirulent Green (aka Spirulina). Ron had a ‘scope to see the algae collected and a display of how to grow the green superfood.
A lunch of Spirulina pasta with prawns, fresh local greens, bittersweet chocolate Spirulina brownies, and lemon/limeade with fresh Spirulinaas was served as Ron led a discussion and investigation on the possibilities of a food that can feed the world. Spirulina is a complete protein source, containing all 18 amino acids. It has the highest protein concentration of any food known.
FOOD 4 was presented by Alice Tseng & Jeremy Rotsztain on December 5th at the Elysian Park tree grove. They invited participants to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon under the trees in an effort to celebrate Americana, Minimalism, and Picnics. Installed in the tree grove were piñatas made for Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, and Anne Truitt filled with grill cheese sandwiches, lemonade, corn dogs, pickles, and various real American food snacks.
New Zealand artist and writer Tessa Laird presented FOOD 3 in Auckland on November 6th. Helga Fassonaki remotely recreated her Rainbow-Coloured Repast on November 14th in Elysian Park. Each event featured artists who had been selected to prepare and share a dish in Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Purple.
November 6, 2010 – Western Park, Ponsonby, Auckland New Zealand
Red: Peter Madden – roast beetroot and tomato salad, chipolata sausages and tomato sauce, strawberries, and much more!
Orange: AD Schierning – tangerine dream tart
Yellow: Judy Darragh – corn on the cob, frittata, bananas, cheese
slices, and much more!
Green: Richard Orjis – zucchini and lime cake
Blue: Xing Cheng – blueberry muffins with poppy seed and borage garnish
Indigo: Layla Rudneva-Mackay – thai black sticky rice pudding with blueberries
Violet: Nova Paul – potato salad made with Maori purple potatoes – urenika
Tessa Laird: a rainbow of juices
November 14, 2010 – Elysian Park, Echo Park, Los Angeles CA
Red: Ginette Pohlmeier – red stuffed bell peppers
Orange: Fiona Connor – farm fresh oranges from Valencia
Yellow: Bettina Hubby – egg salad pasta popcorn banana lemon walfer golden raisen cheese corn cheerios caserole
Green: Katie Vonderheide – green spinach salad and green tea cookies
Blue: Jean Robison – blueberries desert wih blue cream topping
Purple: Marcos Lopez – purple cabbage salad
Helga Fassonaki – blue chips, mango salsa, and rainbow drinks.
FOOD 2 took place on Sunday October 31 from 1 to 3pm at Elysian Park. Amy Howden- Chapman joined chef hands with Helga Fassonaki and Andrew Scott as they combined hand-picked fall produce from Oak Glen Farms to produce a seasonal pumpkin and apple feast.
white pumpkin soup
yellow squash and zucchini curried barbecue
Honey glazed butternut squash and wheat berry salad
toasted pumpkin seeds
An essential human experience, how can artists mobilize the democratic possibilities of the discourse around food cultivation and eating? What do we have to share? Experienced pickler Jen Smith asked participants to bring ideas, inventories of artist projects and community resources, interest and/or something to eat to contribute to this gathering within the temporary autonomous institutional space of Elysian Park Museum of Art.
Participants met October 17 from noon to two at the Solano Canyon picnic tables for a full course lunch prepared specially by Jen Smith.
FOOD is a series curated by Helga Fassonaki in conjunction with EPMoA’s concurrent exhibit at LACE galleries (October 13 – December 19, 2010). Artists are asked to position themselves as chefs or hosts – as a catalyst for gatherings, conversation/dialogue, exchanges (political/social) and interactions within the boundaries of Elysian Park. Artists may choose to prepare food and/or lead a discussion in the area of food justice. It is completely up to the artist to decide how they choose to form/shape this gathering. They may choose a specific part of Elysian Park to further shape the ‘event’, keeping in mind the use of public parks for picnics and birthday parties. Artists may also choose to collaborate with other artists.
The title FOOD is taken from Gordon Matta Clark’s restaurant called FOOD and is a direct homage to him. Every Sunday, he would have a different artist be the Chef, resulting in often bizarre gatherings. His widow, Jane Crawford, recalled such a time when Clark ‘cooked a lovely whole sea bass, but it emerged from the kitchen encased in a block of aspic nearly three feet long. He unmolded it, then gave the table a good kick, so that the aspic wobbled wildly and the bass seemed to fishtail upstream’. It is with events like this in mind that I see FOOD as a process as well as a set of actions involving a range of artists, incorporating discussions on food and social issues without taking for granted the simple gestures that can occur naturally when bringing people together around food.