Chelsea Knight, Fall to Earth, Chapter 1 —“Conversion,” 2014 (production still). HD video, 5 min. Photo: Jeesu Kim
Presented as part of “Chelsea Knight: Fall to Earth,” a project of the R&D Season: SPECULATION.
Please note: Entry to this event is permitted during breaks between intervals of shooting. Each interval will last approximately thirty minutes.
“What does it mean to preserve a text-bearing object? A book, sitting on a shelf, not being read: Is it being preserved? Is ‘misreading’ a textual object a destruction of the text? What activates information or meaning? What defines the correct way to read? What does it mean to misread, misuse, or unread? A cassette tape being taped over with another voice, another song? A record being played backwards, a CD being scratched? Is hammering a nail into a text a way of reading? In terms of texts or sounds: in text bearing objects, text itself is not theoretically something that’s indestructible, and perhaps in some cases destruction is the very condition of possibility. What are ways of reading?”
—Chelsea Knight and Ryan Tracy
Chelsea Knight works in video and performance to plumb the social and psychological underpinnings of group behavior, questioning how we encounter one another as singular entities. Her work considers the inadequacy of language and its relation to the reproduction of authority and identity. As an artist-in-residence during the Spring 2015 R&D Season: SPECULATION, Knight is producing the final chapters of Fall to Earth, a cycle of short videos inspired by Salman Rushdie’s magical realist novel The Satanic Verses. Each chapter is staged as a live event produced for video and takes as its point of departure themes related to socially condemned speech and other forms of silencing or restraint and includes original scores created by different collaborating artists. The chapters’ themes are “Conversion,” “Blasphemy,” “Resistance,” “Violence,” and “Silence.”
Saturday March 28, 1–3 PM: Fall to Earth, Chapter 2 — “Blasphemy” (Live Event with Mathew Paul Jinks)
Saturday April 18, 1–3 PM: Fall to Earth, Chapter 3 — “Resistance” (Live Event with Ryan Tracy)
Sunday June 7, 1–3 PM: Fall to Earth, Chapter 4 — “Violence” (Live Event with Nick Hallett)
Saturday June 20, 1–3 PM: Fall to Earth, Chapter 5 — “Silence” (Live Event with Christine Sun Kim)
Chelsea Knight received her BA from Oberlin College and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Knight recently completed residencies at the Whitney Independent Study Program, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace program. She has had solo exhibitions and performances at the Brooklyn Museum; the St. Louis Art Museum; Aspect Ratio Projects, Chicago; DiverseWorks, Houston (with Mark Tribe); Abrons Art Center, New York; and Momenta Art, Brooklyn. She has also exhibited her work in group shows, including “Nouvelles vagues,” Palais de Tokyo, Paris; “Anti-Establishment,” Hessel Museum of Art, CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; and the Young Artists Biennial, Bucharest.
Ryan Tracy is a composer, performer, and writer. His musical, theatrical, and operatic works have been performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Kitchen, P.S. 122, Abrons Arts Center, and other venues throughout New York. His critical writings on art and performance have appeared in a number of publications including the American Review, New York Press, the Brooklyn Rail, Mouvement, Performa magazine, and the Gay and Lesbian Review. Tracy is currently pursuing a PhD in English Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. His focus is on critical, queer, and psychoanalytic theories, and their relation to thinking individual and collective subjectivity, the politics of performance, and the concept of narcissism. His scholarly work has been presented at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Pratt Institute, and CUNY Graduate Center.
Artist residencies and commissions are generously supported by the Neeson / Edlis Artists Commissions Fund and by Laurie Wolfert.
Education and Public Engagement programs are made possible, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation. Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.
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