If you thought last weekend was intense, watch out: Organizers of the 17th annual New Genre Festival have packed its second weekend to the brim with cutting edge, contemporary artwork.
New Genre is Living Arts' annual tribute to experimental, non-traditional forms of art. The organization presents a variety of artists, many nationally and internationally acclaimed, whose work transcends disciplinary lines, pushes boundaries and explores fresh perspectives and processes.
A new element to the festival, initiated last year and made possible this year through partnerships with the National Performance Network and the Mid America Arts Alliance, are artist residencies, which, for free, give the public the opportunity to work with New Genre's visiting artists for an extended period of time and, with those artists, hone their creativity and develop a new artwork.
Under the Tree
The weekend involves a number of installation artworks, including Claudia Wylie's Under the Tree at Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery, 9 E. Brady. Wylie has spent the past few years constructing small sculptures from found or recycled objects.
"Each assemblage works individually, yet there is a commonality among them; so I have been looking for a way to unite them into one statement," Wylie writes in an artist's statement. "On Nov. 22, 2009, during a skit on Saturday Night Live, Al Gore quipped that he had come up with a new tactic for getting people to care about green issues. One idea was to tape toy guns to trees so politicians know that the forest is coming to get its revenge.
"When I heard this, I knew all I needed was a tree, an armed tree, to guard or perhaps threaten the accumulation of gifts beneath it."
Under the Tree is a free event that opens Friday, March 5 with a reception from 5-7pm. The installation will remain on display Saturday, March 6 and Sunday, March 7, from 1-5pm.
At the same time, Friday, March 5 at 5pm, Mark Rumsey will open his installation, ASK: Tulsa at Living Arts, 307 E. Brady. Rumsey spent three days working with locals to create the project. He constructed a rope by tying together thousands of small pieces of fabric. The rope is woven up and down the walls of the gallery. The public aided by scribbling their hopes, dreams, wishes and prayers onto white pieces of fabric and tying them into the matrix.
ASK: Tulsa is free and open to the public.
Filled with Zin
On Friday from 5 till 7pm at Chrysalis Spa, 7 E. Brady, the Reverend Cookie Bon Bon presents an installation/performance work called Le Confession Zen. The RCBB invites festival goers to rid themselves of their "zin" by confessing in her chambers.
In a statement, the Reverend writes, "All zinners will walk away with a penance and purpose to live a life free of zin but full of Zen." The event is free and open to the public.
The Thank You Bar
At Living Arts Lab, 308 S. Kenosha, Emily Johnson and Catalyst, comprised of musicians J.G. Everest and Joel Pickard, present "The Thank You Bar," a performance of dance and storytelling that explores truth and myth as they relate to the contemporary Native Alaskan experience and the idea of "home."
Johnson, a Native Alaskan, draws much of her inspiration from the annual migration of salmon, which swim upstream for thousands of miles. She said she has watched salmon swim up waterfalls and believes humans can also be called to do similar, extraordinary things.
In conjunction with the performance, Johnson and Carolyn Anderson have curated an exhibit called This is Displacement: Native Artists Consider the Relationship Between Land and Identity. The exhibit is available for viewing Friday and Saturday, 5:30-6pm and 7:30-8pm, and Sunday, 5:50-6pm.
Johnson will perform "The Thank You Bar" Friday and Saturday at 6pm and 8pm. Reservations are required, as seating is limited. Tickets are $15, $10 for Living Arts members and students.
March 7-9, Johnson will present a workshop at Liggett Studio, 314 S. Kenosha, focused on bodily practice and commitment to performance. Working both indoors and out, the workshop, designed for dancers and non-dancers alike, will explore why people perform and how their bodies can be engaged in performance and in the act of creating performance-based work.
The workshop runs 2-5pm Sunday and 5-10pm Monday and Tuesday and is free and open to the public.
Up, Up, We Go
On Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Artspot Productions and Mondo Bizarro present Flight in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center's Liddy Doenges Theatre, 110 E. Second St.
The performance extravaganza features performer-activated machines, film projection, song and theatre to explore humankind's enduring dream of flight and the unpredictable consequences of its pursuit.
The brainchild of sculptor and designer Jeff Becker, "Flight collages characters and ideas inspired by the mythical and historical manifestations of man's irrepressible urge to fly and by the all-too-frequent need to flee disasters of our own making."
Flight premiered in New Orleans in 2008.
Tickets to Flight are $20, $15 for members and students and should be reserved by calling the PAC at 596-7109.
Make Some Noise
Mark Southerland is a jazz musician who constructs horn sculptures using the saxophone as inspiration and a medium for exploring sound.
With Wee Snuff Jazz, Southerland presents "Urban Noise Camp" a jazz experience involving heavily costumed musicians and his "bastardized' horns.
In an artist's statement, Southerland writes, "Music is about innovation and memory. Improvisation conveys things written music cannot.
"Improvising with costumes and wearable horn sculptures not only changes audience perception but also the perception of the performer. Your eyes become your ears; originality becomes familiar. If music is a universal language, I am providing cue cards."
"Urban Noise Camp" plays March 5 and 6 at 10pm at Liggett Studio. Tickets are $15, $10 for Living Arts members and students.
New Genre Video Matinee
On Sunday, March 7, at 2pm, Living Arts will screen new, experimental video works and films at Circle Cinema, 12 S. Lewis. Winners of the "24-Hour Video Race" will also be screened. Tickets are $7, $5 for students and members.
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