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Don't Get Left Behind
by Jack Foran
Spend your last night on Earth at the Hallwalls Artists & Models party
New York City-based rock band (with significant Buffalo roots) and current sensation Transgendered Jesus is the headliner among half a dozen at this year’s Artists & Models event. In addition, the mayhem Hallwalls fundraiser will include audience-interactive performance artworks by more than 40 local artists in a gamut of aesthetic categories and a roving musical group. Also, on-site painting by a variety of artists.
This year’s event is called Rapture/Rupture and is scheduled for Saturday night (May 21), and, if the cosmic rapture predicted for that day—see sidebar—somehow fails to occur, into the wee hours Sunday, at Rock Harbor Yard, 57 Tonawanda Street.
Other stage performers will include Jamie Kubala and Spiritdance (whose piece for the occasion is called “Wrapture”), local rock band Debaser, electronic dance music artist Bev Beverly, funk DJ LoPro, and burlesque performance artist/dancer Obskyura (“Unwrapture”?). The ambulatory musicians will be the energetic, effervescent 12/8 Path Band.
The somewhat ambivalent Rapture/Rupture tag has been construed in different ways—in a range of interpretations from spiritual to physical—by different artists.
A performance piece by the Real Dream Cabaret (John Carocci, Ron Ehmke, Holly Johnson, Liz Knipe, Brian Milbrand, and guests) will simulate a religious tent revival meeting, except that two different religious groups have booked the same tent for the same night for slightly differently calculated end-of-the-world events. Epic sermonizing and counter-sermonizing is expected, together with sing-alongs of classic and modern gospel songs.
In another spiritually oriented work, Peter Tucker’s piece will emulate the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Saturday Night Live sermonizing on the sacred text of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. The piece will feature an ordination kiosk at which event participants may kneel and receive a Virtual Minister ordination certificate.
In a more physical interpretation of the Rapture/Rupture theme, Jeff Maciejewski will present a “Grim House” that will shake and rattle and glow red—like in the nuclear test documentaries, just before the house suddenly disappears. (This simulation won’t go that far, however.)
And Goda Trakumaite’s piece will allow participants to reenact a famous Debbie Harry ecstatic moment from the music video of her “Rapture” hit single. The piece consists of multiple video and audio components. A loop of several highlight seconds from the music video will play over and over on one monitor, to a loop audio accompaniment of Debbie Harry’s vocalization of the word “rapture,” while participants reenact the Debbie Harry scene before a video camera, the video from which will show on a second monitor. A blonde wig will be available for costume.
Several of the performance pieces employ specially created environments. Elizabeth Pellathy will set up a geodesic dome that audience members can enter to sit and watch a video projection onto the dome of the rotating night sky, and contemplate the heavenly immensity to an accompaniment of nocturnal surround sounds. Meanwhile, the artistic collaborative Cosmic Horses (Julia Prudhomme and Bethany Scholl) will create a large-scale, make-believe fort out of found materials that audience members can enter to discover and explore this play space via visual, auditory, and taste sensations. Popsicles will be handed out to lure participants into the fort.
Some of the other performance pieces: Timothy Scaffidi, Marc Tomko, and Alice Alexandrescu have created a combat video game in which participants control real people through game controllers. Hackerspace (James Andrix and friends) will display several species of dinosaurs that this experimental workshop has accidentally recreated: an archaeopteryx, an apatasaurus, and three baby triceratops that participants can play with. Andrix has taken precautionary measures to assure that nothing will go awry. Like in the movie. And Jimyn the Singing Mime (Jim McLaughlin) will serenade attendees with songs of their choice from Snow White.
And possibly as a comment on the sum total of Artists & Models exhibits and presentations, Eric Souther’s piece explores what happens when, as he explains it, too many things are happening at once. His linguistically oriented piece combines a database of hundreds of phonemic audio files and a random number generator to create a random light show as well as an audio composition that turns out to be not complete chaos but to feature a kind of controlled randomness.
Painters painting on-site will include A. J. Fries, Joyce Hill, Candace Keegan, Gennifer Felicity Krupper, Sarah Sutton, and Chuck Tingley.
Transgendered Jesus was started up in 2010 by former Buffalonian and lead singer Anne Hanavan, with another former Buffalonian, George Scherer, on bass. The band was soon embraced by the New York City alternative music scene, playing gigs with the likes of Laurie Anderson and (another Buffalonian) Tony Conrad. Attesting to the band’s local roots, last month Transgendered Jesus played at Neitzsche’s, at the annual Mark Freeland memorial tribute bash. (Read an interview with Transgendered Jesus member and Buffalo native, Anne Hanavan, in this week's music feature.)
Tickets are $15 in advance (at either Talking Leaves location, Pizza Plant, Rust Belt Books, Room, at Hallwalls, or online) or $20 at the door. You have to be 18 or over to attend and 21 or older with proper ID to drink alcohol. Beer and wine will be on sale at the cash bar.
Rock Harbor Yard is located near the juncture of Niagara Street and Tonawanda Street (near the west end of the Scajaquada Expressway, a.k.a. Route 198, just before it blends into Route 190, along the Niagara River). If you’re heading west on 198, exit at the Niagara Street off ramp, then bear to the right (north), and almost immediately you will be on Tonawanda Street in front of the Rock Harbor Yard (Niagara Street north angles obliquely off to the left). Street and on-site parking is available.
Artists & Models: Rapture/Rupture
Saturday, May 21, 9pm
Rock Harbor Yard, 57 Tonawanda St. Tickets: $15 advance, $20 at the door.blog comments powered by Disqus
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