We would like to invite you to our inaugural exhibition, Interludes and Remnants opening on December 13th, 2013 from 7:00 – 11:00pm, featuring the work of artists Jennyfer Haddad and Stephen Decker. Stephen will perform opening night at 8:30 pm.
Jennyfer Haddad has harvested 50 eyes from dead fish. Silent observers called “extras,” these fish eyes will mark the days in her work that we wait for individuals to respond to an advertisement, published jointly with the exhibition, that seeks performers to play a character. A magazine cover image (on display) showing a woman reading a book and gesturing a headache has provided the materials for this character: wardrobe, personal possessions, and physical description (also on display). Jennyfer’s work will unfold in a routine connecting these clues, characters, and performers, as she explains:
It might be that no one will respond and no one will come, but this doesn't matter. What matters is that for 50 days we are waiting for them to come–searching after this character and all the stations are working together on the same beat–repeatedly.
Together her glyph-like elements appear to form a kind of language, but how to access its legibility remains to be seen. The role left to the viewer in such an arrangement is an exciting one. She or he will play the role not of witness, but of captive to its enigmatic logic and workings.
Jennyfer’s projects often take the form of fictions overlaid onto existing environments. At times these can be subtle, In I have created a space, 2011 she acted on her characters’ imagined desires, representing them via illegally wheat-pasted posters and through correspondences with members of New Haven’s local government. At other times they can be rather jarring–the first work of Jennyfer’s I ever watched was Head of Medusa, 2010 where she quite simply dissects an octopus and attaches it to her face. Once I accompanied her to a local farm because she required assistance attaching a GoPro camera to the back of a piglet.
Three events will punctuate Stephen Decker’s ongoing assemblages of constructed instruments and tools: a live opening performance using found radio signals, various acoustic material, and electronics; an online performance to be announced in the middle of the show’s run; and a final live performance at a closing reception. These performances will provoke experiences of distance and closeness confusingly in the cognitive domain where hearing plays out. The work’s full ecology will also include elements such as temperature control, lighting, and other visual stimuli. On his project’s relationship to the field of music Stephen says:
The more I work with sound, the field of music becomes more vast not necessarily in terms of genre and style–which are constantly mutant forms–but with methodologies or situations and contexts where music can be located.
For Stephen Decker an environment is not a stage, but a collection of circumstances and events to be manipulated. At Yale, Stephen transformed the sculpture department into a pirate radio broadcast of Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around the World, backed by the wretched sounds his hands made interacting with a violin. This broadcast implicated its audience whether it was listening or not. To paraphrase a conversation between composers John Cage and Morton Feldman: “The radio receiver is simply a device which makes audible the waves and signals that are already present, and passing through your body.” (Cage to Feldman)