|Organization||Urban Culture Project's la Esquina||
|Address||1000 W 25th Street, Kansas City, MO, United States|
|Phone||816 221 5115|
|Start||October 22, 2010|
|End||October 25, 2010|
|Closed||Tuesday - Thursday|
Premiering Friday, October 22, 8:30 pm and recurring nightly through Monday, October 25, SEE SAW is an installation-based performance (or a performance-based installation) created by director/composer/musician/performer Mark Southerland, and choreographer/dancer Jane Gotch. Co-collaborators and performers, in addition to Southerland and Gotch, include Shay Estes, Tuesday Faust, Shawn Hansen, Mike Stover, and Matt Tady. The piece will last approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.
Through movement, sound, and installation, SEE SAW will examine the moments when the body meets the mind—self realization, personal epiphanies, and modern coming-of-age stories. Told using an array of tools —often elaborate and abstract; other-times pointedly simple and straight forward—this tale involves a large seesaw and a “trophy playground,” from which music and movement will evolve. Situated in-the-round, the audience itself will become part of the installation and actively engaged in the event.
“This is my most conceptual and collaborative work to date,” said Mark Southerland, whose ambitious, multi-disciplinary performance event, Installation Operettas: Moon Bears and Sister Wives, thrilled standing–room-only audiences at la Esquina last November. “I am very excited to explore this avenue of interdisciplinary art with Jane Gotch and other performers. It will also serve as a workshop and model for future pieces.”
From Southerland and Gotch’s concept statement for this project:
"Mirror neurons give us the ability to learn from others as well as well as empathize with them. Scientists are discovering that Homo sapiens as well as many other mammals are hard wired to work this way. A not so simple evolutionary tale that sets us apart from other species started with our thumbs, which allowed us to make tools, which gave us greater access to more protein, which gave us more energy and more time for more tools and ideas, etc....This grew logarithmically with each generation, leading eventually to the complex social structures of today. It is perhaps this unique journey as well as our ability to mirror and empathize that gives us our humanity.
In this age of information and commoditization, our mirroring and tooling has become so complex and specialized it is often outmoded before it can be refined or employed. Modern morphology cannot keep up with the rate of change in technology. More and more, our tools are information and innovation, yet still we must train our bodies for specific tools. Our minds are still bound by the speed of our hands. That is why we learn trades, value craftsmanship, and reward early physical achievement.
Where the mirroring of empathy has largely been marginalized in our culture, it is still alive and well in the arts. We are all taught self reflection in hopes that an audience will see themselves in our work. Like a play within a play, we will use our tools to tell the stories of our tooling. We will have the audience more than just lay witness, but mirror and empathize with us. SEE SAW will interpret the complex systems of tooling and detooling that imprint our modern lives.”
Mark Southerland has used the saxophone as a medium for exploring sound for over 26 years. He has played experimental music locally, nationally, and throughout France and Germany. Projects include Malachy Papers, Snuff Jazz, and Wee Snuff, the latter two involving a constantly changing musical cast as well as collaborations with visual artists. Southerland’s horn sculptures have been exhibited at Dolphin Gallery, Kansas City, the OSP, Boston, the Stray Show, Chicago, and Bridge Art Fair during Art Basel Miami. A 2008 Charlotte Street Generative Performing Award Fellow, Southerland completed an Avenue of the Arts public art commission encompassing installation and live performances in 2009; presented his “Urban Noise Camp” as part of the New Genre Festival at Living Arts Center in 2010, Tulsa,, and at the Kemper Museum Crossroads; and served as Musical Director for the Nick Cave Soundsuit performance at Kansas City Art Institute’s 125th Anniversary Gala.
Jane Gotch has been an Urban Culture Project Performing Artist Studio Resident since 2009 and is a 2010 Rocket Grant recipient for her collaborative project WE!. In 2009, she presented Jutting and Swerving, an evening of new dance works at la Esquina, in collaboration with choreographer Tiffany Sisemore, and presented The Four Seasons at Paragraph gallery in early 2010, created in collaboration with visual artists Timothy Amundson and Erica Mahinay. She has also served as the director of City in Motion’s annual choreographer’s showcase, “A Modern Night at the Folly.” Gotch studied at UMKC’s Conservatory of Dance from 1996-98, then received a Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey scholarship to study at the Ailey School in New York. She finished her degree and graduated from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a BFA with honors in Modern Dance Performance in 2000. While in Philadelphia she danced professionally with Myra Bazel’s Scrap Performance Group and the Sylvan Opera Company. In 2001 she returned to New York and danced with independent choreographers including Neta Yeruashalmy’s Dancing People, Jen Abrams, and as an apprentice/assistant with Tere O’Connor Dance. With these choreographers she performed at venues including Judson Church, St. Marks Church, and the Kitchen. From 2001-02 she choreographed for and curated a collaborative dance performance, NYC: The Girl Projects, which performed at the Fifth Stop Open Studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and at the 2002 Philadelphia Fringe Festival.
Urban Culture Project is an initiative of the Charlotte Street Foundation, an organization dedicated to making Kansas City a place where artists and art thrive. Urban Culture Project creates new opportunities for artists of all disciplines and contributes to urban revitalization by transforming spaces in downtown Kansas City into new venues for multi-disciplinary contemporary arts programming. For more information, visit www.charlottestreet.org.