Creative Capital's Year in Review


From the 2015 Artists Retreat at RPI on the EMPAC campus

Without a doubt, 2015 was a busy but great year for Creative Capital. In addition to throwing an amazing Homecoming Dance Benefit, a successful Artist Retreat, and announce 46 new artists in Moving Image and Visual Arts, we helped 13 artists premiere their projects around the world. Let’s take a look at them!
"The Sellout" (left); author Paul Beatty
Paul Beatty‘s satirical novel, The Sellout, was published in March by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. In the New York Times, Dwight Garner said that the “first 100 pages of [Beatty’s] new novel, The Sellout, are the most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I’ve read in at least a decade.” This month, the book is popping up in a ton of best of year end lists, and hopefully more than a few holiday wish lists.
Degenerate Art Ensemble, led by co-founders Joshua Kohl and Haruko Nishimura, premiered their project, Predator’s Songstress, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and at On The Boards in Seattle. In SF Weekly, Silke Tudor called it “menacingly beautiful.”

Ken Gonzales-Day, "The Unsolved Case of 'Spanish Charlie'," 2015. Chromogenic print.

Ken Gonzales-Day, “The Unsolved Case of ‘Spanish Charlie’,” 2015. Chromogenic print.

Ken Gonzales-Day premiered a body of work, Run Up, at Luis de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles this past April. Ken has spent his career focusing on the history of lynchings in the west, specifically in the Latino and Asian communities. Run Up re-stages a 1920s lynching of a Latino in California, and it took on a new form with the “Black Lives Matter” movement, as he has drawn parallels between current events and his historical research.
Michelle Ellsworth premiered Clytigation, a technology-driven performance, at the Chocolate Factory in New York City in November. In a review of the performance in the New York Times, Brian Seibert wrote, “This is high entertainment with no empty calories. [Ellsworth’s] wonderfully original work pushes all kinds of buttons.”

Excerpt from one of Carlos Motta’s documentaries on “Gender Talents

Carlos Motta launched his web-based project Gender Talents with a public event at the New Museum in May. The website, which profiles trans and interest activists and workers throughout the world, was featured in a number of online publications, including Flavorpill, which wrote, “the project challenges stale, normative thinking about gender categories that influence how we navigate the world.”
Maggie Nelson‘s project, The Argonauts, was published in May by Graywolf Press.  This wonderful autobiographical work addresses queer families and the author’s quest to have a baby during her partner’s simultaneous gender transition. Despite being an experimental memoir, the book has already made several mainstream Best of 2015 lists, including Publisher’s Weekly and the New York Times.

Excerpt from “Aphasia Poetry Club”

Kerry Tribe debuted her work The Loste Note in Los Angeles at 365 Mission. Both a film and sculptural installation, the exhibition was a result of Kerry’s lengthy collaborative work with patients suffering from aphasia, a neurological condition in which the language centers of the brain are damaged.
Emily Johnson premiered one of the most expansive performance projects we’ve ever seen, entitled SHORE. Emily forged partnerships with dozens of community organizations, from Minneapolis to New York to Seattle, in order to bring the performance to each city through dance, storytelling, volunteer projects and feasts. “The community-oriented structure of SHORE,” Garnet Henderson wrote in The Dance Enthusiast, “is an innovative approach to audience building.”
Ali Momeni launched the Center for Urban Intervention Research, an online community dedicated to exploring performative and political actions that leverage mobile technologies. The premiere of the project also culminated in the publication of the first in a series of shareable manuals that will help artists, activists, teachers and just about anyone use projection technology in their own practice! You can purchase the Manual for Urban Projection here.

Excerpt from Postcommodity’s video about “The Repellent Fence”

The interdisciplinary, indigenous arts collective Postcommodity completed a project that was almost ten years in the making, the Repellent Fence. The project culminated in producing the largest land art installation ever exhibited on the U.S./Mexico border. Through the installation, Postcommodity brought together the Latin, indigenous and American communities that are bisected by the border, highlighting problematic issues around immigration, collaboration and nationality.
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Installation shot from “Reversal of Fortune” at ZKM Center for Art & Media

Stephanie Rothenberg premiered her multidisciplinary installation, Reversal of Fortune: Garden of Virtual Kinship, at several locations in Europe. The project is a series of installations that both depend on and critique crowdfunding exchange between affluent Americans and developing countries.
Katrín Sigurðardóttir, "Supra Terram," 2015. Installation view at Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art. Photo: Jack Hems; Courtesy of Parasol unit.

Katrín Sigurðardóttir, “Supra Terram,” 2015. Installation view at Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art. Photo: Jack Hems; Courtesy of Parasol unit.

Katrín Sigurðardóttir‘s large-scale sculptrual installation, entitled Supra Terram, premiered in June at Parasol unit in London. In an interview with the artist, The Guardian described it as “an elegant shelter and spatial challenge, occupying two levels. On the ground floor it contains visitors; on the first floor we travel light and overpower it, looking down on a small roof – its mischievous lid.”
Holcombe Waller‘s project, Requiem Mass: LGBT / Working Title, premiered at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland as part of PICA’s TBA Festival. The evening performance leveraged the unique trans-disciplinary, trans-institutional convention of the modern Mass to honor LGBT people persecuted, or abandoned to persecution, in the name of religion. Eden Dawn of Monthly Portland declared, “[the project was] the best thing I’ve been to in a church. Ever. And I’ve been to Bethlehem.”
You can read our full year end review here, and to help us continue bringing more amazing artists’ projects to fruition, consider a year end donation to Creative Capital.

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