This summer, Fergus McCaffrey will present six weeks of performance art programming by internationally acclaimed and emerging artists working with their bodies and materials to create new site-specific work within the context of the gallery. The scope of the show will include live performance, sound, installation, and supporting works in multimedia by Máiréad Delaney, Hee Ran Lee, Daniel Neumann, Clifford Owens, Nigel Rolfe, and Liping Ting. REMAINS will run at Fergus McCaffrey gallery from July 6 to August 11, with more than twenty-five live performances occurring throughout the course of the show.
REMAINS brings together a diverse group of performance-based artists who use their bodies as a tool and a way of effecting change both materially and conceptually. Throughout the course of the show, the gallery will become an evolving site of experimentation by the artists, a laboratory of exploration through embodied actions. The performance artists in REMAINS will transform the Fergus McCaffrey space by working site-specifically to evolve, shift, and change both materials and the environment.
Nigel Rolfe uses finely ground natural minerals to create gestured marks on himself, nearby materials, and the space around him. After the performance, the powder remains, a suggestion of the symbolic dust we all emerge from and to which we all return. The often brightly colored pigments in Rolfe’s work contrast with the rich, dark coffee grounds of Clifford Owens’s scatological marks on paper, referencing the profanity of the body. The motions of his actions can be seen on the surface of the paper and reimagined long after the performance is past. Unlike Owens’s use of paper as a surface on which to make an embodied mark, Liping Ting’s Paper Timing / Stone Timing is marked by the slow action of crawling through a mountain of crumpled paper, with contact microphones amplifying her voice and the sound of her movement. Ting’s ongoing investigation into the interplay between her body and language will layer over time as she marks the windows with texts and symbols during a series of durational performances. Máiréad Delaney’s physically strenuous performances put her in a precarious position; she uses her body as a tool in a form of protest, referencing the body through logs cut with bone saws, the cracked pelvis of a heifer, and long branches of wild thorns.
In Hee Ran Lee’s work, 50 Bulbs, the audience members become collaborators in the performance, and they each hold the safety of the artist in their hands when she requests that they swing lightbulbs at her head. The resulting effects—the extinguishing of light, breaking of glass, and puffs of smoke surrounding the artist—make the audience active participants, not passive spectators. Also uniquely engaging the audience, Daniel Neumann’s sound installation, Phase Field, invites the viewer toward the site-specific modified speaker-objects, with the sound growing louder and softer in relation to each person’s physical relationship to the work.
A full schedule of performances can be found at www.fergusmccaffrey.com, with events happening almost every day. Please follow the show on Instagram @REMAINS_Performance_Show_2017 for daily updates and behind-the-scenes footage. Stay connected with the gallery via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtags #REMAINS2017 and #FMNewYork
Máiréad Delaney, born in 1991, explores how gendered bodies respond to the unleashing of systemic violence. She received a postgraduate diploma from the Burren College of Art (NUIG) in Ireland, while working with the Irish women’s collective Survivors of Symphysiotomy. She is currently pursuing her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Delaney has exhibited in New York, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Chile, and Ethiopia.
Hee Ran Lee is a Korean performance artist, born in 1981, whose body-centered work is an exploration of the private and public gestures of the Asian female body within patriarchal power structures, and an investigation into issues of cultural marginalization. Her work has been shown in New York, Chicago, Santiago, Paris, Canada, South Korea, and China. She holds an MFA with a specialization in performance from the SAIC and was a 2016–17 artist fellow of LEIMAY at CAVE, New York.
Daniel Neumann, born in 1979, is a Brooklyn-based sound artist, organizer, and audio engineer, originally from Germany. He holds a master's degree in media art from the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, and he also studied electronic music composition under Emanuele Casale in Catania, Italy. In his artistic practice, Neumann uses conceptual and often collaborative strategies to explore sound, sound material, and its modulation throughout varying spaces, situations, and media.
Clifford Owens is an African American mixed-media and performance artist, writer, and curator. Owens was born in 1971 in Baltimore, where he spent his early life. Owens creates works that center on the body and often include spontaneous interactions with the audience. He has been featured in solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York, and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
Nigel Rolfe is recognized as a seminal figure in performance art, having played a central role in its history and remaining a noted current practitioner. Born in 1950 on the Isle of Wight, England, Rolfe has lived and worked in Dublin since 1974. He has worked intensively and made significant contributions as an artist, curator, activist, and scholar. His work—spanning live performance, photography, video, and sound—has received international acclaim and has been presented in more than thirty countries on five continents.
Liping Ting, born in Taiwan in 1964, is an interdisciplinary artist who produces works of video, performance, and installation art. From 1998 to 2004, while in Paris, she co-organized Topophonie, a group of sound experiments and public performances. Her projects are a process of exchange with audiences. Through materials, sound, and installation, she focuses on human interdependency, relationships, and issues surrounding the survival of the environment.