As part of the June PAN_ACT festival, ISSUE Project Room and Goethe-Institut New York present an evening with a diverse and hard-hitting bill of multidisciplinary performers including painter and performance artist Jutta Koether, sound/installation collaborative New Humans, Wally Blanchard & Stefan Tcherepnin's duo rESPetc2.rSonel, and the idiosyncratic improvisor C Spencer Yeh.
Jutta Koether, born in 1958 in Cologne, lives and works in New York. Known as one of the central figures in contemporary painting, Koether is more than a painter and works actively as a performance artist, musician, writer, and theoretician. Her role as an artist was long reduced to being regarded as a feminist response to a specific scene of the late 1980s in Cologne, Germany. With her translucent color fields, the gestural brush stroke, drawings of female bodies, and the lyrical appropriation of poetry and art history, she frequently seems to assume positions in contrast to artists such as Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke, and Albert Oehlen. As critic and editor of the music and pop culture magazine Spex and as performance artist and musician, however, Koether did not fit the typical image of the art scene of that time. Since the start of her artistic career Koether has sought to make expansion her program. At the same time, it has always been important to her not to take an unequivocal role as an artist, but always to work from several positions. Since coming to New York in the 1990s, she moves in an expanded field of experiment and improvisation, literature and theory in the New York scene. Cooperation with musicians like Tom Verlaine (Television) or Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) often provides her with more important inspiration than the work of other visual artists. It is specifically through these apparent detours and alternative forms of energy that she has created a kind of free space for herself, which enables a reevaluation of the medium of painting and its potential that is so urgently needed in today’s situation.
Formed in 2003, New York-based New Humans make collaborative works at the intersection of sound, installation, and performance actions. New Humans emerged out of Mika Tajima's art practice and is a moniker for her projects with other musicians, artists and designers. New Humans performances and recordings continue a working use of physical materials, piercing drones, sheer static, and low bass frequencies. Current members are Howie Chen, Mika Tajima, and Eric Tsai.
For nearly two decades, Wally Blanchard and Stefan Tcherepnin, tonight performing as the duo rESPetc2.rSonel, have employed a wide variety of instrumental and compositional approaches in their many collaborations, which include cassette recordings such as ESPCP/TEXASHEX, TRAUMAKING and Existential Blowfish. In 2011 they performed as rSonel at the Leland Ballroom in Detroit. Stefan Tcherepnin is an artist and musician based in Brooklyn. He composed the score for Paris and Wizard the Musical, in collaboration with Ei Arakawa and Dan Poston, which was performed at MoMA earlier in 2013. Wally Blanchard played drums and programmed electronics for Cape Cod metal/math/acid-core band E.A.R.S.H.O.T. and creates electronic music as WALLYBRAIN.
C. Spencer Yeh is recognized for his interdisciplinary activities and collaborations as an artist, composer, and improviser, as well as his music project Burning Star Core. Recent recorded works include Ambient (with Robert Piotrowicz), 1975, and Transitions, under the CS Yeh moniker. Yeh also volunteers as a trailer editor and programmer for Spectacle Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Situations in 2013 so far include duetting with cellist Okkyung Lee for Andrew Lampert’s Synonym for Untitled at the Whitney Museum, presenting solo vocal improvisations at the Segue Reading Series in NYC, and at the ICA Philadelphia via Primary Information, a duo with saxophonist Don Dietrich (of Borbetomagus), a trio with Jason Lescalleet and Nate Young (of Wolf Eyes), presenting a screening of Japanese Noise VHS tapes at Light Industry, and sharing an evening at the Canal Series with artist Mary Lucier, both as soloist and as support in her original multimedia performance of I Am Sitting in a Room. Yeh is also composing a series of new tape works, including a portrait of longtime collaborator Nate Wooley, for a Jerome Foundation commission via Roulette in Brooklyn NY.