For his second project as 2017 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow, DeForrest Brown Jr. presents the premiere of Elevator to Mezzanine, a new commissioned project between Brown and Berlin-based artist, musician and writer Steven Warwick taking place at Secret Project Robot.
Elevator to Mezzanine (E-M) is a cataloguing space and focus group established in 2017 by Steven Warwick & DeForrest Brown Jr. and proposes itself as a “War on Style.”*
E-M opens in a club environment and takes the form of a play-as-platform, a ground-level press conference, and a prepared sound design piece. The performance-as-installation features a staged version of E-M’s conceptual department store and sets out to investigate, scale and perform this flat non-space and its orbiting culture of collapsing economies and corroding identities.
Featuring Warwick performing selections from his 2016 PAN release Nadir, described as a mixtape by both the label and artist, the piece “utilizes oblique and pulsing electronics and his own voice to weave reflective poetics and diaristic snapshots over disjointed rhythms.” Overall, the work offers observations of millennial placelessness, an inescapably fearful media climate, the emotional disaffection and degradation of the pressures of wage labor, contemporary uncertainty and urban isolation. It suggests collapse in lieu of the obligation to offer answers, which in itself opens up a space where bodies are still amongst each other and together.
Operating under the maxim “relax, it's only a crisis,” E-M also features additional collaborators, including a live CDJ set from Voice Training (Jaclyn Miller), performance artist and butoh dancer Stacy Lynn Smith, visuals from Ilya Lipkin and Enver Hadzijaj, and sourced audio from cellist Lori Goldston (Earth, Nirvana).
Steven Warwick’s return to ISSUE follows previous performances as a part of ISSUE’s PAN_ACT festival in 2013, including a performance with Ned Rothenberg and a talk with Alexander Provan of Triple Canopy at Goethe-Institut New York.
“This is dance music through and through, albeit probably unlike any you’ve heard before” - The Quietus
Steven Warwick is a British artist, musician and writer residing in Berlin. His practice includes durational performance installations, plays and films using the construction of situations and language. He also makes music as Heatsick and under his own name – the latest release, Nadir, appeared recently on PAN. Warwick has exhibited work at SMK Copenhagen, the Modern Institute Glasgow, ICA London, Balice Hertling NYC, Exile Galerie Berlin, Kinderhook & Caracas, Kurator CH, New Theater Berlin, Schinkel Pavillon and was artist in residence at Villa Aurora, Los Angeles 2015. His writing has appeared in Texte Zur Kunst, Urbanomic, Arte East and Electronic Beats.
*Style is a mechanism with which one engages with social reality.