Conceived of and organized by Ellina Kevorkian. Themed artist residencies allow for more interdisciplinary engagement and function as a curatorial platform. From around the world, like-minded artists dealing with relational subject matter were brought to themed artist-in-residence programs. Artists working in all disciplines were invited to apply for residency. Applications were reviewed by a curated panel of nationally-recognized arts professionals from around the world. Informal to formal settings were provided to allow for natural discourse among the cohort, encouraging an authentic exchange across disciplines.
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts | April 27–May 6, 2016
This innovative residency program dedicated to critical discourse exploring interdisciplinary performance in contemporary art, including work that traverses the theater, dance, and performance fields. Artistic Director for Residency Programs Ellina Kevorkian curated an intensive ten-day residency program that focused on advancing peer-to-peer dialogue and scholarship among nationally recognized performance artists, curators, scholars, and writers by increasing exposure to various modes of thinking. The Liveness Is Critical platform nurtured the local and national performance ecosystem by supporting artists, curators, scholars, and writers who use the body, temporality, action, and the element of liveness in their work. This curated residency sought to highlight the critical and theoretical underpinnings that surround performance production, presentation, and scholarship. Using the Bemis Center model of providing time and space to support process and inquiry, Kevorkian stated, “I wanted to put the spotlight on the action of idea-generation for live art.”
Participating Residents: Travis Chamberlain, independent theater director and associate curator of performance, New Museum; Denise Chapman, theater artist and associate director, Performing Arts Collective, the Union for Contemporary Art; Shoshona Currier, performance curator, City of Chicago; Emily Johnson, choreographer and artistic director, Emily Johnson/Catalyst; Abigail Levine, choreographer and visiting faculty in dance, Wesleyan University, Daniel Sack, writer, editor, and assistant professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Juliana Snapper, performance artist, opera singer, and PhD candidate in musicology, University of California, San Diego.
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
These one-month curated residencies brought artists who, working at a national-level of recognition, were only able to attend for shorter amounts of time, allowing time and space to focus on research and development. This provided the general artists-in-residence and the invitational resident opportunities for engagement, work-sharing, and network-building.
(left: Wendy Red Star, right: Ellina Kevorkian)
Participating Residents: Wendy Red Star, Micol Hebron, Emily Johnson, Alexandra Grant, Brad Kalhammer.
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts | September 7–November 18, 2016.
This cohort of artists showed interest in the human condition when exploring issues of race, class, and gender through futuristic lenses. Artists demonstrated an interest in the research, development, or execution of work that explores the theme of science fiction, defined or identified through its motifs and relationship to past sci-fi film and literature, magical realism, dystopian and utopian futures, robots, alternate timelines, transhumanism and bodily transformation, space opera, afrofuturism, futuristic identity as explored by costume and dress, the post-apocalyptic world, threats to territory and frontier, outer space, and investigations in artificial intelligence.
Participating Artists: Seth Alter, Olalekan Jeyifous, Miatta Kawinzi, Kelsey Tait Jarboe, Sean Capone, Sonya Dyer, Annie Ewaskio, Jess Johnson, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Katharine Hawthorne.
The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts | September 20–November 17, 2017
Through this call, the Bemis Center will construct a cohort of artists whose artistic practices take diverse approaches to negotiating, understanding, and communicating empathy. Applicants should have demonstrated experience in the research, development, or execution of work that explores empathy and its various manifestations, from social justice and human rights, to environmental conservation and global warming.
Examples include: ethnocultural differences; consideration of immigrant communities; authentic and inauthentic selves; psychic and new agist mediums and culture; neuroaesthetics, biohacks (including consumables, wearables, and smart clothing); understanding animals; natural resources, energy, and the environment; consideration of viewers and spectatorship; labor economies in service industries; white privilege; correlation between poverty and access to human rights; psychoanalytic and cognitive behavioral psychologies; love and loss; embodied and somatic performance; kinesthesia; gender identification; social practice and working with underrepresented communities (elderly, persons with physical disabilities, or mental illness); cybernetics and social media; and medical and legal practice.
The Bemis Center for Contemporary ArtsThe inaugural Curator-in-Residence, the first of its kind in the region, will participate in a one-year, fully subsidized live/work residency as part of the Bemis Center’s Artist-in-Residence Program. They will originate and present three exhibitions and related public programs inclusive of local and national artists. The curator-in-residence provides networking and critical support to artists-in-residence.
2017 Curator-in-Residence Risa Puleo