Date(s) - 06/09/2018
8:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Kala Art Institute
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As a part of current exhibition Skinnable Shadows, Kala Gallery is proud to present Lydia Greer and Caryl Kientz’s Experimental Shadow Animation with live shadow puppet performance and opera featuring vocalists Shauna Fallihee, William Sauerland, and cellist Adam Young.
The program includes selections from:
- The Euphoria of Walt Whitman
The Euphoria of Walt Whitman (excerpts from a feature length puppet opera)
Shauna Fallihee and William Sauerland will perform versions of songs from the performance, The Euphoria of Walt Whitman with Facing West Shadow Opera, which is a live Baroque puppet opera exploring queer poet Walt Whitman’s obsession with the traveling operas of the Wild West, phrenology and the gold rush era. With music by Henry Purcell and Giulio Caccini.
Facing West Shadow Opera is a collective of artists, puppeteers, filmmakers and musicians hybridizing art forms to create magical acts of rebellion as small scale experimental art that is sustainable in the current gold rush climate of the Bay Area. FWSO combines analog shadow theatre with original animation, video projection of found footage and Baroque opera performed live. FWSO depicts stories drawn from the cultural, political, and natural history of California and the American West, re-imagined with unique visual storytelling to create surprising experiences for the audience by seamlessly combining the old and the new.
Hysteria (4 min)
Shauna Fallihee and William Sauerland will perform Hysteria (4 minutes excerpt) including When I am laid in earth from the baroque opera Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell with cello, counter tenor and soprano arranged by William Sauerland.
Hysteria is taken from a longer experimental film by Lydia Greer in collaboration with performance artist Jadelynn Stahl and originally commissioned for Stahl’s project Choreographies of Disclosure wherein media artists collaborate with survivors of sexual assault. The film includes the historical images from photographs of institutionalized women with diagnoses of hysteria. Hysteria was the misdiagnosis most often given to victims of sexual assault. Greer also used footage from horror films and rape prevention films from the 20th century depicting women performing fear, trauma and disclosure. She distilled the footage to close ups of singular performances of these somatic gestures. The melodrama and thus stereotypes of the performance of disclosure and trauma remains as a residue even when abstracted. Greer was also inspired by the response of the nervous system to trauma and this piece is a tribute to her great, great grandmother who was kidnapped by her own father and institutionalized in an asylum for being troubled, eccentric and a gifted artist (she was a poet and musician who performed on the streets of Baltimore). The most common diagnoses in the records at that asylum for women was hysteria.
Shauna Fallihee will perform 4 songs from Mirabai Songs set to a animated film created by Lydia Greer
Hallucinations is an experimental animated film featuring puppets, performing objects and cut paper by artist Lydia Greer projected with live opera sung by versatile soprano soloist Shauna Fallihee. Fallihee performs the difficult and beautiful Art Song cycle Mirabai Songs by new music composer John Harbison. Combined with Greer’s animation this becomes an intimate, animated contemporary opera about Mirabai, a legendary sixteenth-century poet and street performer of Rajasthan, India. On her husband’s death she refused to join him on the funeral pyre. Instead she escaped to the mountains and found freedom as Krishna’s lover, enveloped in a supernatural ecstasy with a spirit. When she descended from the mountain she sang and danced in the streets calling Krishna the “Dark One”.