2nd Floor Rear 2017: Ritual

February 5, 2017
6:30AM – 6:30PM

Mana Contemporary Chicago
2233 S Throop St, Chicago, IL


2nd Floor Rear 2017: Ritual

Julien Prévieux,  Patterns of Life  ,  film still, 2015. Courtesy Jousse Entreprise Gallery (Paris)

Mana Contemporary Chicago will host a series of events by 2nd Floor Rear, an annual festival of art in experimental contexts, apartment galleries, and ephemeral and migrant projects, celebrating Chicago’s vibrant art community:

From Dawn till Dusk
Sixth Floor Flex Space, 6:30AM – 6:30PM
Open Heart Surgery Theatre, including Coleen MacPherson, Rachel Ellison + Arif Mirbaghi

From Dawn till Dusk is a 12-hour participatory performance event where each hour, from morning light until sunset, invites the audience into a personal or cultural ritual, inspired by the company’s Canadian, American, Persian, and Jewish heritage. Over the course of a day, each hour melts into the next, leading the audience into a variety of experiences that slow time and present the mundane, along with glimmers of humor and revolution. The day unfolds through the guidance of artists Rachel Ellison and Coleen MacPherson. Live music—performed by Arif Mirbaghi, Andrew Moljgun, Tom Moffett, and Raha Javanfar—will merge disparate gestures into a cohesive expression of intentionality.

The piece begins just before sunrise at 7AM. We will journey from darkness, through light, and return to darkness as we close our practice by nightfall. Each hour will evoke a range of sensorial and social cues indicating the passage from one state of being, or ritual environment, to the next. We are interested in rituals old and new and in connecting to our own personal cultural references through reflection and action. The arc of the overall piece will ebb and flow, like breath. Audiences may engage, watch, listen, eat, or even sleep, depending on the nature of the proposed rituals and their personal preferences.

Mana Parking Lot, 3PM
Adrienne Deeble

Historically, salt has been used as a means of purification and protection. Throughout the performance of FUTILITY I, Adrienne Deeble uses the mineral to create a ring around her. Ultimately, she uses the salt to create distance and push away the audience. In the wake of trauma and loss, FUTILITY I began as a fruitless quest for self-protection and became a means of faith outside of religious dogma. The surrounding salt will wash away, but the belief will persist that one has power and control in a world that works against them.

Public Screening
Fifth Floor, Industry of the Ordinary, 2PM – 4PM
Marlo Koch + Emerson Sigman

We investigate the things we hold near and dear. Audience members will be asked to empty the contents of their pockets, and the artists will arrange the objects, document their process, and place the photographs of the performance on the wall.

A Song an Hour
Fifth Floor Classroom, 2PM – 6PM
Curated by Chris Reeves

Micro-revolutions happen everyday- they’re just so miniature we can’t see them. A Song an Hour presents a cycle of literal micro-revolutions: one performer for one hour sings one song of their choice over and over until the hour is finished (program length: 4 hours/4 performers). A Song an Hour is a live mixtape for the Andy Warhol Instagram filter age: repetition and endurance—long a bedfellow for the market and critical but complicit art strategies—is put under a literal spotlight and surrogated through the simple act of song. When we sing the same thing over and over again, can we accidentally stumble upon a new note, a new gesture, a new moment, a new economy?

Performers include Alejandro Acierto, Jesse Malmed, Jimmy Schaus, Liz McCarthy, with an accompanying self-published book of essays and ephemera.

The Thing that Does Not Need to Come Up for Air
Sixth Floor Project Space, 2PM – 6PM
Mairead Delaney with Tamer Hassan

A durational performance examining the ritual of the interrogation through gesture and metaphor, using the bell as both object of extracted information and clamoring voice. Alongside the inexorable elements of repetition and duration, the voices of the bells add incomprehensible communication—question and response will peal and re-peal.

Ritual unfolds and the bell tolls. They mark time, peal madness, set the rhythm of the prison and the schoolroom and the mass. Violence comprises a rupture, created in the psychosomatic body by a traumatic event. Violence may be incorporated into systems, bureaucratized. In this way violence becomes ritual. The piece will examine—cross-examine—the interrogation as it exists as institutional ritual of violence, and as it looms in our current political climate.

Performers include Mairead Delaney, Cora Lively, and Tamer Hassan.

Memory Mandala (Found Objects)
Fourth Floor Project Space, 2PM – 6PM
Nancy VanKanegan

Mandalas are objects for meditation, and physical/spiritual healing. Concentricity is a common element of mandala design. The center is surrounded by bands that represent the pulsation of energies into and out of the center, symbolizing the journey into and out of the deepest self. This community-built mandala will evoke a sense of time and memory by using found objects that are present in both celebratory and mundane aspects of life. All are invited to participate in the construction of the mandala using materials provided by the artist (eggshells, keys, plastic army men, flower petals, lost single gloves). Chanting and meditation will consecrate the mandala, the parts of which will then be dispersed among the participants.


Image: Uptool in collaboration with Julia Klein, Curt Miller and John Szczepaniak, Hot House, outdoor exhibition, 2nd Floor Rear 2016, February 7, 2016. Photo by Laura Mitchell