Thursday, October 21, 2010

PoArt Performance: Liz Roncka & Philippe Lejeune [46]

Liz Roncka
Cambridge, MA, USA

Philippe Lejeune
France/Brookline, MA, USA

8/5/2010 - Initial Facebook Contact:

LR (Artist):
I am thinking maybe Philippe & I would do a combo installation/performance with a box and a glass front. It may include a live performance of something similar to what i did in my video. When is the POA happening anyway?

JW (co-curator):
James Ellis Coleman is curating the performances with some help from me and i'm curating the exhibition with some help from James
anyway, we both hope you will perform in Sept for the show.
The dates are Sept 18 and Sept 25..
the 18th is already slated to be 8-10pm
the 25th is slated to be 4-6pm but we are already thinking of extending back to 11am on the 25th and potentially we could add evening performances on the 25th (the 25th is one of the Saturdays that is officially part of the SOWA Open Studios so we definitely want Mobius to be open from 11am until 6pm that day.

I put the calls for work up on the blog before I make it completely public -

8/24/2010 - Proposal:

PL (Artist):

Please watch the YouTube video:
When can we meet ?

JC (co-curator):
I feel the piece would really get the viewers engaged, I would love to include you and Liz's work in 'The Prostitution of Art'. I am free Monday the 30, if you like we can meet at MOBIUS

9/5/2010 through 9/10/2010 - Preparing to install and rehearse:

LR (Artist):
Philippe and I were wondering if it is at all possible for us to rehearse in the box sometime near the show at Mobius. I realize there will be other pieces installed and an exhbit going on during the week before. Any windows of time or space when rehearsal might be possible?

JW (co-curator):
no problem re rehearsing in space...
I think people will be coming in Sept 17th mostly to install ..
james and I will be installing whatever we can Sept 16th (video for signs and sent in pieces)and then of course Sept 18th during the day.

LR (Artist):
Would it be possible for us to rehearse either Friday during the day (17th) or Saturday during the day (18th) at Mobius? I know that Philippe would like his cube to stay assembled once he sets it up (although it can easily be shifted around the space). I would prefer Friday over Saturday, but I can do Saturday if that is the only option.

JW (co-curator):
Sure that would be fine -- just let us know approx. what time..
friday is good as long as you don't mind that other people will be in the space installing ... hopefully it won't be dangerous to have the cube out..
there will be some major things coming in (people on tubes, ladders and video installation plus more stuff ) -

could Phillippe install his cube by the windows closest to the street with one side facing the path leading to the patio/garden if that makes sense - that is facing Mobius from the outside looking in the windows, you'd be on the LEFT side) .. actually it might be a good spot to leave the cube even for the performances possibly! the cube can even go closer to the center of the gallery and up away from the street a little bit --
most of the sculptural and equipment heavy installation will be in the other corner (RIGHT side where the ceiling is lower) and in the hallway leading back to the bathrooms...
plus a few hanging pieces center of gallery (kind of where Ellen hung her photographs for 678 exhibition)

PL (Artist):

["Concepta" Group performance art show at Mobius. October 2008. Photo: ©Bob Raymond]

Is this the corner you are talking about?
If it is, it's OK with me... because of the audience it could be position in an angle ... I will have some audio equipment on the side and the light position on the top of the box
Before the performance I can move the cube in the corner and cover it to protect it ... something like that

I could install the cube on Friday ( have our practice with Liz) and hopefully leave it in the corner until Saturday night performance

9/18/2010 - Opening Night Performance:

“Mixed Feelings”
Performance by Liz Roncka
Installation by Philippe Lejeune
Music by Max Lord (Text: Liz Roncka)
The Prostitution of Art @Mobius
September 18, 2010

Set of Videos by Philippe Lejeune of the rehearsal at Mobius and the actual performances on Opening Night:

Artist Statement by Philippe Lejeune:

Note that for the initial part of her performance, Philippe Lejeune asked Liz Roncka to repeat the makeup ritual from the video she originally created for The Prostitution of Art Online Blog - Original post here

Four Video Clips taken by Mobius:

Mixed Feelings: Liz Roncka & Philippe Lejeune @Mobius - Part 1

Mixed Feelings: Liz Roncka & Philippe Lejeune @Mobius - Part 2

Mixed Feelings: Liz Roncka & Philippe Lejeune @Mobius - Part 3

Mixed Feelings: Liz Roncka & Philippe Lejeune @Mobius - Part 4

10/21/2010 - Script/Inspiration:

Further documentation sent via email from Philippe Lejeune including the "script" as it were that he wrote for Liz Roncka (entitled Your Performance) and inspiration/recherche for this collaboration.

Philippe Lejeune's words are shown in italics and for the sake of brevity in this blog post, only text he highlighted from quoted articles is shown below. Please click on the corresponding links if you wish to read the entire articles he has drawn inspiration/material from.

part of a text I exchange with Liz in preparation for the show

I am looking right now at what else I could give you...

Your Performance

It starts when you see the fabric going down... you are already sitted on the little cube.
1- you could start setting your tools on the floor in front of you on some kind of fabric you are rolling to reveal the tools. 1min. or less
2- you start putting your make up 5 min. or less ( it's up to you ) You can decide to ignore the viewer facing you but advancing your face toward the glass --there is no mirror ( the same way you would do it toward the mirror in order to see very well how to put the make up) you will be actually looking at the same time directly in the direction of the viewer sitting down and facing you.
3- when you are finished you can roll back your tools within the fabric, turn around and put everything outside the box ( by simply pushing the door) I think it might be easier to have everything out of the way)
4- suggestion: You start moving ( dancing ) slowly away from your seat ( little cube) looking around, looking at the cube and starting to move it slowly.
5- how it ends????

Music: some music will start playing when you are starting to put your make up. another music will start to play when you are starting to dance
voice: you decide to talk when ever you feel so... during the make up
Light: one light on top ( like you have seen it before) will be lighting all along the viewer sitting down and a bit at the same time you. I still need to experiment but I would like to have another small light ( flash light ) that I could direct at you or not open or close... to change a bit the effects of the reflection.... something like that. It also can be interesting to have a flash light inside the box that you could play with when you are performing... to be decided...
I am going to buy some kind of light dimmer to to be able to control the intensity of the light.
Public: one person from the audience all along is sitting facing you... I will decide how long they can stay, how they are told to move away for a new person to come sit down... I am hoping 5 or 6 or more people can sit + 1 or 2 from the make up time
Time: How long will be your performance? it's up to you... I am guessing for now 15 - 20 min. all together with your make up time 20 - 30 min.

I did some recherche and found this that help me reflect on the subject "prostitution of art"


"Kant's theory of beauty is not identical with his whole philosophy of art. Much of his discussion of beauty focuses on an example of natural beauty ("this rose is beautiful"). The universality and necessity of pure judgments of taste holds for natural beauty as well as art. What is distinctive about art is that purposiveness is accompanied by some specific purpose. With fine art, that purpose is the communication of ideas.

Kant expands on the topic of fine art. When successful, fine art displays genius, animated by spirit. These features distinguish it from the limited diversions of pleasing sensations or merely accessory beauty."

pleasing sensation this expression can be associated as well with prostitution or with art.... interesting!!!!!!

"... aesthetic and moral judgment

moral dimension

... the beautiful and the morally good. Locating beauty in disinterested pleasure does not, in the final analysis, free art from moral judgment."

you might not want to spend the time reading all this but it's very interesting stuff!!!!!
You can see in my recherche and collection of info, I colored the text that I found interesting

2.3.3 The Intentionality of the Pleasure

"Does the feeling of pleasure in a judgment of beauty have intentional content? According to Guyer, the answer is no (see especially 1979, pp. 99-119). Although Kant sometimes describes pleasure as awareness of the free play of the faculties, Guyer takes the relation between the free play and the feeling of pleasure to be merely causal. The pleasure is “opaque”: while one can come to recognize that one's feeling of pleasure is due to the free play, this is not because the pleasure makes one immediately aware of it, but rather because reflection on the causal history of one's pleasure can lead one to conclude that it was not sensory or due to the satisfaction of a desire and hence (by elimination) must have been due to the free play. While many commentors follow Guyer on this point, opposing views have been taken by e.g., Aquila (1982), Ginsborg (1990, ch. 1, and 1991), Allison (2001, in particular pp. 53-54, p. 69 and pp. 122-123) and Zuckert (2002)."

Aesthetics and Morality

"Aesthetic experience serves as a propadeutic for morality, in that “the beautiful prepares us to love something, even nature, without interest; the sublime, to esteem it, even contrary to our (sensible) interest”"

Kant, the Artist, and Artistic Freedom

"The definition of the “artist” in the Eighteenth Century was a trained technician who produced commissioned objects for these powers. The definition of “subject matter” or “content” in a work of art was that which had been approved of by the client or patron...

... concept of the individual as a free and independent human being who is allowed freedom of speech and expression as “natural rights.”

... The artist is now free of any external “commands” from patrons or the audience.

Artistic freedom was not a new idea, for artists had always struggled against the demands of troublesome clients.."

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