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Andrea Peña
States of Transmutation
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Assume the Risk
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Shohei Katayama
As Below, So Above
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HalfDream: Another Room
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John Kirchner

Faith and Aphasia


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Walking into the first of two large spaces, the visitor is at the rear of a room that is set up like a lecture hall. Folding chairs constructed of styrofoam face an enormous size 52" waist suit. The chairs, while completely useless, are visually convincing. Suspended on a hanger mid-air, the suit has a hole cut through its chest. The circle that has been cut out hangs on the wall about four feet behind this oversized figure.

In the other gallery are deck chairs, constructed of styrofoam with slings made of architect's drafting paper. Facing is a gigantic blue first-place ribbon. The center is cut out of the ribbon, but this time it has been placed on a back wall of the gallery. A pile of styrofoam cut-off pieces has been swept into a corner.

Artist Statement

I wanted to create an environment of ambiguity by taking the substance out of the form and the soul out of the substance. I decided to use the format of an assembly or lecture hall, then remove the soul from the rooms altogether. I wanted it to be a lecture on nothingness, a forum on the absolute. I used the suits as the international symbol of uniformity and the huge, blue ribbon to play on the notion of honor. I removed the “soul” from both the ribbon and the large suit to create specious objects that would reverberate in the chairs. I guess what I am ultimately questioning is faith: faith in the validity of the repeated experience, faith in tradition, and faith in individual free will. I wanted to fill both rooms but create a void. My art has been . . . a way to eventually attain an illuminative state of freedom. I strive to forget everything I have ever been taught, everything I have ever read, and everything I judge on a sliding scale of relative moral values.


John Kirchner: December 12, 1992 - March 31, 1993

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