Woodland Pattern Book Center is happy to present Shift: Guest Curators from the LGBTQ Community, a series of readings, performances, and exhibitions curated by local LGBTQ artists and focused on sex and gender diversity in the contemporary arts.
Steve Reinke is an artist and writer best known for his work in video. He has screened at many festivals including Sundance, Berlinale, Oberhausen, Rotterdam and the BFI London Film Festival. His work is in the permanent collections of many museums including the MoMA (New York), Pompidou (Paris), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa) and MACBA (Barcelona). He has written two books, Everybody Loves Nothing and The Shimmering Beast and co-edited several anthologies, including The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema (with Chris Gehman). He is associate professor of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern. For more, visit: www.myrectumisnotagrave.com
Elijah Burgher makes small, colored pencil drawings that utilize ideas from magick and the occult to address sexuality, sub-cultural formation and the history of abstraction. Citing early 20th century occultist, Austin Osman Spare’s system, Burgher draws sigils—emblems to which magical power is imputed. By recombining the letters that spell out a wish into a new symbol, Burgher’s pictures of sigils literally encode desire while embodying it abstractly through shape, color and composition. Through precise, repetitive marks, he endows his drawings with a sense of all-over intentionality. His figurative works often depict naked men conducting rituals in rented rooms or wooded landscapes. They draw the ritual circle, invoke the dead, or cut symbols into one another. Others portray counter-cultural queer icons or betray a prurient attitude towards art history’s storehouse of imagery. At stake are a concern with human relationality and a desire to close the gap between fantasy and reality.
Burgher has exhibited in solo shows at Western Exhibitions, Chicago (2013, 2012); 2nd Floor Projects, San Francisco (2011); and Shane Campbell Gallery, Oak Park (2010); and two-persons shows at Lump, Raleigh (2012); and Peregrine Program, Chicago (2009). He was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Recent group shows exhibitions at Cabinet (2014) and Hales Gallery (2014), London; Exile (2014), Berlin; Witte de With, Rotterdam (2013), H.F. Johnson Gallery of Art, Kenosha (2012); 92YTribeca (2012), New York City. His work was recently included in Phaidon’s Vitamin D2, a survey of contemporary drawing practices. In 2011, he was a resident artist at both the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Fire Island Artist Residency. He received a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, in 2000, where he studied Literature.
Guest curator Carl Bogner is a member of the Teaching Academic Staff in the Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the Director of the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival, whose 30th Annual Edition will be this October 15-25.
Many thanks to our co-sponsors for this event, The Green Gallery & Experimental Tuesdays at the Union Theatre
Don’t miss Steve Reinke’s lastest video “Rib Gets in the Way” (52min., 2014) at the UWM Union Theatre, Tuesday, March 3 at 7:00pm. See: www.aux.uwm.edu/union/union_theatre
Animals don’t love us the way we love them. When I first realized this, as a child, I was terribly
disappointed. Then I discovered it was all about locomotion. They move through the world in their
own ways. Many animals don’t even have legs, or hands. Love is very different when you don’t have
Surrounded by all this death, its hard not to get more and more philosophical, or perhaps just more
physical. I want to be buried with my mustache attached to my nipple rings. That is my final wish, to
be laid out with the ends of my moustache firmly attached to my nipple rings. And then cremated or
something, I don’t care. Of course, I don’t have any piercings; they disgust me. They can pierce my
nipples on my death bed. It’ll take a few years for my moustache to grow that long, I know. That’s
how I’m going to measure the remaining years of my life, by the shrinking distance between
moustache tip and virtual nipple ring.
—Steve Reinke, from “Rib Gets in the Way”
I am fixated on an Aztec sculpture of the god of death, Mictlantecuhtli, in the museum of the
Templo Mayor in Mexico City, which traveled to the Field Museum in Chicago in 2008.
Representing the chaos of decay into which we all eventually descend, the ceramic sculpture stands
as tall as a human, with a large, grinning round head, its dome gridded with holes into which plugs
of curly hair were once inserted. Mictlantecuhtli leans forward, his arms up and bent at the elbows,
and hands palms out at chest level. His ass thrusts back either like he’s about to squat or like he’s
begging to get fucked from behind. My interest in this sculpture increases as friends die, and I seek .
. . what? An object of meditation in this gruesome and sexed-up personification of death, I suppose.
William Pisarri, Mark Aguhar, and Tom Daws, may you all rest in peace.
—Elijah Burgher, from “Death Camp”