Michelle Fornabai: act 3 mix ("To a Water Lily")
01 October - 06 October 2018
Closing: 06 October, 5-6pm
10am-4pm (daily): exhibition | performance
4pm-5pm (daily): film screening
5pm-6pm (daily): artist talks
The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture is delighted to announce the debut solo exhibit in Boston of Michelle Fornabai's act 3 mix ("To a Water Lily"). The exhibition will reflect upon the fragility of strength and paradoxically, the poignant force of vulnerability at Government Center, where Boston's most vulnerable have been placed at the center of government service.
Michelle Fornabai will place her concrete poem, act 3 mix ("To a Water Lily"), in dialogue with Paul Rudolph's "essay in concrete" at Government Center during a six-day performance. Materially, Fornabai works with concrete using its substance, sounds and sensitivity to environs. In her works, concrete—typically a monumental, monolithic, static, permanent material—becomes infinitesimal, manifold and transient, engendering movement. Choreographies of construction enacted over months and critically brief performances or "concerts in construction" over days evince concrete's poetic potential. Rudolph's building, perhaps like many Bostonians, is known for its bristly exterior yet weathers the elements to protect a secret, generous and imaginative interior.
Michelle Fornabai was selected by the City of Boston as one of its five inaugural Artist Fellows. Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture announced the recipients of the City's first-ever Artist Fellowship Award to support the advancement of artists living in Boston in 2017, made possible by funding through the Boston Cultural Council and the City of Boston. The pilot program, designed to recognize exceptional original artistic work while helping recipients advance their careers, invests a total of $50,000 in the advancement of five individual artists. Over the past year, Fornabai has been working with the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture on an exhibition from her work, Concrete Poetry: 10 Conceptual Acts of Architecture in Concrete.
During the duration of Fornabai's performance, two landscape-scale works in floating concrete, resonated by a song from Edward MacDowell's Woodland Sketches, will be installed and exhibited in the Boston Room at the Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center (10am-4pm) and accompanied by the screening a five hour video "Resonance|Performance" over five days (4-5pm) in the Chapel.
With the exhibit, a series of informal artist conversations, The Concrete Corduroy Chats, with invited guests have been organized daily from 5-6pm as a kind of "mixer" to include other voices from art, architecture, music, dance, construction that have formed the larger, local site and context for Fornabai's work as part of her concrete poem. In her words, "As an artist, to acknowledge and share with Boston the voices I've heard that have encouraged and inspire me remains central to any poem reflecting upon fragility or strength."
In respect for those providing and receiving care in the building, we are only allowing a limited number of people to attend the screenings in the Chapel and ask that you reserve a ticket if you are planning to attend.
The concrete corduroy chats to date (additional guests may be added) 1-6 October from 5-6pm in the Boston Room:
The concrete corduroy chats, 1-6 October, 5-6pm in The Boston Room, Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center, Government (Service) Center, Boston, MA
“Velvet trousers — their whistling sound (in walking) by brushing of the 2 legs is an infra thin separation signaled by sound (is it not? )” –Marcel Duchamp, Notes, arranged and translated by Paul Matisse
Why do artists talk? Who do they talk to?
The concrete corduroy chats will explore ways of rethinking the "artist talk" (which contextualizes the work, its process, its influences) and the "group show" (that places the artists work with similar works).
Most likely, the concrete corduroy chats will be small, intimate perhaps almost verging on imperceptible, but they may be a whisper of difference, nonetheless.
What is the difference?
By indirect perceptions of physical phenomena, small gestures and reciprocal nuances in an environment might produce infinitesimal changes, challenge knowledge, and deeply affect.