J Mandle Performance
The Drawing Center’s ‘The Big Draw’

The World Financial Center, NYC

by artist|architect Jean Pike

The collective, J Mandle Performance, enlivened the outdoor space of the World Financial Center yesterday with a fun but also poignant piece called hopscotch. Dancers created the underlying line structures (spirals) with cast chalk shoes that were later augmented by kids as they chalked pictures of “safe” and “dangerous” spaces, making a map for a more difficult hopping game. The kids didn’t hesitate for a millisecond as they dove into their task as artists.

The dancers wore highly structured gowns with phrases embroidered on them such as “if you see something”, well known to New Yorkers who are familiar with the MTA’s post-9.11 admonition, “if you see something, say something.”

This piece is based on the early French version of hopscotch called Escargot which is played along a spiral path, but Mandle was interested to note that hopscotch originated as a military training exercise in Britain during the Roman Empire and was used to build speed and agility.

About the collective’s work, Mandle says, “I believe in the necessity of public interventions to create small shifts in perception, causing people to turn from one realm of meaning to another.” (interview, artkrush, 09/2007) Hopscotch gave us pause on Saturday.

Jean Pike is an artist|architect living and working in New York City. She holds a Master of Architecture degree from the Yale School of Architecture. Her work has been shown at Viridian Artists Gallery in NYC, The California College of Arts and Crafts, The University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning Gallery, Tao Gallery in Hong Kong and Gallery 61 at The New York Institute of Technology. Her work is about translating between various forms of representation (abstract drawing, video) and three or four dimensional work (sculpture, architecture and installation). Coming from a background in dance, it is often about the physical sense of the body in space and time and how that relates to psychological and emotional states.

J Mandle Performance creates publicly accessible, often free, site-specific performances that seek to heighten the perception of everyday environments in both invited audiences and accidental passersby. Julia Mandle is the recent recipient of a NYFA Fellowship in Performance Art and numerous awards, including her earliest grant from Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art, and later from The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, New York State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has also been awarded recent artist?s residencies at Yaddo and Weir Farm Trust. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Williams College and a Master of Arts at the Gallatin School of New York University.Since founding J Mandle Performance Julia Mandle has pioneered the development of genre-defining, site-specific performance-installation. Named by the New York Times as “a promising force in New York’s art and performance scene”, Mandle seeks to help lead the expansion of performance art in meaningful directions. Hustle (2005) was included in an exhibition voted ‘Best of 2005′ by both Michael Kimmelman of The New York Times and Andrea K. Scott of Time Out NY. Julia has lectured at Rhode Island School of Design anf Pratt Institute, served on the Road Island Arts Council, and published her theories in several journals. She is the recipient of a NYFA Fellowship (2003), grants and awards from the NEA, NYSCA, and the Jerome and Greenwall Foundations, and residencies at Yaddo and Weir Farm Trust. Articles on Mandle’s work have appeared in the New York Times, Time Out New York, the Village Voice, The New Yorker, Architecture Magazine, and NYFA Quarterly.

The Drawing Center has been a unique and dynamic part of New York City’s cultural life since 1977. The only not-for-profit institution in the country to focus on the exhibition of drawings, it was established to demonstrate the significance and diversity of drawings throughout history, to juxtapose work by master figures with work by emerging and under-recognized artists, and to stimulate public dialogue on issues of art and culture. Historical Exhibitions focus on both acknowledged and under-recognized masters (such as Michelangelo, J.M.W. Turner, James Ensor, Marcel Duchamp, and Hilma af Klint) while Contemporary Exhibitions illuminate unexplored aspects of works by major living artists (such as Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, Ellsworth Kelly, Anna Maria Maiolino, Ellen Gallagher, and Richard Tuttle), and Selections Exhibitions present innovative work of emerging artists who are contributing to new interpretations of drawing. In the Drawing Room, which was opened across the street from the main gallery in 1997, emerging and under-recognized artists are encouraged to create experimental, cross-disciplinary work and site-specific installations.

#permalink posted by Jean Pike: 9/08/08 09:45:00 PM


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