Abandoned Practices 2018 Performances

On Wednesday, July 25 @ 1PM, in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Columbus Building, sixteen participants of the three-week summer course devoted to abandoned practices and endangered uses shared presentations devised in response to the form of the Chautauqua Assembly, a traveling rural adult education institution, the popularity of which peaked in the late 1800s. Sharing the theme of useful knowledge, the three 15-18 minute presentations each weave a series of strictly timed original responses to subjects such as “Moving Sidewalk,” and “Acoustic Location” in alternating presentational modes of expert demonstration, traveling exhibition, entertainment performance, misremembered fabulation,and the "occasional poetry" of the toast.


Beautiful Nebraska Performances

Photo: Hannah Geil-Neufeld

Beautiful Nebraska

Sunday, May 6th, 2018
Performances at 3:00 & 5:30 PM

The Gray Center Lab
929 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL

Beautiful Nebraska responds to the substance and expression of Address, the solo exhibition at the Renaissance Society by acclaimed sculptor Richard Rezac. Directed by Lin Hixson, written by Matthew Goulish, and performed by Elise Cowin, Bryan Saner, and Quinn Turley, with lighting by Christine Shallenberg, and material/design consultation by Michael Schmelling.

This project was commissioned by The Renaissance Society and supported by The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Dreihaus Foundation.

Please note: due to limited capacity in the space, we have added a second presentation of Beautiful Nebraska. Performances will take place at 3pm and at 5:30pm. Doors will open 10 minutes ahead of each start time, and seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trust for Mutual Understanding Grant Announcement

Every house has a door is honored to announce funding from The Trust for Mutual Understanding for an international exchange between Chicago, Prague, and Helsinki. Every house and ATOM-r from Chicago and Handa Gote Theatre from Prague will develop collaborative performances and workshops hosted by three international venues: Chicago’ Link’s Hall, Helsinki’s Mad House, and Prague’s Alfred ve dvore Theater.

Time, Space, and Matter in Jay Wright’s The Presentable Art of Reading Absence

Available Now!
Time, Space, and Matter in Jay Wright’s The Presentable Art of Reading Absence

Published by Every house has a door in an edition of 500 as a reading companion to The Three Matadores. Essay by Will Daddario, cover image by Kate O’Neill, designed by Jordan Williams. Further reading about Jay Wright’s poetry at the source of the Matadoresperformance. 40 pages. $10.00 (includes shipping in the US).

Click to Order

Every house travels to Finland

There were magpies in my landscape and there were scarecrows.
The scarecrows on the ground are the same thing as the magpies in the sky, they are a part of the landscape.
– Gertrude Stein

This June and July, Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish of Every house has a door travel to Helsinki for a residency at Mad House to work on their new performance collaboration Scarecrow with Helsinki’s Essi Kausalainen. With Lin directing, and Matthew and Essi performing as well as contributing writing, choreography, costumes, and video, the work proceeds from common interests in inter-species communication (human, plant, animal). Essi’s choreographic poetry and humor provides a starting point for a circuit of research, language, and gesture, with choreography derived from snail behavior and the deleted dance of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

MCA Live: MERCUA/uncommon times

MCA Live: MERCUA/uncommon times
a performance response to Merce Cunningham – Common Time

Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 6–7 pm
Museum of Contemporary Art | 220 E Chicago Ave

Engaging (some of) the letters of Merce Cunningham’s name as a guide for a 6-part time structure, MERCUA/uncommon times re-imagines elements of Cunningham’s philosophy of dance and collaboration for a one-time MCA presentation. This one-hour performance responds to the contemporary historical moment as multiple contradictory time signatures within a single event. Featuring set elements by visual artist Max Guy, live music performed by Yvonne Lam of Eighth Blackbird, and text and choreography by Matthew Goulish and Lin Hixson.

Directed by Lin Hixson
Performed by Matthew Goulish, Max Guy, and Yvonne Lam

Image: Max Guy, What’s Outside, 2016
Photo: Max Guy

Abandoned Practices Institute Chicago 2017

Abandoned Practices Institute - Chicago
Summer 2017 | July 10th - July 28th

This 3-week summer intensive looks forward by looking backward, researching, enacting, and embodying practices that for one reason or another have been disregarded in the wake of progress, and relegated to the archives of history. Students will participate in the event with individual and collaborative projects involving writing, installation, documentation, and live performance. Teachers and visiting scholars will lecture on related subjects.

Available for credit and non-credit enrollment.

Lin Hixson
Professor Performance

Mark Jeffery
Associate Professor Performance

Matthew Goulish
Adjunct Professor Writing Program

2016 Visiting Scholars:
Kathleen C. Stewart
Professor of Anthropology at University of Texas at Austin, Author of Ordinary Affects

Anthony Romero
artist, writer curator, collaborator with Teatro Linea de Sombra

For more information:
please see AbandonedPractices.org or contact Matthew Goulish mgouli@saic.edu.

 ›Truck Tracks Ruhr‹ : Red, blue, white, yellow, black

The City of Essen, Germany is the stage for the final album of the acclaimed art project ›Truck Tracks Ruhr‹by Rimini Protokoll and Urbane Künste Ruhr. Visitors take a seat on a truck that has been rebuilt as a mobile auditorium complete with a glass fourth wall, to watch the city’s landscapes roll past. Seven commissioned artists add a soundtrack to the individual stops and interweave real-life images of the city with their own audio-stories. Everything that happens in each five-minute audio-story becomes part of a performance, an orchestration of daily life, in which what the eye sees is acoustically overwritten or countered.

The Every house contribution, Red, blue, white, yellow, black imagines a performance in response to the past, present, and near future of one exterior wall in the complex that once constituted the largest coal mining facility in the Ruhr District. Featuring the voice of Petra Bachmaier and an original song by Lin Hixson and Madeleine Aguilar.

Performances March 17 through April 16, 2017.

Snail Philosophy for the New Year

Dear friends and supporters of Every house has a door,

This email is, among other things, a fundraising appeal. If you prefer, you may skip my end-of-year philosophy with this shortcut: DONATE. Otherwise, read on.

It’s a mid-December morning, and wind is blowing through palm trees. Lin Hixson, the director of Every house, and I have had the good fortune of 5 weeks at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island in western Florida, and we are now in the final days of that intense creative time. Our main objective has been to commence a performance collaboration with the extraordinary multi-media artist Essi Kausalainen, whom the Rauschenberg Foundation brought from her home of Helsinki to join us on this residency. Our project takes a micro-focus on ecological concerns, beginning with questions of interspecies communication. Essi arrived prepared with an in-depth study of snails. She presented a line from Francis Ponge.

“…he enjoys his perfect nearness, he is the friend of the soil which he kisses with his whole body.”

As we continued the work of making our performance, questioning, like many artists, how our concerns contribute anything of value in a bleak and turbulent time, the headline of a news article tucked away in the December 8th NY Times Business section caught our attention.

Tiny Snail Defeats Trump in Battle Over Sea Wall

The article tells the story of another episode in the nearly endless list of our President-elect’s corrupt business plans, this one an attempt to erect a wall to protect a coastal golf course in Ireland’s County Clare. A lawsuit by environmentalists, who had European Union rules on their side, succeeded in stopping the project. Their reason: to protect the Vertigo Angustior, the narrow-mouthed whorl snail.

With a 2 mm shell, this snail’s foot leaves a trail roughly the width of a single human fingerprint ridge. Its size and fragility offers a human like me a humbling lesson in scale. Apparently the Mayans saw the birth of written language in the snail’s trail. I don’t mean to treat this entity as a metaphor. I mean instead to propose that through 2017 we will regard the Vertigo Angustior as our inspiration.

We’ve had a busy 2016. In February we presented a work-in-progress showing of The Three Matadores at The Poetry Foundation as part of the In>Time Festival. In May we presented Testimonium at the amazing Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens, NY. In June, Lin and I began a collaboration with the astonishing Ann Hamilton on a residency at Bellagio, supported by United States Artists and the Rockefeller Foundation. In September we curated and co-produced Wasted Hours: An Evening of Performance, featuring work by Michal Samama and Alberto Aguilar at Sector 2337. In October, in the parking lot of Mana Contemporary, we staged a performance for the final Trunk Show, with a bumper sticker designed by Jordan Williams. I organized two performance/lecture evenings as The Institute of Failure, one in Chicago in February featuring performers from Forced Entertainment, and another at New York’s Prelude Festival in October, at which I also delivered a keynote lecture. Finally, our Development mastermind Sarah Skaggs relaunched our website with an ambitious new design.

We have plans for the year ahead. On March 11th and 12th we will premier The Three Matadores at The Logan Center as part of the DCASE OnEdge Festival. Anna Martine Whitehead has joined the project as Matador #2, as we have had to say a grateful farewell to taisha paggett whose life and projects have taken her in a different direction. In January we will spend two weeks at MANCC in Tallahassee to complete this large-scale performance, based on a text by the poet Jay Wright, and featuring the performers Sebastián Calderón Bentin, Stephen Fiehn, Tim Kinsella, and Martine. Michael Schmelling will design our lighting, and Sky Cubacub our costumes. We will publish a limited-edition reading companion with an essay by performance philosophy scholar Will Daddario. Regarding our project with Essi Kausalainen, Caroline Picard of Sector 2337 has invited us to present a work-in-progress of this performance in the fall. Essi will make her first visit to Chicago.

As we prepare to leave Florida and return to our frozen home city, we continue to re-examine our work’s relation to the country’s newly ascendant greed, intolerance, and grandiosity. Confronted with “the fierce urgency of now,” what can a small, devoted performance group accomplish? Maybe only this: snail philosophy – to embody, enact, and exemplify an alternative ethic of coexistence, and to do so at our own pace.

As always, and as I mentioned at the start, we need to raise funds for these projects. If you can make a contribution to Every house has a door, please understand that it will support as wide and inclusive a group of local, national, and international collaborators, both established and emerging, as we can manage in a sustainable way.  If you want to support this work with a tax-deductible donation, please go to our website’s donate button here: DONATE.

Whether you can make a tax-deductible donation at this time or not, we are and will remain endlessly grateful for your attention and belief in our work.

   Matthew Goulish
  Every house has a door dramaturg

Rauschenberg Residency supports new collaboration

Every house director, Lin Hixson and dramaturge, Matthew Goulish recently completed 5 weeks at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island. The generous support of the The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation supported multi-media artist Essi Kausalainen from Helsinki to join Lin and Matthew at the residency in order to commence a performance collaboration that will continue development through 2017.

The Three Matadores Announced as part of DCASE OnEdge series

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) presents the fourth annual OnEdge, the experimental live performance series, February 23–March 25, 2017. The FREE admission series will feature Chicago and world premieres from national and international artists and companies at venues including the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.), Dfbrl8r gallery (1463 W. Chicago Ave.), American Theater Company (1909 W. Byron St.), The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th St.) and the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse (3035 N. Hoyne Ave.) The FREE admission series will feature Chicago and world premieres from national and international artists and companies. 

The Three Matadores will be presented on March 11, 2017 at 7pm and March 12, 2017 at 2pm at The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Learn more here.




Every house & Trunk Show in New City

New City Art Editor, Elliot J. Reichert finds moment of reflection during the final Trunk Show opening with a performance choreographed by Every house has a door, along with designing the last sticker. 

Reichert writes, "Exhaust the possible, but of course. In this sense, the final opening was Trunk Show’s most successful yet. A performance by one of Chicago’s most thoughtful and dedicated collectives closed the gallery with the kind of generosity that only comes from an unrepeatable gesture."

Read the article here