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Dead Weight Performance Series

A new performance series co-curated and produced by Every house has a door and The Green Lantern Press.

Featuring Jesse Malmed, Carlos Martiel, Jefferson Pinder, and Amelia Charter.

The Dead Weight Performance Series will present two evenings of performance by four invited artists, bookending the inaugural exhibition group show The New [New] Corpse, at Sector 2337.

The exhibition regards a return to the figure. This trend echoes the earlier “crisis of the figure” theme in representational painting, while also resonating with newer questions of posthumanism, capitalist critiques, and the transformation of hierarchies, precipitating a “return” of a figure that seems distorted, grotesque, modified, or emphatically absent. The performance series, in conversation with the exhibit, considers the human as a non-human event. Philosopher Isabelle Stengers defines humans as “those whose souls are moved by the erotic power of Ideas. What makes us human is not ours: it is the relation we are able to entertain with something that is not our creation.” An Idea, writes Stengers, causes us to “think, feel, and hesitate.” The word cause does not imply a simple formula of cause and effect. Rather the nonhuman element (Idea), accessed by way of a practice, engenders the thinking, feeling, and hesitation that define us as human to and for ourselves. In the sense that these nonhuman elements can be said to, as apprehensions, inhere “inside” the human body, we propose the theme of the human as nonhuman event. Conversely, the body, like an anti-Idea, at times becomes as a physical encumbrance, what Emerson called the giant I always take with me. Performance, like the body in this formulation, may carry a similar weight of responsibility, often seeming to be more trouble than it’s worth – maximal effort for minimal returns – but inescapable. The law of the body is the law, like the law of gravity. If the human can be considered a nonhuman event, is the weight of performance living or dead? Does it oscillate between the poles of animate and inanimate? How will these four artists reveal that oscillation as apparent, visible, necessary, and performable?

The former Green Lantern Gallery is reopening as Sector 2337 in a store front in Logan Square.