Past Exhibitions

Event Date: Saturday, February 8, 12-6pm
Open Rehearsals: February 5-7, 12-6pm Daily

In Practice: Chance Motives

Vanessa Anspaugh, Ben Thorp Brown, Brendan Fernandes, Pedro Neves Marques, Sahra Motalebi, Daniel Neumann, Essex Olivares, Nick Paparone, Rachel Rose, Hayley Aviva Silverman, Conrad Ventur, and Laura Vitale

Nick Paparone, GIF Announcement for 'In Practice: Chance Motives'
(images courtesy Vanessa Anspaugh, Pedro Neves Marques, Sahra Motalebi, and Rachel Rose), 2014
Homepage image: Nick Paparone, Typography for 'In Practice: Chance Motives', 2014


SculptureCenter is pleased to announce Chance Motives, a program of time-based work presented through In Practice, SculptureCenter's commissioning program for emerging artists. Chance Motives explores the possibilities for rupture within the ongoing performances of daily life and labor through techniques of orchestration and choreography. Loosely interpreted to include pedestrian systems, rituals, and routines; these performative modes are mobilized as alternatives to the tyranny of risk management. The works in the program make use of methods that can accommodate accident and error, in opposition to both algorithms of efficiency (devised for the hysterical demands of market production) and the pure chance operations of Fluxus.

Chance Motives is organized within the SculptureCenter galleries as an assembly of discrete presentations (and performative installations) engaging a number of themes: gesture as an index of memory; material and cultural appropriations of natural phenomena; psychic distance from the tangibility of social relationships. The unifying principle is formal, insofar as the commissioned projects deal with pacing, rhythm and synchronicity on their own terms, counter to the prevailing narrative of spectacular acceleration and the debilitating anxiety of crisis in the contemporary moment. The act of building up implies a certain degree of breaking down; the fiction of transcendence (virtuosity) is also a lack of transparency.

The works presented take up time differently, culminating in a collaborative and practical expression of heterogeneous rhythms spanning the first week of February 2014. Rehearsal sessions from Wednesday February 5th through Friday, February 7th will be open to the public from 12-6pm, followed by a final, daylong performance on Saturday, February 8th, from 11am-6pm.

Choreographies by Vanessa Anspaugh (with Amber Bemak) and Ben Thorp Brown (with Ethan Philbrick) engage in processes of undoing systems; whether by contracting the time scale of long-term muscle memory to stimulate instinctual dance imperfectly, as if on-demand, or by devising a purpose for the hand-signals of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to mark the departure of complex trading from the world of embodied signification. Laura Vitale's sonic vignettes, animated by trained and untrained bodies register responses to shifting staging conditions (with Rebecca Warner), while Daniel Neumann's canny architectonic compositions alter tone more mechanically, however subtly. A smartphone application designed by Essex Olivares, launched for the occasion by an interactive ensemble performance, puts pressure on normative modes of digitally-directed socialization and will be freely available for user download. Expanded cinema, operatic and musical theater works by Pedro Neves Marques, Sahra Motalebi and Hayley Aviva Silverman invest alternative cultures, histories (and species) with a certain intersubjective urgency; projects by Brendan Fernandes and Nick Paparone ascribe new functionality to ordinary institutional furnishings; and filmic installations by Rachel Rose and Conrad Ventur visualize emotional trajectories through their respective spaces of projection.

Exhibition Text:

Chance Motives is guest curated by Kari Rittenbach.

In Practice supports the creation and presentation of new work by emerging artists and reflects diverse approaches to contemporary sculpture. Artists are selected through a call for proposals and are provided with an honorarium, production budget, fabrication and installation assistance, as well as invaluable curatorial and administrative support. This year SculptureCenter received over 800 applications from artists worldwide.

Vanessa Anspaugh with Amber Bemak, The Relay Project Part 1: Original Document, 2014. In Practice: Chance Motives. Photo: Megan Mantia