By Victoria Gill
Elm Staff Writer
After the recent memorial of Judith Kohl, Washington College’s Kohl Gallery opened back up to the public to showcase guest performers last Wednesday.
A large crowd of faculty and students gathered in the gallery at 6 p.m. for “Insecure/Unsecure (Transmission 020),” a one-night-only performance art piece between the collaboration of C. Tara and David Gladden. The performance took around an hour and included various hung tarps, projections, video, drawing, live and recorded sound.
“Performance art, as a genre, draws upon and blurs distinctions between visual art, theatre, dance, video and film, activism, spoken word and other expressive forms,” the Kohl Gallery said in an email last week.
According to the Kohl Gallery web page, the gallery “fosters the study and understanding of art through a diverse range of exhibitions and public programs.”
This piece of work was in collaboration with SANDBOX, an outreach of collaboration with various art galleries and institutions with the WC departments of art, English, history, music, dance, humanities, and natural sciences. Last year, SANDBOX collaborated with the Department of Theatre & Dance to put together DANCESCAPE.
“I really enjoyed this piece. I understood this piece as dealing with the questions of, what is a transmission, and what does it mean to transmit successfully or not? I loved the vocalizations that C. Tara did when saying rapidly, “insecure, unsecure.” This made me question what it means to be insecure vs. unsecure,” said junior Casey Wolhar, a studio art major who works in the Kohl Gallery.
According to the Kohl Gallery email advertising the event, this “dream-like journey” plays a significant role in the interpretation of the performances.
According to the Kohl Gallery page on the WC website, “the series asks the artists to contend with the context of the gallery itself.”
The featured art was original live work conceived from adapting to the space.
“I felt like the performance was asking the audience to slow down and try to decode what the piece is trying to transmit. I felt like time had stopped moving at some point and was surprised that an hour had passed when the performance ended,” sophomore Michelle Ly said. “I was still thinking about the performance days later, trying to understand all of it.”
C.Tara and David Gladden, with Mike Hall, are interdisciplinary artists, educators, and curators. Their pieces take on many forms of visual and performance art that explores the utilization of different objects and environments.
According to their website, their work is ritualistic, durational, poetic, and experiential. They are interested in how humans react to their performances and the personal perceptions of movement and sound.
“Performance art is often not fully understood and gets a rap of being ‘weird.’ I think the best way to get people to understand performance art is to get them to experience it. For this to happen in a small community like Chestertown is pretty amazing,” Wolhar said.
The next guest artists will be Julia Betts for “Unsettled Hues, Enduring Structures.” This performance and exhibit will lead a performance of improvisation, intentional unpredictability and generate situations where the body is subjected to forces of discomfort. The performances will take place on Feb. 8.
Following that, “Alie[N]ation” by Hoesy Corona, a multimedia performance and installation which comments on “the archetype of the scapegoat in contemporary discourse” will debut on March 5. The work will be introduced with a leading research question: who is deemed an alien and who is seen as fully human in the United States?
The remaining performances will take place in Kohl Gallery in the Gibson Center for the Arts. All events are free and open to the public.
Ly said the Kohl Gallery enables the College to “showcase works of art from visiting artists so often and be a resource for the campus and the Chestertown community to see and experience new works.”