EAI is pleased to present a screening and conversation with internationally celebrated sound and performance artist Charlemagne Palestine. In a rare New York appearance, Palestine, who lives and works in Brussels, will screen a selection of his video works, including Body Music I/Body Music II (1973-74), Running Outburst (1975), You Should Never Forget the Jungle (1975), and Ritual in the Emptiness (2001). New York-based curator and writer Jay Sanders will join Palestine in conversation to discuss Palestine's inimitable approach to performance, video, and sound.
In his riveting videos, Palestine stages psychologically charged, cathartic performances for the camera. In seminal works from the 1970s, such as Body Music II and Running Outburst, Palestine performs while wielding the camera, positioning the viewer behind the lens in a subjective point of view. Seeing through the artist's eyes, moving with his body, the viewer becomes both participant and voyeur. In these intensely personal exercises, Palestine uses motion as a metaphor, achieving an outward articulation of internal states.
Often accompanied in his performances by ritual props and icons like teddy bears, scarves, and snifters of cognac, Palestine creates mesmerizing abstract rituals. Entering into a trance-like state, he generates and releases a potent combination of sound, energy, and movement with his body. Using modulations of his own voice accompanied by percussive bodily gestures, Palestine builds minimalist performances that are sonorous and resonant in every detail. Palestine's distinct approach to the experience of music combines his early training as a Jewish cantor with Eastern meditative rituals, and a deep interest in the symbiotic relationship of performer and audience. Counterbalancing the physical and psychological confinement of an enclosed space or camera frame, Palestine ritualistically chants, shakes, sings, runs, and throws himself against walls to the point of exhaustion, taking the viewer along with him. Leaving the viewer with the intimate sound of his labored breathing, these videos break down the mediated experience of video to incite a sensual proximity to the performer.
For more information about the video works of Charlemagne Palestine, please click here.
Charlemagne Palestine at NUMINA lente
New York audiences will also have a chance to see Charlemagne Palestine perform live in a very rare U.S. concert appearance with Tony Conrad on Friday, April 15 at NUMINA lente, a three-evening festival of performance and music at Clemente Soto Velez Center in the Lower East Side, organized by Jay Sanders and Keith Connolly. For more information and tickets, please visit: www.numinalente.com
Charlemagne Palestine was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1945. He studied at New York University, Columbia University, Mannes College of Music and California Institute of the Arts. He has received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, among other organizations. His work has been exhibited internationally, at festivals and institutions including the Venice Biennale, Italy; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland; Long Beach Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Documenta 8, Kassel; Walker Art center, Minneapolis; Art Institute of Chicago; Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva; and Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montreal. In 2010 Palestine's video works were featured in the solo exhibition VooDoo at Wiels in Brussels. In recent years, he has collaborated with a diverse group of experimental musicians including Pan Sonic, David Coulter, Tony Conrad and Michael Gira. He has released more than twenty solo albums and has performed in festivals around the world such as The Meltdown Festival, London in 1999; Transmediale, Berlin in 2010; All Tomorrow's Parties, UK in 2010 and Numina Lente, NY in 2011.
Palestine lives and works in Brussels.
CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE: RUNNING OUTBURST is part of an ongoing series of events and projects marking EAI's 40th anniversary year. For more information about upcoming programs in this series, please click here.
EAI: Celebrating 40 Years
Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI's activities include viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art:
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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.