Visual Studies forum hosts performance artists

By Ben Wade

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The UK Visual Studies Forum, the School of Art and Visual Studies and the UK Art Museum hosted “Audience Appeals and Performing Assistance” on Friday, a conference and performance art piece dedicated to exploring all aspects of performance.

The event, which featured scholars and academics as well as a variety of performance artists, took place in the UK Art Museum from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Upwards of 180 people attended the event throughout the day.

Sarah Fahmy, a gallery worker who attended “Audience Appeals,” explained that what made the event interesting for her was not knowing exactly what to expect.

“The artists gave a general idea of what to expect in terms of set-up and timing, but the actual performances were very surprising,” Fahmy said. “I loved it.”

Nayeon Yang’s piece, “Olympia 2015,” which went on throughout the evening, involved one-on-one interactions in which the artist pulled individual audience members out of the audience and photographed them posing as Olympia from Édouard Manet’s painting “Olympia.”

Rae Goodwin, an assistant professor and Director of Studio Foundations for the School of Fine Arts also performed in the gallery.

Goodwin, who coordinated the event with visiting assistant professor Jessica Santone, elaborated on the collaborative aspect of performance art.

“The whole event was about audience interactivity,” Goodwin said. “There is a genre within performance art where the performer asks for help or assistance and the only way that the performance can happen is with audience participation. The way the participants will respond is unpredictable and the performance has to change very quickly in response to the environment.”

Though the event was costly and took a massive amount of preparation, Goodwin expressed that the College of Fine Arts could host another event like the gallery in the future.

The evening concluded with Wild Torus, a duo from Brooklyn, NY that came together in 2012.

The members, Vlady Voz Tokk and Magneta, were artists in traditional mediums who found a passion for adding elements of performance art in their gallery exhibitions.

“We had a gallery show that became sort of an apocalyptic ritual that combined elements nature of technology. It was proto-human, merged with digital human.” Tokk explained. From there, their work evolved into what it is now – a combination of physical movement, dialogue and visual art.