The innerself search: taking off invisible covers

Written by Vlada Bazeliciuc

This week, we attended the exhibition of Erica Gressman at the Department of Latina/Latino

Studies. I was very surprised by the content of the exhibition.

When I came in, besides photographs of Erica Gressman, there were also 3 videos of her

performance. Two of the videos were similar to each other. Both videos were dark and sad. I

think in both videos Erica Gressman was trying to explore who she really is underneath the

mask that the society pressures her to wear.

But the third video was different – strange and unordinary.

I rewatched the third video multiple times and I had very mixed feelings about it. Erica Gressman was wearing few things of the doctor’s attire and smoldering makeup. During the course of the video, she was drilling her own stomach and later wires started to show in the spot of her “surgery”. Her costume and the presence of wires projects to disbelief in the modern technology in the medical field. The end of the video was even more disturbing, her face and hair were covered in white splatters that resembled male ejaculation. I think this last detail of the video points out to the rape incidents in the twenty-first century. Overall, the camera was always full and it was hard for me to make connections between the little details.

In addition to the videos, a set of 5 photographs were hung up on the wall. The photos were

very earthy and spiritual. Gressman was holding a sphere made out of sticks and feathers. I

think this set of photos was a cry for help. Gressman represented the society’s expectation

by that sphere and her head was completely inside it.

Of course, this exhibition was not like any other exhibition I had a chance to see. But it was

an interesting experience. I liked how Gressman’s art made me think of the actual meaning

of it and its meaning is probably different for each individual.

My Experience Beyond the Exhibit

We attended the Latin House Gallery this week as a class and the artwork and displays were very different than what I had imagined.

Written by Emily Reeter

Going into this class trip, I thought that I would be encompassed with Latino inspired artwork with vibrant colors, character, and years of history.  However, I was surprised to have found some engaging videos, and art pieces that played immensely on emotions.  Some of the exhibits left students feeling intrigued, while others had people feeling very uncomfortable or uncertain about how to feel.

The most controversial exhibit was Gressman’s video and photos portraying a woman dressed in drag style, operating a surgery on her own body.  The video was gruesome, and at some points disturbing with heavy, punk rock music blaring in the background.  Throughout the video, she used a drill to open her womb and cut it up revealing her intestines and inner body parts.  That instant was already enough to make my stomach turn! But, as time went on she started to eat her intestines and smile while doing so.  The class was very confused on the direction of the video and the message she was trying to get across.

However, my personal take away from the creative, but graphic video, was that the woman doing that to her body wasn’t happy with herself, and was frankly uncomfortable in her own skin.  I think she wanted to demonstrated her disgust and disapproval with the audience.  She succeeded because everyone watching felt uneasy, and uncomfortable much like she probably felt in her position in life physically and mentally.

Another thing I also found intriguing about this exhibit was that they had a section called the “touch station”.  It had the real props from the filmed performance sprawled out for people to pick up and look at.  It was neat because it brought the film more to life and it helped imagine it more as a reality since everything was right there in front of you.

Overall I really enjoyed the exhibit and thought it was stimulating compared to other art programs I had attended.  All of the art was very different and although I thought it was morbid it got my brain working and asking questions.  I enjoyed how all of the exhibits were engaging and brought up unique conversations within the class.  It made my experience way more enjoyable and enhanced my understanding of the different pieces.

The Power of One Glance-LAGRIME DI SAN PIETRO

 Written by Carol(Yining) Wei

LAGRIME DI SAN PIETRO, The tear of Saint Peter. This is an a cappella Renaissance masterpiece written by Orlando di Lassoand was performed by Los Angeles Master Chorale last Saturday night. The chorale did an excellent job express the intense human emotions in the show, including the anger and obscenity of the mob, the shame and regret of Saint Peter, and the immense pain of betraying a friend/a saint. The choreography was amazing and the body language perfectly illustrated the emotions and the ambience. The climax of this show was the moment Saint Peter rejected his belief in front of the mob and the sanctity of that one glance Jesus gave to Saint Peter. And then the regrets and desparation follows.

My favorite chapter is XV. Vattene vita va which translates to “Go away, life, go”. It was a touching scene depicting Saint Peter’s immense pain and struggle against the thought of suicide for his shame of betraying Jesus Christ. The chorale’s performance was wonderful. Their body and facial expressions were so convincing that it is as if they were going through the emotions of Saint Peter. It was an incredible scene and intrigued me into a lot of thoughts.

Photo credit: LA Master ChoraleBeing non-religious, I do not necessarily agree on the part of suicide being “an even greater sin”. In my opinion, suicide is a choice that every life has the right to make(and suicidal behavior has occurred in other species such as the lemmings, for higher survival rate of the whole species). Also, children did not choose to be born and given a life to, and thus should be granted the right to end it if they see the need to. It is a choice to die and go back to being part of the nature without human consciousness. We have always been here, and we will continue to exist. Every particle in me has been in the universe for billions of years, and will still be in the universe for billions of years to come. My consciousness as a Homo Sapiens could leave me, but my existence never leaves the world.

Also as a starter in French, I was happy to find connections between Italian and French. For instance, the word “vita” equals “vie” in French, and “va” also means to go in French. I just love to discover and learn the connections between languages, and possibly learn more about the cultures through those links. After going back home, I was lucky enough to find the album Lagrime di San Pietro on Spotify so I can still enjoy the pure beauty of this extrodinary chorus piece even after the performance.

Silence in a Crowded Room

Written by Alyssa Pappas

Photo by A.Pappas

Last night I attended the Los Angeles Mast Chorale: Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St.Peter).  This eye-opening experience, truly showed me the impact that the silent pauses in between songs have on a performance.

Continue reading “Silence in a Crowded Room”

Transformation Through the Loss of Limbs

Written by Kamani Harris

Limbs carry large meaning within your life, as a piece of you that makes life easier, connects you to the earth, and connects you with other beings. But they can also represent deeper meanings such as negative and positive attachments, parts of who you are, and ones emotional stability. Continue reading “Transformation Through the Loss of Limbs”

“Limbs”: Transformative, Impactful, and Captivating

Written by: Nora Guerrero

Erica Gressman performing “Limbs”.

 

The Krannert Art Museum had the privilege of having Erica Gressman, artist, perform her piece “Limbs” for an audience much eager to watch and listen. At first sight, I thought the structure was a sculpture. It was not until I had a closer look that I could recognize that a human body was inside the costume. Was it one person? Or two? This was exactly what intrigued me from the start.

Continue reading ““Limbs”: Transformative, Impactful, and Captivating”

Struggling with grief: A performance art

Written by Syed Ali

Erica Gressman, an artist based in Miami/Chicago, performed her art piece Limbs in the Krannert Art Museum, showcasing a range of motion and music. Limbs consisted of Gressman dangling on a wire, moving and struggling with confinement and facing detachment.

In the beginning of the performance, Gressman, wearing a gray reflective suit, made small movements and was overall still. It felt strange, but seemed very statue-like and beautiful in a way. Eventually, the movements became more clear and I saw that she had various limbs and faces; I felt completely entranced by the dim lights and atmospheric music. Continue reading “Struggling with grief: A performance art”

Breaking Limbs at the Krannert Art Museum

Limbs, an intriguing and eerie performance by Erica Gressman at the Krannert Art Museum

Written by: Bill Xun

Photo by Bill Xun

When I first arrived at the Krannert Art Museum, I had no idea what to expect.  The gallery was packed, with people and lights surrounding a strange metal tripod with some sort of sculpture of a figure hanging underneath. The figure was an unmoving combination of limbs in white. What could it mean?

Continue reading “Breaking Limbs at the Krannert Art Museum”

Eric Gressman–Emotion of Limbs

Written by Tim Gao

In Krannert Art Museum, Gressman amazed all the audience.

Photo by Tim

Last night, Eric Gressman, an Chicago-based Latinx queer artist, introduce the audience to his art world.Using proficient body language, Gressman performed to give the audience a life message. Continue reading “Eric Gressman–Emotion of Limbs”