Tag Archives: Erica Gressman

A Semester of Relief and Inspiration Through FAA 110

Written by Kamani J Harris


I knew that the first semester of my last year at UIUC was bound to be stressful, but I thought joining this class would give me a fun way to get away from all my graduation requirements in the back of my head. I went to so many events with my classmates where we viewed the many forms of creativity and art that I have yet to explore. These events included:


Krannert’s Opening Night Party: 50th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff

Photo by Kamani Harris

Erica Gressman’s Limbs

photo by Kamani Harris

Cynthia Oliver/Coco. Dance Theatre Virago-Man Dem

The dancers silently begin to come out and go toward the stage, covered.
Taken by Kamani Harris

Leda Black’s perSISTERS

Reclaiming My Time
Taken by Kamani Harris

No Blue Memories – The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

picture of an actor performing with a puppet.
Taken by Kamani J Harris

Rolston String Quartet

Taken by Bo Huang Photography

Coming to these events allowed me to escape the many stressors in my day that included my other classes, my retail job, and internship. I enjoyed being around my teachers and classmates and discovering the many ways people are able to show their creativity and also unveil the creativity within myself. At a time where I could’ve just gave up on school, work, and the overall weight from being a college student, I still found a way to make it to all the events in this course. Each week I looked forward to meeting with my newfound friends, discuss our differing interpretations of the art, and being enlightened to continue my creativity in other outlets. This class gave me a break and the inspiration to not give up, to continue persisting, and to finish my last year at UIUC so I can one day accomplish my dreams.  

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

“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.

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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?

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Self-Struggling, Self-Seeking and Self-Accepting: Limbs by Erica Gressman

Trapped in a “weird and even monster-liked” body, she was struggling, seeking, and finally, accepting.

Written by Zhenbang Wu.

Photo by Zhenbang Wu

Debuting at KAM, Limbs combined struggling movements and removal of limbs with violin-like electronic sound and lights, given by Chicago-based Latinx queer artist Erica Gressman. “There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes.” As for me, it is all about self-struggling, self-seeking and self-accepting.

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Now What?

Photo by Maty Patino

As I sat down, I was trying to see whether it was two people or just Erica. The confusion intrigued me. Suddenly, everyone went silent, and I saw Erica began to move. Out of nowhere, she began to remove parts of herself. My first thought was that all the extra parts she had connected, the legs, arms, face, were the different perceptions that people had of her. Or the different “hopes” that people had upon her.

Photo by Maty Patino

Once she started twirling really fast, and uncontrollably, I knew it was more than what people thought about her. It was what she thought about herself and how she was trying to deal with it. During this time, I began to get goosebumps. “BOOM,” Erica hit herself in the back of the head. What now? Will the performance stop? No, Erica kept going. This further showed how no matter how hard something gets, you should never stop doing whatever you have to do to get wherever you want to get. Life does not stop for any of us, so why should we stop for anything?

Photo by Maty Patino

Towards the end of the performance is when everything hit me. What happens after we lose a limb? A special person? Are we really still the same? What did we learn? How do we move on? How do I seek for help? So many questions and no specific answer. Out of this performance, I got that everyone is going through something, whether is losing a person, losing a job, losing your home, anything. Loss is part of life, and we are unable to escape it. Whether it is putting a fake smile on, or expressing yourself through other mediums, we need to keep going no matter how hard things are.

Know ourselves through the world

Written by Sihan Wang

In the beginning, it’s like magic the performer just keep tearing her arms and legs down, then sometimes hang herself upside down, it must be so hard to keep doing that, and the cage is definitely very strong so it’s possible for her to do such a performance. The background music was changing all the time to harmonize with her performance; the music was sometimes scary, sometimes slow, sometimes like thunder, sometimes like snow.

If I’m going, to be honest, I think the show is quite scary at the beginning; it’s like a ghost that couldn’t find his home. And that’s the amazing part of art; different people would interpret the meaning behind every piece of art differently. The performer or the artist are expressing their own feelings, emotions, and their own point of view of the world, with their own way of expressing them. But as for the audience, or someone just passing by a piece of artwork, through the performance or the artwork, the audience would have their own interpretation of the work, yet the interpretation that the audience has towards the artwork, was no more than what’s in their mind, their own feelings, their own point of view of the world. As the performance coming close to an end, the performer take off her sleeves, her pants and cloths one by one, and what’s inside of those clothes, was just a black suit. And then with the music went lighter and lighter; she just leaves the stage, walk out of the performing area. To me, it feels like a human finally give up the entire disguise that protecting him, and finally come back to the real, and true self. Because the limbs that she dragged down are empty, the material would probably be something that’s light, maybe even paper and the clothes she took off was just a suit.

This is a very unique experience, the performance was created by the performer, the artist who made the music, the people who set up the stage, people who control the lights, and the staff works in the museum who told us not to bring bags inside, and finally, the audiences. Everyone in this performing area created everything all we see and feel. This kind of harmony is unique in the world, one of a kind, it never happened before and never will happen again.

The Way We See Things: Erica Gressman: Limbs

Written By Alyssa Pappas

Photo by A.Pappas

When I first arrived to the Krannert Art Museum on Thursday night, I had no idea what to expect.  Having attended the Solo exhibit the previous night, and witnessing a completely new type of art that I had never seen before, I had no idea what was about to happen.  Little did I know, my mind was about to be blown, yet again.

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