NATURE FETISH: A Public Opera
A long-form social and experimental opera project involving 5 public Focus Workshops, 88 rehearsals, and 8 performances of different excerpts, sequences, frameworks, and 9 performances of the full opera.
NATURE FETISH was developed through public Focus Workshops during a residency at University Settlement. The final “opera” was performed on the street in front of and inside New York City’s first and only dedicated site for conceptual, body-based and fluxist performance art, Grace Exhibition Space, July 12-24, 2012.
Collaborating Performers for the development of this project were: Jessica Bathurst (vox), Arla Berman (vox), Matthew Gantt (percussion, vox), Katie Johnston (vox), Brian McCorkle (piano, keyboard, electronics, violin, vox), Natasha Missick (vox), Ellen O’Meara (saxophone, flute, percussion, vox), Esther Neff (vox, object manipulation), Michael Newton (actor/dancer), and Dave Ruder (clarinet, banjo, objects, vox). The libretto, direction, and design is by Esther Neff, composition is by Brian McCorkle, both were written/notated in collaboration with the developing performers and the public participants in the Focus Workshops.
At Grace Exhibition Space, PPL also curated 20+ artists working in time-based performance across disciplines to deal directly with the “nature” of performance, operation of “nature” in performance, and conceptions of “nature” as such:
Thursday July 12:
The Call of Nature: bodily functions and fluids, embodiment, waste, want, meat, and human impact on natural environments. FEATURING: Elinor Thompson, Miles Pflanz, Dave Ruder, Matthew Silver, and Lorene Bouboushian.
Friday July 13:
NATURE FETISH opera project collaborating artists, poets, composers, and performers show solo works dealing with their own projections of “the nature of nature.” FEATURING: Cory Bracken, Ellen O'Meara, Michael Newton, Natasha Missick, Arla Berman, and Matthew Gantt
Saturday July 14:
SIMULTANEOUS: Nature Fetish Edition: Ivy Castellanos of IV Soldiers Gallery works with 4 performance artists simultaneously as an ecosystem or food chain or other emergent system. FEATURING: Felix Morelo, Miles Pflanz, Ryan Hawk, and Matthew Silver
Thursday July 19:
The Natural Spirit: field recordings, indeterminacy, fluxus, improvisation and the influence of performance art’s "nature" on music and dance. FEATURING: Jason Anastasoff, Lindsey Drury, and Kyli Klevan.
Friday July 20:
Rituals and Totems: cultural semiology, feminism, naturalism, post-humanism, and the problematics of performance and anthropology. FEATURING: Lillie D’Armon, Anya Liftig, and Quinn Dukes.