Wexner Center Announces Artist Residency Awards For 2016–17 In Performing Arts, Film/Video

Tue, Sep 20, 2016

September 20, 2016—Columbus, OH—The Wexner Center is pleased to announce its 2016–17 Wexner Center Artist Residency Award recipients in performing arts and film/video. An essential part of the center’s role as a creative research laboratory for artists, the Artist Residency Award program also complements Ohio State’s mission as a leading research institution. Artist Residency Awards in amounts ranging from $25,000­–$100,000 are allocated annually in the three programming areas at the Wexner Center: visual arts (including architecture and design), performing arts, and film/video. Chosen by the center’s curators and director, residency artists receive significant financial resources, along with technical, intellectual, and professional support—as well as space—to develop new work on-site. The visual arts residency award will be announced in the coming months as prior residency recipient Sarah Oppenheimer completes her ambitious “intervention” in the Wex galleries, to be on view from late January through mid-April 2017.

Residencies are completely “artist-centric"; the evolution and timing of each project is at the artist’s discretion, and they spend as much time at the center over the course of the year (sometimes over multiple visits) as necessary to complete their work. The Wex team facilitates artists’ engagement with faculty experts in respective fields, and all Artist Residencies require student participation at some juncture.

Director Sherri Geldin says, “From the Wexner Center’s inception over 25 years ago, we have sustained what is arguably among the earliest, most robust and generous artist residency programs in the country. Providing access to the center’s spaces, professional expertise, financial and technical resources, as well as to the vast academic network across The Ohio State University, we enable artists to explore, experiment, and ultimately produce new work, sometimes through creative practices and mediums that they’ve not previously pursued.”

Next season’s recipients in performing arts and film/video are:

Performing Arts: Faye Driscoll

Faye Driscoll returns to finalize and premiere the second installment of her Thank You for Coming trilogy. Her Thank You for Coming: Attendance was at the center last spring and enthralled audiences and critics alike with its wit, charm, and extraordinary dance, with Columbus Underground calling it “180-proof wonderment and sensual delight burned over a bright flame.”

Thank You for Coming: Play will inject fresh narrative ideas into this series of engaging works built to celebrate the connectivity of artists and audiences.

The rituals of storytelling will be at the forefront of this physically-driven dance-play to underscore our reliance on stories to relate to one another and form identities. The playful combination of Driscoll’s own life story with those of her collaborators and others will create a semi-fictional collective autobiography that is danced, sung, and spoken. As this chain of events unfolds it lays bare the gap between what we say and what we do and our sense of being among and being alone; of communion and alienation. As Faye Driscoll told the Columbus Dispatch, “we hope to activate the feeling that we are interdependent. Together, we’re making the world that we all live in. We’re co-creating it; we’re making it; we’re players in it.”

Faye Driscoll is a Bessie Award–winning choreographer and director who has been hailed as a “startlingly original talent” by the New York Times. Her work is rooted in an obsession with the problem of being ‘somebody’ in a world of other ‘somebodies’ and all of the conflicts and comedy born in our interactions with others. Her work has been commissioned by and presented at such venues as Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, Danspace Project, HERE Arts Center, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, Fusebox Festival, UCLA, CounterPULSE and The Yard. She has been funded by The MAP Fund (2014), a Bogliasco Fellowship (2014), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2013), a Creative Capital award (2013), a French-US Exchange in Dance grant (FUSED) (2015), NYSCA (2013-2015), a Foundation for Contemporary Art grant (2013), NEFA’s National Dance Project production and touring award (2010-2014), The Jerome Foundation (2012-2014), Greenwall Foundation (2008-2010), and LMCC (2013-2015).

Film/Video: John Canemaker

John Canemaker has chosen Hands as the subject for his next short film. Adapted from a story in Sherwood Anderson’s literary masterpiece Winesburg, Ohio, Hands concerns an eccentric, isolated individual named Wing Biddlebaum. A figure of puzzlement and derision among the Winesburg townfolk, Biddlebaum’s anxious personality expresses itself through the restless activity of his hands—likened by Anderson to “the beatings of the wings of an imprisoned bird.” The strong narrative thrust of Hands lends itself to rich visual development. In Canemaker’s own talented hands, the film will illuminate a classic American—and Ohio—story, and underscore its continued significance for contemporary audiences.

Canemaker is one of the leading figures in American animation and an Oscar-winning animator of profoundly original and personal films. His numerous works on the medium's history include Winsor McCay: His Life and Art and Walt Disney's Nine Old Men and the Art of Animation, and he is credited with establishing that Otto Messmer (not Pat Sullivan) is the true creator of the iconic Felix the Cat character. His animation has been included in such films and TV series as The World According to Garp and in episodes of Pee Wee's Playhouse. Canemaker has visited the Wexner Center to discuss the work of Winsor McCay and to introduce a selection of his short films. He will visit the Wexner Center on October 13 as part of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus for a discussion on McCay’s Little Nemo.

Film/Video: Kevin Jerome Everson

Ohio-born filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson is a familiar face at the Wexner Center. He’s completed several projects via the Film/Video Studio Program and has visited to introduce his short- and longer-form works, as well as participating in Picture Lock, a celebration of the silver anniversary of the Film/Video Studio Program. For this residency (which will continue into 2017–18) he will work on Rhino, an experimental feature that examines the hidden histories of the African diaspora, representation, and identity in 16th-century Italy through the main character, the Duke of Florence, Alessandro de’Medici. The film will also reflect and comment on the very structure and conventions of the traditional “biopic.” Everson will photograph, write, produce, and direct Rhino. Madeleine Molyneaux of Picture Palace Films is producer. While Rhino will be Everson’s primary focus during the first year of his residency, he will also begin research on additional projects set in Ohio.

Film/Video: Sam Green And Kronos Quartet

The Wexner Center will be a co-commissioning partner on a multidisciplinary collaboration between Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Sam Green and the celebrated ensemble Kronos Quartet. The project, Untitled Kronos Project (temporary title), will be a “live documentary” (and the first-ever documentary about the group) that takes an expansive exploration of form as it tells the story of the ensemble’s 40-plus years of history through live narration, archival footage, interviews, and live music performed by the quartet. The work will have its US premiere at the center on January 25, 2018, and will go on to tour extensively as part of the Kronos Quartet’s 45th anniversary. This residency award will also support research and development on a second film by Green, The Oldest Person in the World, a documentary that will track individuals over a period of years who carry the title of oldest person in the world. The film grew out of one of the subjects featured in Green’s film on world record holders, The Measure of All Things (which screened at the center in 2014).

Green is no stranger to the Wexner Center, having worked frequently in its Film/Video Studio Program and visited many times to present his work, including The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller (with Yo La Tengo) and Utopia in Four Movements. This is his second residency award.

Press Contact: Melissa Starker (614) 292-9840 / mstarker@wexarts.org

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