Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 at the Hammer Museum
On Thursday May 23, the Hammer Museum at UCLA is hosting a screening of ITSOFOMO (In the Shadow of Forward Motion), a collaboration between David Wojnarowicz and Ben Neill. ITSOFOMO was originally staged as a live performance in which Wojnarowicz read his work alongside multi-channel projections of his film while Ben Neill performed an original score for his mutantrumpet, along with live percussion and computer controlled electronics. For this event, the Hammer Museum is hosting a four channel projection accompanied by Neill’s soundtrack (music, noise and Wojnarowicz’s readings). This screening is a rare event – an occasion to remember the multi-disciplinary and collaborative side of Wojnarowicz’s practice as an artist.
Cynthia Carr and Jennifer Doyle will introduce ITSOFOMO with a conversation intended to orient the viewer in relation to this rarely screened work.
Carr is the author of Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz; Doyle is the author of Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art. Wonderfully, Ben Neill will be on hand as well. The screening will be followed by a book signing and reception – organized to facilitate conversation between Carr, Doyle, Neill and audience members who want to talk over their experience of this work and ask questions.
Cynthia Carr was a columnist and arts reporter for the Village Voice from 1984 to 2003. Writing under the byline C. Carr, she specialized in experimental and cutting-edge art, especially performance art. Some of these pieces are now collected in On Edge: Performance at the End of the Twentieth Century. She is also the author of Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Artforum, Bookforum, Modern Painters, the Drama Review, and other publications. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. Carr lives in New York.
“[Fire in the Belly is] unimprovable as a biography–thorough, measured, beautifully written, loving but not uncritical — as a concentrated history of his times, and as a memorial, presenting him in his entirety, twenty years dead but his ardor uncooled.”—Luc Sante, Bookforum
Jennifer Doyle is Professor of English at UC Riverside. She is Co-Chair of the Minor in LGBIT Studies and Director of Queer Lab. She is the author of Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire, and Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art, the last chapter of which is devoted to a reading of Wojnarowicz’s portraits of Peter Hujar.
“Hold It Against Me is forceful and memorable. Jennifer Doyle thinks about difficult art in a way that refreshes its historical impact; she also revitalizes what criticism can do to extend the event that its objects have been to new ethical, political, and aesthetic domains.”—Lauren Berlant, author of Cruel Optimism
Ben Neill is a composer, performer, producer, and inventor of the mutantrumpet, a hybrid electro-acoustic instrument. He has been called “a creative composer and genius performer” (Time Out NY). “the mad scientist of dancefloor jazz” (CMJ Journal), and “a musical powerhouse, a serious and individual talent” (Time Out London). Neill’s music blends influences from electronica, jazz and minimalism, blurring the lines between DJ culture and acoustic instrument performance.
Neill has recorded nine CDs of his music on the Universal/Verve, Thirsty Ear, Astralwerks, Six Degrees, Ramseur, New Tone and Ear-Rational labels. His music has also been featured on numerous compilations including Wired Magazine’s Music Futurists. In 2010 his music theater work Persephone was presented at the BAM Next Wave Festival. The recording Songs for Persephone with Mimi Goese which is made up of the music from the theatrical production was released in 2011 on Ramseur Records to critical acclaim. He has performed extensively in a wide variety of international settings including Lincoln Center, Cite de la Musique France, Moogfest, Berlin Love Parade Germany, Spoleto Festival Italy, Umbria Jazz Italy, Sleepless Night Miami, NIME Conferences Vancouver and Paris, Bang On A Can Festival New York, ICA London, Istanbul Jazz Festival Turkey and the Edinburgh Festival UK to name a few.