Wolf & Sheep Productions curator, Jessica Irvin, presents the 5th annual installation of renowned body suspension artistic co-op The Skin Project; entitled Living Entropy. A journey of the flesh, the 2019 exhibition brings suspension practitioners, piercing enthusiasts, and alternative artists from across the globe to celebrate the athletic potential of the human body within the context of an immersive gallery setting. Flanked by performances featuring live cello-looping (Cellista), operatic performance art (Operafication), physical theatre (Haus Serpens), and spoken word (Jessica Irvin) the mediums of body/soul merge to create a multi-sensory transcendent experience.
The intersection between suspension, art, and ceremony spans history. Across the globe, humans have utilized anatomical practices as a conduit for reparative and revelatory experience. Such efforts to transcend the corporeal have been utilized as spiritual offerings, as a means of communication with the intangible, and, more recently, as a means toward reclamation and self-integration in an age of disconnection. The act of creating constellations in the sky with pierced bodies is a tradition that has been used with reverence, in ritual, and as a rite of passage amongst communities near and far.
Living Entropy aims to challenge both viewer and participant to confront their own temporal nature, releasing preconceived notions about our collective limitations and weaving a narrative that exposes the incredible breadth of human possibility. Through the thematic presentation of a site-specific installation, live music, dance, and art, patrons are encouraged to exist and grow, if only for a moment, within states of liminality. Living Entropy seeks to explore/expose the map of trauma and experience woven within the physical body. Reciprocally, patrons can weave themselves amongst the physical map of the varied experiences the suspended bodies are emulating. Living Entropy is a powerful and provocative means of communicating the nature of temporality in an unprecedented way.
Living Entropy showcases a new rope structure designed by Jessica Irvin connecting eight steel frames to support a dynamic geometric vortex, spotlighting a floating chorus of eight models in a progression of poses amidst a deconstruction of sound throughout the installation. The presentation speaks to an aesthetic of intricate connectivity maintained through voice, vibration, natural elements, and balanced steel, all working in reverent coherence to convey the human experience. Living Entropy draws its patrons to examine the concepts of support, connection, survival, and healing in abstract ways, whilst interacting with the ritualized physicality of the human ordeal.
The performance pursues understanding and collective healing through the deconstruction of sound alongside the tension of contracting/expanding our largest organ in a gender-neutral space. We all feel pain, we all bleed, and we all endure. Our collective sense of survival holds us up emotionally as steel structures, rope, and skin connect us physically. Art is for every body, and Living Entropy proves this magnanimously, bringing the audience into the center of the show. Onlookers are invited to step inside the living sculptures, some even reverberating with music when touched, in grand acts of exploration and play.
Living Entropy is produced and curated by Wolf & Sheep Productions, and Haus Serpens for The Skin Project with sponsorship by PS Hooks; That’s the Point, LLC; Golden Eagle Body Piercing; Hooked Human Suspensions; and CoRE – Constructs of Ritual Evolution.
Installation Credits (all @names are IG)
The Skin Project: Living Entropy
@omnicommons Oakland, CA May 25, 2019
Written and Directed by Jessica Irvin (@louiseyourself)
Produced by Wolf & Sheep Productions (@wolfandsheepsuspensions) and Haus Serpens (@devilledance_co)
Lead MUA: Melanie Leandro (@melanieleandro.co)
Haus Serpens (@devilledance_co)
Raven Ebner (@corviidart) facilitated by Jeanne Pineau (@jpineau_k)
Luna Duran (@bookofluna) facilitated by Gretchen Heinel (@gretchenheinel)
Jamila (@taj_jamil) facilitated by Emily Scanlan (@emilyscanlan)
Adrian Fynch (@arcticpinecoon) facilitated by Josh Letton (@ganjeesh)
Morgan De Heer facilitated by Milo Burkholder (@vagabondhooksuspension)
Iris Perez (@irisperez) facilitated by Sasha Belenkiy
Patricia Cram (@scheherezadex) facilitated by Doug Smode (@dougsmode)
Written by Jessica Irvin (@louiseyourself)
Performed by Emily Jean Cary
Amani.Photography: https://amani.photography/ / IG: @amanis.photography
OhGodWhyMe http://ohgodwhy.me/ / IG: @ohgodwhyme
Patric Carver https://www.patriccarver.net/ / IG: @drigboy
Cellista is an American cellist and performance artist known for her collaborations with artists across various media, as well self-producing stage poems (live performances staged in unconventional spaces that incorporate elements of classical music, theater, improvisation and visual art across a range of genres. These performances often feature a carbon fiber cello and loop station.
She is currently working on Transfigurations, a political stage poem that includes a full-length album and an accompanying book. The album features original compositions that utilize sound collages, noise, thrash metal, and minimalist hip hop. Transfigurations is available now. For more information please visit Cellista at: Cellista.net
About Haus Serpens
Haus Serpens is an evolving experimental art platform curated by choreographer, Mojo Deville. Dedicated to showcasing marginalized voices through subversive entertainment, HAUS instigates collaborations, birthing a timeless collection of cirque styled stunt performers, live music, enchanting design and curious cabaret. By combining urban expression and novelty acts with oft indelicate aesthetics, they’ve cultivated a diverse network of transgressive theatre enthusiasts in the Bar Area and beyond. A radical red tent moonlighting as a variety show; You, come watch! Follow Mojo Deville on IG: @devilledance_co
Operafication, founded by Hilary Whitmore, is a Portland, Oregon based performance art group specializing in flesh hook suspension. Hilary, a Portland native, is a trained opera singer, actress, and ritualist; building shows that combine operatic vocals, new compositions, live instrumentation, movement, fire, and elaborate costuming with the art of flesh hook suspension. Each show is built around a specific intention or storyline, drawing the audience into a new and exciting work each time. Started in 2003, Operafication has created unique shows in countries, and cities, spanning four continents. From large performance halls to art museums to secret tunnels under a rail station, Hilary’s stunning vocals and striking visuals have entranced many audiences. Operafication has collaborated with many performers worldwide, and is thrilled to be working with Cellista to create captivating soundscapes for audiences in Living Entropy. Follow her on IG: @operafication
About Jessica Irvin
Jessica Irvin is a producer and suspension practitioner currently roaming the United States. She is the founder of Wolf & Sheep Productions, created in 2018. She joined The Skin Project as a co-producer in 2016; the 2019 installation unveiled her first presentation as curator, writer, and director. Her work is a journey of emotional cartography. Thematically, she explores and questions social norms, inclusivity, bodily autonomy, and self discovery in her works. Follow her on IG @wolfandsheepsuspensions or learn more at www.hookwolves.com