north willow

 
W H E N   O U R   B R E A T H S    R U N
A site-specific project by Emily Harris
Feb 18 - April 14, 2017 (extended from April 9th)
Opening: Saturday, February 18th, 2-7pm
Artist talk: Saturday, February 18th, 4pm
With  essay by Dodo Dayao
 

The show is dedicated to Margaret Sheffield (1939-2016) poet, artist, critic and friend of Harris

 
“Breathing corresponds to the first autonomous gesture of the living human being. To come into the world supposes inhaling and exhaling by oneself.”
~Luce Irigaray, Between East and West: From Singularity to Community, p.73.

How might we “see” a breath? 

In her upcoming site-specific installation When Our Breaths Run, Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist Emily Harris continues her exploration of the body, technology and time with breath. The project begins with one big inhale and one controlled exhale in glass.
 
Elegant, alien and bulbous glass forms suspend in the space, surrounded by audio and visual traces of the process of their making. Each glass form is a record of the shape of one continuous exhale into molten glass, requested by Harris and executed by Philadelphia-based glass blower and interdisciplinary artist Megan Biddle. A total of five of these glass pieces took shape through Megan's breath, her movements, through the heated glass bulb, and the external conditions in the fabrication space. Along with these suspended works will be a short video of the making of one glass form, and a stand-alone field recording of the densely layered sounds in the space: a turning metal rod, air compressor and the tinkling of glass.

Adjacent is one other work, an excerpt from a recent performance by New York-based vocalist, percussionist and multi-instrumentist, Anais Maviel. Harris and Maviel will collaborate to create Vocal Pieces, a sound recording composed of a series of voiced exhales.
 
“Presenting exhales evokes a strange relationship with our own bodies,” says Harris. “By slowing breathing way down, the art-making questions and ‘makes strange’ a usually automatic process.”
 
This upcoming project’s topics on breathing, slowing down, strangeness, and consciousness of the body can be traced back to a conversation with Harris in late December 2016, when she describes a strategy shared by a friend, on how to support victims of real-time hate crimes: If you see somebody being harassed, go stand next to them; just by your physical nearness to the victim, a lot can be done to block the perpetrators and diffuse the situation. 
 
This experience of the potential of one’s conscious physical presence in a chaotic social landscape is what moved Harris in the direction for this upcoming project.  “Being perceptive and using your body simply, can be the most radical act,” she says.


Emily at Standing Rock on the day after Thanksgiving Day 2016


Megan Biddle blowing glass; triptych; stills from video by Emily Harris

 
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Installation images





















(link to an excerpt from Emily's artist talk; click on the Youtube image above)



Links to audio clips for Breath Songs, an audience participatory exercise during Emily's art opening:
Round 1
Round 2
 



Thank you to:
Megan Biddle, Gwen Charles, Eduardo "Dodo" Dayao, Anais Maviel


http://emilymharris.com/
http://www.meganbiddle.com/
http://gwencharles.com/
http://pelikula.blogspot.com/
http://www.anaismaviel.com/