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Liz Magic Laser

Studio On The Street: Liz Magic Laser, 2012 Artist-in-Residence

Artist Residency Program and Event:
July 1 – August 31, 2012
Public Hours: Thursdays, 12-6pm
Open Studio Weekend: August 25 & 26, 2012

Off-Site Performance:
Liz Magic Laser: Weekly
From The Living Newspaper Performance Series
Swiss Institute
18 Wooster Street, New York
August 16, 2012
Info l Images


Forever & Today, Inc. announces its 2012 Studio On The Street artist-in-residence, Liz Magic Laser. Laser, a New York-based performance and video artist, is in residence from July 1-August 31, 2012. A public reception to launch her Open Studio Weekend takes place on Friday, August 24, 2012, 6-8pm. On Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26, from 12-6pm, visitors may attend open studio hours as Laser rehearses with performer/collaborators Audrey Crabtree, Ray Field, Annie Fox, Michael Wiener, and Lia Woertendyke.

For her Studio On The Street residency, Laser transforms Forever & Today, Inc.'s Lower East Side/Chinatown storefront into a "situation room." The situation room-style set for news programs employs television and computer screens to convince viewers that they are comprehensively monitoring current events around the world. Using the set design and methodologies associated with a news bureau as a functional backdrop, Laser acts as a network anchorwoman within her studio. As such, she is stationed at a computer desk against a background of multiple monitors that emit topical news feeds alongside video footage from her recent news-based performances. A bulletin board with related ephemera and international time zone wall clocks complete the space as a headquarters for artistic activity.

During the residency Laser will continue to develop work that explores how television, print, and other news sources persuades the public to have faith in its authority. She draws from conventional theatrical techniques to direct performances by actors that often appear alongside live-feed video footage. Deconstructing the mechanisms of political melodrama, Laser reveals the underlying strategies present in face-to-face interviews, stump speeches, and debates that create heightened emotion to win trust among viewers, and questions the strategies used by political campaigns and the media to sway their audiences.

Laser processes the daily news as she plans, writes, edits, and rehearses a new series of performances based on the Living Newspaper theatrical form, a type of Soviet agitprop street theater. In the United States, the Living Newspaper form was adapted for the stage by the Federal Theatre Project under the 1930s Works Progress Administration. Laser's upcoming series of The Living Newspaper performances dramatize to a live audience the daily news from The New York Times and other sources.

The Living Newspaper performance series builds on Laser's Performa 11 commission, I Feel Your Pain (2011), and includes live and web-based programs produced in association with Performa. Thus far, events have taken place in various New York City venues including Family Business, The Canal Series, and Weekly, a Forever & Today, Inc. commissioned performance presented in partnership with Swiss Institute, and with the collaboration of performers Audrey Crabtree, Ray Field, Annie Fox, Frederic Nwaha Lindjeck, Liz Micek, Jeff Seal, Michael Wiener, and Lia Woertendyke among others. Other collaborators include Project Advisor: RoseLee Goldberg, Founding Director and Curator of Performa; Producer: David Guinan, Director of Polemic Media; Videographer: Niknaz Tavakolian; Journalistic Dramaturge: Roman Léandre Schmidt of Courrier International; Resident Playwright: Hanna Novak; Costume Advisors: Zulema Griffin and Zuzka Kurtz; Production Assistant: Moriah Askenaizer; and Performing Production Assistant: Mallory Nezam.

Liz Magic Laser (b. 1981, New York) lives and works in New York, and received her MFA from Columbia University, New York (2008). She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2008) and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (2009). Awards and honors include grants from New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2012), Times Square Alliance (2011), and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art (2010). She has been a resident at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn (2011) and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York (2009). Her work has been exhibited, screened, and/or performed at Mälmo Konsthall, Mälmo, Sweden (2012); MoMA PS1, Long Island City (2012, 2010); Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2011); The Paper Mill, Sydney, Australia (2011); Performa 11 Biennial, New York (2011); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2011); Times Square Alliance, New York (2011); BronxArtsSpace, New York (2010); Art Production Fund, New York (2009); New Museum, New York (2009); Prague Biennale 4, Prague, Czech Republic (2009); and The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (2008), among others. Laser's work has appeared in publications including Artforum, Art in America, Artnet, ArtReview, frieze, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and others. Laser is represented by Derek Eller Gallery, New York.

Studio On The Street
artist residency program provides an artist without a workspace and/or without a traditional studio-based practice the opportunity to use Forever & Today, Inc.'s storefront as a studio during the summer months. Inaugurated in 2009 and complimented by corresponding educational outreach, Studio On The Street coincides with Forever & Today, Inc.'s aim to respond to artists' needs while rethinking contemporary artist-centered initiatives.

Studio On The Street: Liz Magic Laser, 2012 Artist-in-Residence is selected by Ingrid Chu and Savannah Gorton, Co-Directors and Curators, Forever & Today, Inc. and Sara Reisman, F&T, Inc. 2012/13 Guest Curator.

Special thanks to Derek Eller of Derek Eller Gallery, Lia Gangitano of Participant Inc., Gianni Jetzer and Rahel Neuenschwander of Swiss Institute, Paul D. Miller, Risa Needleman and Benjamin Tischer of Invisible Exports, Stephan Stoyanov of Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, Jasper Sebastian Stürup, and Forever & Today, Inc. Postgraduate Fellow Lisa Hayes Williams.