Liz Magic Laser: Weekly
Forever & Today, Inc., in partnership with Swiss Institute, co-presents Weekly, by New York artist Liz Magic Laser. Drawing from conventional theatrical techniques, Laser directs a small troupe of performers to interact with a live audience. Laser’s Weekly asks us to explore—and question—the strategies used by political campaigns and the media to sway their audiences.
Weekly is among Laser's new series of The Living Newspaper performances. The Living Newspaper is a theatrical form that originated as 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 is the 2012 artist-in-residence for Forever & Today, Inc.'s Studio On The Street, where she has transformed the storefront space into a “situation room” style set for news programs. The residency provides an artist without a workspace and/or without a traditional studio-based practice the opportunity to use Forever & Today, Inc. as a studio during the summer—responding to artists' needs while rethinking contemporary artist-centered initiatives.
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. Events take place in various venues in New York City with the collaboration of performers Annie Fox, Frederic Nwaha Lindjeck, Liz Micek, Jeff Seal, and Michael Wiener, 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.
Swiss Institute has grown from a showcase of Swiss art and artists for a mostly Swiss audience into an innovative international venue for art that provides a significant forum for cultural dialogue between Switzerland, Europe, and the United States. This unique angle fosters interaction between the Swiss and many other communities and nationalities found in New York City. The result is a distinctive view of art and a way of thinking which asks audiences to break with traditional assumptions about art and national stereotypes. www.swissinstitute.net
Special thanks to Gianni Jetzer and Rahel Neuenschwander of Swiss Institute, and Forever & Today, Inc. Postgraduate Fellow Lisa Hayes Williams.