Author Archives: yezruiz


ACTIVATE to turn Chicago alleys into galleries

ACTIVATE to turn Chicago alleys into galleries

The Chicago Loop Alliance brings DJs and artists to downtown alleys in this expanded party series.


Review: Rocio Boliver performs “Balancing of the Edge/Age” at Defibrillator

Rocio Boliver’s performance “Balancing of the Edge/Age” was the last in the Majesty of the Flesh series curated at Defibrillator.  Boliver, also known as La Congeleda de Uva, is a Mexican performance artist, who gained prominence in the body art scene.   Boliver explores themes surrounding beauty, femininity and the aging body in her performance with the help of Begoña Grande, a Spanish artist.

The performance opens with the two women, naked, strutting the stage, covered in photographs of the female body.  Reminiscent of a catwalk, the bodies of the female artists force images of the ideal female body to be seen as that, pure image and imagination.  Hidden under the photographs, the lines of translucent fishing line only become apparent as the artists strip themselves of the photographs.   The placement of the hooks throughout the artists’ bodies took 6 hours to attach before the performance began.

Soon Boliver and Grande begin unwinding the fishing line that hangs from the hooks placed throughout their bodies, and the feeling of danger sinks in.  The artists entangle themselves in a beautifully haunting ballet of flesh.  Attached by way of the fishing lines, the artists, in a seemingly choreographed dance, pull at one another’s eyebrows, faces, breasts, labias, and thighs.  The heat of the gallery, the sound of the artists’ pain and struggle, and the smell of bodily fluids amplify the senses and the anxiety.

Boliver and Grande grasp at the lines connecting them, and pull at each other’s skin, switching places atop a balancing board.  The tension of this flesh discord heightens as the first drops of blood seep from the hooks on Grande breasts.  This is quickly followed by more rivets of blood from both artists.

As the strain of the flesh caught in the fishing lines becomes almost unbearable to watch, a flame is taken to the taut and rigid lines, setting the artists free.  The release is tangible and unmistakable.

After their disentanglement, Boliver and Grande each adorn a mirror around their face and step off stage into the audience.  Staring straight into the faces of audience members, the reflection of their own image around the face of the artists became an intense moment of clarity.  Boliver and Grande then passed them packaged razor blades, and stepped back on stage.

Once on stage, the artists each slice their own hands with a razor blade.  Boliver and Grande smear their blood on to each other’s faces, using it as makeup, highlighting the same irony that began the performance.  A violent, insistent, bodily consuming kiss between Boliver and Grande ends the performance.

“Balancing of the Edge/Age” is a fitting end to the Majesty of Flesh series.  Placing the aged female body on view and distorting our expectations. 


Sorry there are no photographs to accompany this post.  No photographs were permitted during the performance.


Major Arts Funding Organization Leaves LA for Chicago

Major Arts Funding Organization Leaves LA for Chicago

United States Artists (USA), the arts funding organization founded in 2005, announced last week that it would relocate its headquarters from Los Angeles to Chicago. 


New MOCA director Philippe Vergne to start March 10,0,6651326.story#ixzz2v2PQ5eT1

New MOCA director Philippe Vergne to start March 10,0,6651326.story#ixzz2v2PQ5eT1

Protest Action Erupts Inside Guggenheim Museum





featuring GERMAN performance artists

THU 02.27.14 @ 8 – 11PM

MARCEL SPARMANN (GERMANY) is a live artist born in GERA, GERMANY. he studied theatre and performance art at THE UNIVERSITY of HILDESHEIM and ENVIRONMENTAL ART at GLASGOW SCHOOL of ART. his specific interest reaches across the media spectrums and includes influences from dance, spatial based art, video and installation. this approach has led him to develop a specific understanding for shared spaces and situations which could be seen as ephemeral intersections between political, philosophical and social based questions. he works as a performer and teacher in solo and collaborative projects all over EUROPE. until 2013 he also worked as a teacher and assistant director for PAS | PERFORMANCE ART STUDIES.

LISA STERTZ is a performer and dancer born in COTTBUS, GERMANY. she studied european media studies at the UNIVERSITY OF POTSDAM and the UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES POSTDAM. currently she is a M.F.A. candidate in performance at the SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO. in her work, STERTZ questions the state of the human body in space, seen in the widest sense. with the help of her self-titled approach to her art “VOLUNTARY RESTRAINTS” she aims to direct a focus on either the human body itself or the body in resonance with other bodies, materials and cultures. in more general terms, she seeks to put different ways of perception on display. her work is thus nurtured by solo performances and collaborative works equally. lately she has performed at DOCK11, BERLIN (2014), LINKS HALL, CHICAGO (2013), 6018 NORTH, CHICAGO (2013), SOULKITCHENHALLE, HAMBURG (2013), GRüNTALER9, BERLIN (2011-2013), WITTGENSTEIN HOUSE, VIENNA (2011), HAUTE éCOLE d’Art ET DE DESIGN, GENEVA (2011).

STERTZ’S performance, LEFT OUT, is a critical approach to the notion of ‘capitalism’ and therewith ‘society’ and ‘community’. WALTER BENJAMIN wrote in his fragments that capitalism is a religion without salvation. no hope, but desperation. no salvation, but dept. GIORGIO AGAMBEN picked up this thought and stated is his book PROFANATIONS that we are currently living a shift in value and that in respect to capitalism as religion we would have to “profane the unprofanable”. a capitalistic religion, he says, is about to create an absolute unprofaniable, because in difference to christianity, capitalism generalizes the structure of segregation into all possible fields (not only religion). thus we find ourselves in the sphere of consumerism. we are in this world and we function in this world. – LEFT OUT seeks to draw a picture on that constant dual moment of ‘functioning’ and ‘modes of being’ and, thus, questions the state of living.