Difficult Conversations: The "C" word - Censorship
Tuesday, May 8, 6pm-8pm
Defibrillator Gallery at 1136 N. Milwaukee Ave.
FREE! Refreshments will be provided - BYOB is welcome!
The "C" word is all around us these days. Here are a few recent examples. In Bridgeport, visual artist Gabriel Villa and the neighborhood's Alderman James A. Balcer locked horns over Villa's provocative outdoor mural.The end result was that the Balcer ordered for Villa's mural to be whitewashed over, even though it was on private property. Performance artist Joseph Ravens got booted out of a downtown gallery for being naked. The Athenaeum Theater in Lakeview has a new clause in their space rental contracts called the "Morality Clause," which basically means that if you rent their space,you won't create or perform any material that the Archdiocese finds objectionable.
Difficult Conversations = No whining allowed. Just seeking solutions...
Joseph Ravens creates time-based art works that encompass text, movement, installation, technology, costume, and object. He completed his undergraduate degree in theater at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; studied audio/visuals at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Netherlands; and is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an MFA in Performance Art. Ravens is a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Interdisciplinary/Performance Art, the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for New Performance Forms, and an Artist Project grant in New Performance Forms from the Illinois Arts Council. In 2010, Ravens work in the Pop-Up Art Loop project became the focus of scrutiny and censorship, sparking debate over art in public spaces.
Munjulika Rahman successfully defended her dissertation titled "Urban Dance in Bangladesh: History, Identity, and the Nation" earlier this month at the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Her research interests include the history and politics of dance in Bangladesh, nationalism, and Hindu mythology. In the future she hopes to do comparative research on dance in Muslim nations in Asia. She is trained in Bengali music and is a student of various dance forms. Her experience with censorship comes mainly from the many interviews she conducted during fieldwork of Bangladeshi (Muslim) dance practitioners who narrated anecdotes about self-censorship or social censorship of sensitive issues that they had to negotiate in their choreographies, issues mostly related to religion and gender. She has also done preliminary research on popular dance forms in Malaysia and Indonesia (both Muslim majority countries), where the prevalent dance forms follow strict movement repertoires that appear to reflect Islamic aesthetics and follow Islamic injunctions of how genders should behave. In all these dance forms, there are behaviors and acts that are not "allowed" in performances of these dances.