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r VOLUME 15, ISSUE 4

SEPTEMBER 19, 2013

Modern art thrives through SiteWork Art extends beyond museums and galleries, pg. 5

Paradise Garden Project Artists explore nature across media, pg. 6

The Naked and Famous In Rolling Waves album review, pg. 3

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ess recess editor’ s recess note ss recess r

r recess editors What work?

The Chronicle

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2 | ThursDAY, sepTember 19, 2013

While reading on my flight from rome to Beirut this past summer, i stumbled across an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote that i took out of context and have since held dear: only a sense, colored with delirious wild excitement, that the ultimately important was happening— i’ve been restless. it’s the beginning of my last year at Duke. i don’t have any concrete plans and haven’t been inspired enough to make any. instead, i’ve deflected questions of the future by sardonically mumbling about post-graduation plans to move to Paris or Berlin. i’m surprised—and admittedly, a little flattered—that no one has yet to further question me. After discovery of the Fitzgerald quote, i scrawled it into my notebook, circled it five times and stepped off the plane at 3 a.m. in lebanon, feeling enlightened for my next adventure. Then i spent the rest of my summer affirmed that whatever i did at a given time, from attending music festivals to living abroad to graduating early, was “the ultimately important.” i decided to embody the quote as a new lifestyle. i would create, craft and engineer until every detail in my life felt relevant to the future ahead. Without realizing, i was making mental notes to myself: what does this reflect toward my long-term goals; what have i learned; what did i like, or not like. it was uncharacteristically methodical and

Lauren Feilich.............................................................................................bitter work Jamie Kessler....................................................................................caffeinated work MC Bousquette............................................................................................party time Megan Rise.............................................................................................wrecking ball Kathy Zhou......................................................................a queen’s work is never done

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Eliza Bray...............................................................................................party time too Minshu Deng.............................................................................................this work is

DUKE PERFORMANCES

calculating, and it was silly. So now, a month into this school year, i’m sitting in my Central Campus apartment completely stumped over how i’m supposed to turn the things that i enjoy most (pen doodles, walks to Durham art spaces, flowers in mason jars, casual but meaningful conversation) into something relevant (like a job, or my first editor’s note). i wondered when my definition of “important” evolved from becoming a painter to going to college to changing my major to advocating for the arts. none of these translate easily, and that’s why i just tell everyone that i’m moving to europe. See, things are transient right now, and that’s unsettling. The spaces we inhabit are impermanent. We move our possessions into storage every year, and most of us don’t actually own the furniture we use. We learn something for a semester and then sell back our textbooks. We, along with our relationships, belongings and values, are constantly changing. Because things are so impermanent, we’ve adopted the habit of perceiving everything in terms of how and to what extent they’ll benefit us. Currently, i think i’m supposed to focus on becoming a real person who does important things. Yet here i am, still uncovering old sketchbooks, music albums and pairs of shoes. i end up throwing them out and grimacing or poking fun at what feels like a past self. This brings me to my next point. To quote Jim Jarmusch quoting Jean-luc Godard: it’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to. Despite how ridiculous i looked in my favorite outfit in ninth grade—oversized flannel, blue jeans and a beanie—i still felt like i had confidence and ownership over my appearance. even though i was too shy as a kid to fully communicate my love for music through my piano or violin performances,

i still wrote my college application essay on Beethoven’s fifth symphony. And even though i resigned my dream of becoming a writer sometime in middle school, that dream has never felt more tangible than it does now. The person you meet today is embedded with two decades’ worth of sincerities and uncertainties. And no matter how embarrassing, how unforgiving or even how inauthentic, these tidbits—these multitudes—were once important, so in a way, they still are. everything matters! right now for me, that involves a one-punch refrigerator poem by my apartment-mate (“why are we performing like / imagined silhouettes / that have no passion”). it involves the resolution to make decisions based on where i want to live over following a particular career path. it involves lavender flowers, strings of lights, women artists and struggling to make a point in French class. it involves the process of rediscovering old writings and doodles and feeling just as proud of them as i did way back when. it involves radicalness, the readiness to embrace change and the willingness to view everything as the ultimately important. Whatever makes you think twice, whatever moves you, whatever comes up as an afterthought, is relevant. i’m not saying you need to be constantly self-aware. i don’t need you to explain why. i’m asking you to allow yourself to cherish the tiny details and mishaps; to own up to the decisions you have made and will make; and to remain unapologetic for what you were, are and will be. The ultimately important becomes you, and i hope it excites you. We choose what to make of it and where to take it. it’s how a place becomes both wonderful and trying, all at once. — Kathy Zhou

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ABOVE: Iranian (Isfahan), Lunette (detail), 1938-39. Stonepaste: monochrome-glazed, assembled as a mosaic; 11¼ x 22 ¾ x 3½ inches (28.6 x 57.8 x 8.9 cm). © 2011 Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i. Photo by David Franzen.

Doris Duke’s Shangri La Architecture, LAnDScApe, AnD iSLAmic Art An intimate look at Doris Duke and her Honolulu estate, Shangri La. The exhibition features selections from the Islamic art collection amassed by this stylish American heiress and philanthropist.

On view through December 29, 2013 2001 Campus Drive | Durham, NC 27705 | 919-684-5135 | nasher.duke.edu/shangrila


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production, the album features more acoustic and almost folk-like elements, as showcased on the opening track ‘A Stillness.’ Alisa’s initial drone-like vocals, set against the sharper rhythmic guitar chords, make for an interesting mix. But subtle nuances of machineSpecial to the chronicle like noise become increasingly audible and suddenly the song IN ROLLING WAVES seems to deconstruct itself, drawing in The Naked and Famous some MGMT-like chaos. Somewhat Damaged The naked and Famous’s newest album does not exclusively feature their talent by Christina Lan for synthesized electronic manipulation. The ChroniCle The electronic processing is much more The ‘Young Blood’ teens have grown subtle and therefore stronger. The use of up. After spilling out testimonies of reck- distortion in the ending passages of the less youth, The naked and Famous took a band’s title track, ‘like rolling Waves,’ is three-year break to craft their next album. barely discernible, but its presence affirms Somewhere in that gap, Thom Powers and that the band has not lost their psychedelAlisa Xayalith admitted to facing multiple ic origins. The band also proves their flexwriting blocks. even through the struggles ibility in ‘The Waltz,’ where Thom Powers of this artistic soul-searching purge, the and Alisa Xayalith emulate The xx with a journey for something new paid off. duet over a minimalist background. The Past the band’s days of distorted ex- outcome is an infectious looping of soothperimentation comes “in rolling Waves,” ing vocals paired with surges of light, bellwhich consists of a progression of caretoned synths. Another definite hit is ‘i Kill fully constructed tracks, each signifying a Giants,’ a synth-pop tune that could very greater maturity of sound. on “Passive Me, well be their next dance floor anthem. Aggressive You,” The naked and Famous once again, with producer Thom Powers, portrayed themselves as misfit rebels. The the band seems to have mastered the art dance-pop hit ‘Young Blood’ was an instant of building striking layers of melodies. chart-topper, infused with Alisa Xayalith’s it does seem, however, that by trying punchy vocals and an explosion of synths. to divert from its previously rebellious naWhile that edgy-pop feel isn’t lost on ture, the band has lost some of the spunk The naked and Famous’s newest album, that differentiated “Passive Me, Aggressive the sentiment has certainly changed. The You” from the other alternative and eleclead single, ‘hearts like ours,’ pulses with tronic music that emerged at the same a different kind of energy. Backed by pia- time. But then again, many bands evolve no-driven power chords, lyrics like “could at some point to survive. And on “like we try to reinvent” attest to a rebirth of rolling Waves,” The naked and Famous sound. True to this clearer approach to have transformed quite successfully.

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FILM

mother of the ghost that possessed Josh. The tone of the movie was much more cheesy and sensational than the first. i missed the dark nuances that pervaded “insidious,” where the overall mood turned silly things, like Special to the chronicle Tiny Tim’s loopy singing INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER Blumhouse Productions or a mannequin’s deranged smile, into Directed By James Wan psychotic nightmares. i had trouble not laughing at parts in “insidious: Chapter 2” because the fast pace didn’t make by Gary Hoffman room for any real tension or darkness to The ChroniCle develop. The scares—mostly pop-ups— The first “insidious” left a mark on me seemed forced and out of place. that took time to completely erase. i loved Still, insidious: Chapter 2 is its own the movie, but for months after watching movie, and i did enjoy it. Direct commuit, i’d be haunted at night by smiling man- nication with the ghosts gave the movie a nequins, black-dressed brides and some cheaper feel, but it helped explain a lot creep singing about tiptoeing through of the backstory and history of the chartulips. “insidious: Chapter 2” starts with acters. Also, time travel within The Furthe cold, dank feeling of betrayal the first ther helped add some witty connections one left off with, but it quickly becomes with the first film. The simultaneous plot a goofy romp through the supernatural lines made the movie feel like an action that resolves much of the mystery left by flick or thriller. They were a refreshing the first. turn from the darkness seen in director “insidious” follows the lambert fam- James Wan’s other works, such as “Saw” ily, whose son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), pos- or “The Conjuring.” sesses the ability to separate from his body “insidious: Chapter 2” offered a fastand walk in a spirit world called The Fur- paced ride through a world that was left a ther. While in this state, other spirits can mystery at the conclusion of the first movpossess him. Dalton’s father, Josh (Patrick ie. As a straight-up horror movie it was a Wilson), also has this ability, and in the last little light and cheesy, but as a sequel it movie he used it to retrieve his son from was immensely satisfying and helped tie The Further. up a lot of loose ends. Unfortunately, while Dalton could reAnd for those who missed the demonturn to his body, Josh’s was taken over by a ic, red-faced dude from the first film, the bride in black who has haunted him since ending made >> ON THE WEB << his childhood. in “insidious: Chapter 2,” pretty clear the family uses the help of some ghost we’ll see him Check out more film & music hunters to research the ghost of the bride again in the reviews at dukechronicle. in black, travel through The Further and third installcom/section/recess retrieve Josh’s spirit after destroying the ment.

2

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4 | ThursDAY, September 19, 2013

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The Chronicle

Local initiatives bring to Durham art scene Motorco reimagines classic film “Old Yeller still dies” by Anna Vivian The Chronicle

It takes a special kind of project to unite a community of friends and strangers, a music venue and one of the most weep-worthy movies of all time under the banner of one ambitious outpouring of creativity. This project is “Old Yeller Still Dies,” a movie mashup event set to screen at Motorco Music Hall this Saturday. The premise: take a beloved film, divide it into scenes, assign those scenes to over thirty groups of people, allow those people to film their own versions of the scenes and recombine the material into a (sort of) cohesive work of movie magic. In a promotion for the event, Motorco assures, “Old Yeller is still going to die at the end but it’ll be much more fun to watch it happen this time around.” “Old Yeller Still Dies” is the brainchild of Frederica Almond, the selfSophia Palenberg/The Chronicle proclaimed “mad scientist behind the This year’s reproduction of “Old Yeller” will feature the same country life and tragic rabidity plot points as the original but promises surprises in the way project.” Her Durham Movie Mashup of puppetry, animation and a slew of dog actors. The Old Yeller/Lassie mash-up above illustrates the spirit of this unique event. series, which sprung from an annual talent show put on by a group of each other without the push for Almond’s friends, is now in its third ute” of her free time editing. Almond dious.” comparison.” Petrusz agreed, saykeeps herself entertained along the But the process is enjoyable and year. One year, Almond decided to “redo ‘Top Gun’” as her talent—an way with small in-jokes: “I enjoy put- the payoff is even better. Petrusz ing, “When you give a bunch of difidea that she said “of course doesn’t ting in little Easter eggs,” she said. commented on the rewards of the ferent people the same creative task, make sense.” However, that idea led “Like I try to find a way to weave in at final product coming to fruition. you come up with just as many totally to the concept of a group movie ef- least one quick scene from ‘Arrested She said that “seeing the huge vari- different creations.” In any case, parety and creativity of all the different ticipants are abundantly enthusiastic fort. The first mashup was “Top Gun: Development’ for each movie.” This combination of fun and stress people who sent in their short clip” about one another’s work, and that Mach One,” a re-imagining of Tom Cruise’s famous airplanes and volley- is reiterated by Catherine Petrusz, a is the best part of the project. A close enthusiasm translates to the forging ball film, and last year’s mashup was participant in all three mashups. She second, maybe, is the fact that a dog of a unique—and uniquely positive— movie was chosen this year, which community. Almond put it bluntly, “Karate Kid Kimchee Kiki.” means there should be “a dozen or though fondly, with the assessment This year’s reproduction “The entire project is built more ridiculously cute dogs” playing that “many connections between of “Old Yeller” will feature strangers have been made as we the eponymous character. upon what I consider a radithe same country life and Perhaps what is most surprising laugh at ourselves looking ridiculous tragic rabidity plot points cal act of resistance to our is the community-building effect of on the screen.” as the original but promAlmond tries to shy away from what is, at its core, a goofy art projises surprises in the way of comparison culture.” ect. Almond studied psychology and, sounding pretentious or “ridiculous,” puppetry, animation and a — Frederica Almond, in her “day job,” spends “a lot of time a word that appears often in conjuncslew of dog actors. about how resilient com- tion with this movie, but in the end Almond described the “mad scientist behind the project” thinking munities are created.” From her per- she said, “The entire project is built process of making the films spective, the Durham Movie Mashup upon what I consider a radical act of as “three parts ridiculously series is one way to combat social resistance to our comparison culture. fun, one part ridiculously played Maverick in “Top Gun: Mach comparison and a poisonous culture I try to build an ephemeral commustressful.” What started as a small project among friends has grown One” and Mr. Miyagi in “Karate Kid of critical scrutiny. Each participant nity where people can experience into a larger community effort, and Kimchee Kiki,” and this year went is assigned a different scene and the opposite—where we are all there almost no one has professional vid- behind the camera to film her own given free rein over its content, with to support each other while we make eo or moviemaking experience. “I dog, Gladys, as Old Yeller. Of “Old the opportunity to be as silly and cre- a**es of ourselves for no obvious imdidn’t know anything about editing Yeller Still Dies,” Petrusz said, “Like atively daring as he or she chooses. mediate gain. I believe resiliency and when I first started,” said Almond, anything really rewarding, it involves The result is a diverse multiplicity of true community are born in these but she has learned a lot by making hard work. Learning how to use scenes that are appreciated, rather moments.” “Old Yeller Still Dies” will play this these films. She asks that scenes be video-editing software can be time- than judged, by all. consuming and tedious. Getting your Sat., September 21, in the Motorco Music In Almond’s words, “People push turned in to her four weeks before the screening, and during those four dog or mother to do what you want themselves creatively, and then they Hall Showroom. Doors open at noon, and weeks she spends “every extra min- while you film them can also be te- have a shared experience to meet show starts at 1 p.m. Admission is free.


The Chronicle

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ThursDAY, September 19, 2013 | 5

g new perspectives e SiteWork promotes

contemporary art in Triangle

by Anna Mukamal The Chronicle

SiteWork has developed rapidly since its inception in January 2013. The four founders “laid the groundwork” for SiteWork out of a desire “to see more artistled, artist-driven initiatives in the Triangle,” said cofounder Lincoln Hancock. “The four of us each have specific strengths, and we all chipped in equally,” said Harrison Haynes, another co-founder. Both Hancock and Haynes are North Carolina-based artists and musicians. Along with art advisor Chloe Seymore and artist Neill Prewitt, their teamwork reflects “one of [SiteWork’s] explicit goals: bringing the work of Triangle-based artists into the broader conversation in order to encourage collaboration between local and international artists.” One of SiteWork’s eventual objectives is to own a residential space to allow out-of-town artists to live in the Triangle to work on long-term projects. “This idea of psychogeography—of being connected not just to a physical environment but also to a mediated environment—is something I explore in my

artwork,” said Hancock. Yet SiteWork primarily facilitates the growth of contemporary art within the Triangle. “The Triangle is where we live, but we’ve also chosen to be here because we see a lot of artistic potential here,” said Hancock. He went on to explain that the SiteWork founders “feel strongly that there is some amazing work being done here, yet the poles of the national and international conversation tend to travel through New York and L.A. even though the South is an increasingly important cultural component of the United States.” Haynes alluded to the impact of the Hopscotch Music Festival, which took place two weekends ago in downtown Raleigh and brought international bands to play alongside local bands. “We wanted to mirror that kind of collaboration in a contemporary art context,” said Haynes. So, they did this at SiteWork’s grand debut—SiteWork/Hopscotch—which offered seven indoor and outdoor art projects within walking distance of the concert grounds.

Fittingly, the “visual work had tones that could be construed as music as well,” said Haynes. “Hopscotch weekend was about featuring artists who can be described as dual practitioners, masters of the overlap between music and visual art.” This theme resonates well with one of Haynes’s personal goals: reconciling his pursuit of drumming and visual arts. “I’m trying to figure out how to combine both without one being the detriment of the other,” he explained. At this point in his artistic trajectory, he sees connections between music and artwork that he had never previously imagined. Hancock mirrored the importance of discovery in a practical sense. “We are aware of, learning about and making connections with similar organizations in other parts of the city and region,” he said. “It’s good to know that there are people doing similar things in other cities, but I am unaware of an effort exactly like SiteWork.” SiteWork’s first major project at SiteWork/Hopscotch may have been a resounding success, but it

Special to the Chronicle

This year, SiteWork partnered with Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh.

Special to the Chronicle

The new organization extends contemporary art beyond museums and galeries.

“was on a shoestring budget. SiteWork is not about making money, but SiteWork needs money,” Hancock explained. “We really appreciated the help of several sponsors who gave us in-kind and material donations.” One of SiteWork’s most pressing goals is raising money for upcoming projects. “We want to be able to pay artists well for what they do,” said Hancock. Haynes described how his time at the Rhode Island School of Design prepared him—or failed to prepare him—for his professional career. “Quickly after graduating from RISD, it became clear that I had to be very resourceful to find employment opportunities,” he said. “You kind of have to be your own businessman, and while I love RISD and credit it with defining my creative practice and sensibility, there was no curricular feature there that offered me the nuts and bolts on how to survive as an artist in the real world.” This financial aspect of the professional art scene partially explains why SiteWork promotes and facilitates artwork that lacks exhibition venues or local support. “We ultimately want to provide people with more opportunities to experience contemporary art,”

said Hancock. “At the same time, we want to give the artist the kind of support and stability that a gallery can provide, but in the context of innovative exhibition opportunities.” Hancock feels that the public is becoming more aware of, and interested in, contemporary work. “The problem is that all of that energy seems to be focused into museumlike institutions,” he said. “There are very few independent galleries in the Triangle that feature contemporary art—especially video or performance— since most commercial galleries focus on sellable artwork in order to be financially stable.” SiteWork aims to promote contemporary art in ways that transcend the traditional museum or gallery apparatus. Hancock summed up SiteWork’s mission: “We want to structure opportunities for artists to do contemporary art more effectively and more broadly. And while SiteWork is based in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, we want to achieve this goal in the context of the nationwide and worldwide art scene.” SiteWork’s upcoming projects in the Triangle will be announced on a rolling basis. For more information about the organization’s artists, sponsors, and exhibitions, please visit http://siteworknc.com/.


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The Chronicle

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Carrack’s exhibition celebrates nature, community by Katie Fernelius The ChroniCle

Gardens are as intertwined with civilization as the wheel. From the horticulture depicted in egyptian tomb paintings to the Gardens of Versailles, gardens have represented the union between mankind and nature throughout history. Classic texts recount wonders like the hanging Gardens of Babylon which celebrated opulence, while the emergence of parks in medieval times were a means of trapping game for the aristocracy. The garden is one of the earliest manipulated landscapes of civilization, one of the earliest indicators of status and one of the earliest arts. The Paradise Garden Project at the Carrack Modern Art will celebrate this vibrant history of the garden, as well as its contemporary importance, through a multimedia installation created, recorded and gardened by the local community. “The entire Paradise Garden Project should invoke a sense of the sacredness of nature and by being inside the gallery, one will be a part of it,” related lee Moore Crawford, one of the lead organizers and artists in the project. “The viewer will be a part of the exhibit as one may be in a cathedral, mosque, temple or garden.” earlier this year, Crawford contacted artists from the local community to put together this installation. Crawford was inspired by the concept of Persian gardens, which use aesthetic means to play with the balance of elements. The aim of a garden is to apply the organization of the aesthetic to the natural aspects of the earth. in particular, Persian gardens balance sunlight with shade and interior structures with exterior landscapes. This balance is similarly evoked when living in a city where nature and development are often at odds. The exhibit seeks to bridge these polarized concepts through this artistic space. For artist Katherine Whalen, the exhibit represents the evolving change representative of nature’s relentlessness. “There’s this whole idea of change, of taking a walk and seeing nature along your journey, like moss or flowers. Then, when you take the same walk a few weeks later and you encounter the same elements, you

realize they have decayed—they are changed, and so are you,” said Whalen. As her piece, Whalen is contributing organic fashion. She was inspired by a photography book that showed the organic fashions of African tribes that adorned themselves with mud, braided leaves and sprays of yellow berries. like the communities she admired, she wanted to create fashion from natural elements that both celebrated human skill and the beauty of the earth. Whalen decorated a hat with various types of moss and other living features. The hat itself has thrived with growing fungi and sprouting leaves. Consistent with Whalen’s comments, the hat has changed over time as parts of it have grown and decayed. Many other pieces in the installation are similar to Whalen’s organic hat, utilizing resources from the environment. For her part, Crawford is contributing a photo series of floral elements in her yard from early spring through late summer. “The photos act kind of like a diary: abstracted recordings of flowers arranged in the same place and photographed in the same place,” said Crawford. “The photos are in an installation arranged behind a table with a living still-life of flowers and a string of prayer beads.” in addition to Whalen and Crawford, other artists include Maryah Smith overman, who is making a sculptural entrance; Jennifer Collins-Mancour, who is doing a figurative sculpture with plant and insect elements; entomologist Annie Spikes, who is making a lattice from bees’ honeycombs; linda Dallas, who is creating on-site window drawings inspired by orchards; Anne Marie Kennedy, who is combining botanicals in ethereal handmade paper creations; and Ben Greene who will bring a seven-foot tall living wall. Appropriately, the word “garden” descends from the old english term “geard,” which means barrier or enclosure, and this meaning often still holds true today. Gardens continue to be an enclosed space, even more dramatically emphasized within developed cities like Durham. in a landscape dominated by inorganic skyscrapers and cemented sidewalks, entering into a

garden can feel like entering into a whole other world. The barriers of a garden are contrary to the aim of the Paradise Garden Project, which seeks to bridge the distance between the urban environment and natural habitats. Crawford’s initiative seeks to broaden its reach by not only including the local, personal community but also the ecological community. Many aspects of the exhibit were collaborative, and most of the materials were taken from the immediate environment. Apart from its variety of materials, the exhibit brings together myriad perspectives and mediums, allowing it to become a space for conversation, music, drawing and poetry. “The issues explored may not be comfortable but there is the innate beauty of nature,” reflected Crawford. “hopefully, by seeing oneself in and relating to the art, we become a part of the installations and events and hence a part of the web of life.” The Paradise Garden Project runs until October 5 at The Carrack Modern Art. On September 28, there will be a workshop with music and discussion. Other events include an evening of poetry on October 3, and the closing reception with a gallery talk on October 5.

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