Seattle Art Fair 2017 Talks and Performances: Our Recommendations

Posted on July 31, 2017, 5:21 pm
7 mins


This weekend, in addition to all the art to see at Seattle Art Fair and surrounding galleries and exhibits, there are performances and lectures curated by the fair’s artistic director Laura Fried. Last year, Fried put together an eclectic and engaging program that spilled into the Pioneer Square neighborhood, and she continues that method this year.

Let’s start with the public performances that take place outside of Century Link Event Center.

Performance: Ellen Lesperance: W.I.T.C.H. 1985 at Occidental Park

To begin the performance, artist Ellen Lesperance will gather audience members at her installation in at Seattle Art Fair. The group will then proceed from Century Link Event Center to Occidental Mall. About W.I.T.C.H. (Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell):

This series includes textile designs and patches that are reproductions of a hooded cloak worn by a W.I.T.C.H. member at the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. Founded in 1981, the camp was established in Berkshire, England to protest nuclear weapons being sited at the nearby Royal Air Force Base. Exclusively comprising women, the protest—much like the W.I.T.C.H. group that predated it—believed that patriarchy itself was one of the root causes of war and had to be directly confronted. Throughout the fair weekend, a varied group of local artists, activists, writers, dancers, and actors will remove the garments from their display—designed and fabricated by Portland based designer Jason Rens—and stage a series of happenings in and out of the fair while cloaked in Lesperance’s apparel, vesting new agency in the garments in service of “untamed, angry, joyous and immortal” actions.

Each performance on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will begin at approximately 12:30pm in Occidental Mall.

Performance: Dylan Mira and Erika Vogt: Pool at Union Station

The architecturally and acoustically gorgeous Union Station lobby will host an immersive installation by artists Dylan Mira and Erika Vogt. Pool builds on the transitory nature of the train station lobby to consider “travel for end times.”

The public is invited to lounge in an installation of sculptural platforms referencing spa materials, ancient baths, architectural models, memorials and spells while a specially formulated herbal mist spreads through the space.

Friday, August 4 at 3:30pm – Performance
Saturday, August 5 at 10am –  Performance
Sunday, August 6 at 10am – Audience Workshop led by Mira

Sample artifacts from Pool by Erika Vogt and Dylan Mira. Image via Seattle Art Fair.


Friday, August 4

Talk: Gerard & Kelly with Miwon Kwon – 1:30pm

Artist and filmmaker duo Gerard & Kelly are presenting an installation and the world premiere of their film Modern Living at Seattle Art Fair 2017. With art historian Miwon Kwon, Brennan Gerard and Ryan Kelly will discuss their ongoing project and its fusion of performance, film and architecture.

More about Modern Living:

Modern Living (2016-ongoing) began as two site-specific choreographed performances: at the R.M. Schindler House in Los Angeles, the site of an early experiment in communal living, and the Glass House in New Canaan, where the architect Philip Johnson and his partner David Whitney lived for over 40 years. Represented by site-specific events, videos filmed on location, drawings, and performance scores, Modern Living explores intimacy and queer space within legacies of modernist architecture. Read more.

Saturday, August 5

Talk: Oscar Tuazon and Jennifer West – 1:30pm

Artists Oscar Tuazon and Jennifer West have very different practices. However, both are based in Los Angeles and have roots in the Pacific Northwest. (Tuazon was born in Seattle.) They also have a common interest in DIY approaches, and they will certainly find more common ground between their respective works in sculpture and film as they sit down for a smart discussion.

Performance: Naama Tsabar: Closer – 5pm

New York-based artist Naama Tsabar combines installation, sculpture, instrument and performance in Closer, co-presented with L.A. gallery Shulamit Nazarian.

Two conjoined walls, standing in the aisle of the art fair, form a free-standing corner that has strings and microphones fused to it and connect to amplifiers and speakers. Tsabar shifts the fairs architectural support structures from the display of art to the propagation of sound and gives articulation to the preexisting acoustics embedded in the structure. Throughout the weekend, the artist and the musician Fielded will collaborate in a performance composed on the corner activating its acoustic qualities.

There is a 5pm performance on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Naama Tsabar, Closer, 2014. ©Naama Tsabar and courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian.

Sunday, August 6

Talk: Clyde Petersen and Tariqa Waters – 1:30pm

Vanguard Seattle readers will know how much we already love the fierce style and voice of artist and gallerist Tariqa Waters. We’re also a big fan of artist Clyde Petersen, whose animated film TORREY PINES premiered at the TWIST festival last October. I expect the conversation between them to be colorful, funny and casual…a great way to split up the afternoon on the final day of the fair.

Featured Image: Gerard & Kelly, Modern Living: Glass House, 2017. Video still. Courtesy of the artists.


T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.