Selknam: Spirit, Ceremony, Selves
May 3- September 17, 2017
Opening reception and performance:
Saturday May 13, 2017, 2:00-5:00 PM, Performance 5:00PM
The Selknam, an extinct aborigine tribe of Tierra del Fuego, is the inspiration for Elisa Pritzker’s installation at the HVCCA. Over ten years ago when Pritzker visited Patagonia, she felt an urgency to discover the people who had lived in Tierra del Fuego “before all the tourists came, speaking all different languages, from many cultures,” except for that of the Selknam, whose voices were gone.
Pritzker has created an installation that honors the tribe, gathered into reservations in the 1940’s and eradicated by diseases and cultures not their own. She began an in-depth study of the Selknam Tribe, using source materials from anthropologists and photographers, among them Anne Chapman. In the 1950’s and 1960’s Chapman documented the Selknam’s unique culture and recorded their language and chants. Chapman was cured of a life threatening ailment by Lola Kiepkja, the last Selknam shaman alive. After intensive research, Pritzker realized how much the ancient cultures and traditions had to teach and her solo show at HVCCA brings the viewer – stone by stone – into the Selknam realm.
Elisa Pritzker, born in Argentina, now lives in upstate New York. Her work has appeared in exhibitions and museums worldwide. Brian K. Mahoney, Chronogram Magazine editor, said, Pritzker “... has helped to shape the evolution of the regional arts scene.” Certainly, Pritzker’s work, installations and objects, has reshaped how we think about culture, ancient, urban, natural or spiritual. Looking anew at the old, Elisa Pritzker’s installation at the HVCCA, provides a contemporary artist’s view of an ancient world.
An original performance piece, which uses Eliza Pritzker’s vision, integrates music, dance, and narration, giving the Selknam voice through the perspectives of three
Selknam: Spirit, Ceremony, Selves
women, a female shaman, an ethnographer, and a mythological moon woman. The performance is at 5PM, Saturday, May 13th as part of the opening reception of Pritzker's show. Performance collaborators are Marcy B. Freedman, art historian and performance artist; musicians/composers Nannette Garcia, Maurice Minichino; and dancer Marsi Burns
Marcy B. Freedman has MAs in Art History from Princeton and the University of Michigan. A visual artist, Marcy has explored a variety of mediums. Her works and performances have been seen in more than 300 exhibitions around the country. Collaborating with other artists is an important part of Marcy’s artistic life
Skin Against Metal: Nanette Garcia (voice, percussion, collector of junk instruments) and Maurice Minichino (piano/keys, bass, electronic sounds, engineer). Life partners and creative collaborators since the late 80s, they became deeply involved in the 90’s with Afro-Cuban sacred music 2000, the composers authored the instructional book: The Sacred Music of Cuba: Bata Drumming Matanzas Style. As indie artists, the composers move from one genre to another mixing influences, exploring sound and recording techniques without boundaries.
Marsi Burns is NYC-based dance artist who brings her physical prowess and a love of improvisation to each theatrical endeavor. Her original choreography is a response to the visual, aural, and spoken-word content provided by the other participating artists. Wearing a Selknam-inspired costume and a mask created by Pritzker, Burns’ performance will enrich the stories of the three women featured in the program.
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