A mood of reverence imbues the assembled works of Adaptations for the Understudy, a feeling of deep history and geography traversed. The body is not a fixed or immovable object, instead asserting itself in many environments within the exhibition: the body contained within a cultural context, the institutionalized body, the body transmuted into form, and the body interacting with the natural world. This body has a physical agency; it’s surroundings shape it and it shapes its surroundings. Moments of muted and amplified subjectivities, bodies and actors shaping the content of their own surroundings gives quiet power to the works in Adaptation for the Understudy. Processes of translation, re-enactment, and making material surface human energies that make likenesses of themselves.
Jose Luis Benavides is a writer, filmmaker and visual artist. He explores narratives of identity, place and community through an extensive research and archival practice. He writes for New City and teaches for Community Arts Partnership in Education. He is a 2016 Luminarts Finalist and his work has shown most recently at Links Hall.
Lorenzo Gattorna is a filmmaker and programmer originally from New York. Recently, his cinematic work engages with extended temporality, eludes narrative causality and embodies the confluence of lived experiences and embellished counterparts. He also attempts to capture flawed, fleeting scenarios, and the bittersweet sentiments that accompany their passing. His films have screened at venues worldwide, including CUFF, Echo Park Film Center, Image Forum, LOOP Festival, Maryland Film Festival, Microscope Gallery, NYFF, Open City Cinema, The Nightingale, TULCA and VIDEOMEDEJA.
Liz McCarthy is a transdisciplinary artist. Through research and studio production, she explores how different materials develop meaning through use and origin, and applies physical performance as a potential agent to re-inscribe meaning.
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, Roni Packer is a painter who prefers the paint and canvas to the pictorial space. Tearing, flipping, re-weaving, and carving are in the spectrum of her practices, through which she maintains an active-passive-aggressive relationship with the images and objects of her production.