Expanded Performance: Leidy Churchman and MPA

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Leidy Churchman and MPA created the installation Painting Rooms (2012), composed of paintings and brass rods. Two paintings by Leidy Churchman on large pieces of vinyl become sculptures in this collaborative work as they lay across the floor. The window of painting is pushed down to the viewers feet and fill out the two rooms outlined by walls built to contain them. In this work where the painting is the floor and the walls are the space, the viewer will experience an amplified notion of volume within these rooms. MPA approaches performance as a potential space. Installing brass rods into corners of the room that intervene with the painting sculptures on the floor, MPA shifts focus from the performer's body and turns her attention to the possible action between the brass and paint.

Painting Rooms also consists of a black and white video on a monitor notating the actions by the two artists with these materials.

"'You cannot hang an event on the wall, only a picture', remarked Mary McCarthy in her review of Harold Rosenberg's influential volume of essays The Tradition of the New (1959). She was referring to Rosenberg's The American Action Painters (1952), in which he casts the canvas as an ‘arena in which to act': ‘what was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event'. Approaching Leidy Churchman's work via such a digression may seem inappropriate if one considers Rosenberg's contribution to establishing the enduring clichés about Abstract Expressionism: fetishization of the (male) gesture and existentialist pathos. Nothing could be further removed from Churchman's painterly praxis, which positions bodies in a wide range of subject-object constellations and makes them just as much part of the form-finding process as the painting itself." Read the article online: frieze-magazin.de

MPA (1980) is an exhibitionist following a living art practice. Her solo and collaborative works focus on performance often in combination with photography, film, text and sculpture. Enriched with ritual, these acts service a political exercise of the body stimulating questions for participation, resistance and the intimacy between both.. See also:
Expanded Performance: Life on Film
13 December in Het Nutshuis
Stage It!
27 September 2012, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Contemporary Art Daily
CAD, April 20, 2012, overview Leidy Churchman at Silberkuppe, Berlin
MEN videoclip by Leidy Churchman, 2009