Marilyn Arsem: Illumination

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Dies ist eine Einladung zum Innehalten, um auf etwas aufmerksam zu werden, was normalerweise in der Welt um uns herum nicht wahrgenommen wird. Das Publikum wird eingeladen auf andere "unsichtbare" Dinge hinzuweisen, damit auch diese illuminiert werden können.

Biographie: Marilyn Arsem hat seit 1975 "Live Events" in den USA, Kanada, Europa und Asien geschaffen. Die Arbeiten reichen von Soloperformances zu großräumigen ortsspezifischen Aktionen. Oft bewegen sich ihre Werke am Rande des Sichtbaren. Die Künstlerin will die Betrachter ermutigen, die eigene Wahrnehmung zu erweitern um die Welt neu zu sehen.

As winter approaches, I always feel as if I am losing my sight. The days are often dim and overcast. I awake in darkness. The angle of the sunlight is so low that it casts long evening shadows shortly after noon. And it seems that night comes before the day has barely begun. My world closes around me, and becomes smaller and smaller.

"Illumination" is my effort to remind myself that the world is still around me, and that there is much to be seen and more to learn, even in the darkness. It perhaps requires greater effort, more focus, to pay attention and discern the shapes in the shadows. And so I will use a light to help me see again.

Ort Sie begegnen der Künstlerin im Darmstädter Zentrum auf unerwartete Weise.
Außerdem treffen Sie die Künstlerin zu jeder vollen Stunde (Mi, Do, Fr  17.00, 18.00 und 19.00 Uhr, Sa 17.00 und 18.00 Uhr) am "Weißen Turm".
Zeit 10.-13. Dezember 2003 Mi, Do, Fr 16.30 - 19.30 Uhr  Sa 16.30 - 18.30 Uhr
Vernissage Mittwoch, 10. Dez 2003 um 16.00 Uhr vor der "Funktion" am Friedensplatz 11


Marilyn Arsem: Biography

Marilyn Arsem has been creating live events since 1975, ranging from solo performances, to large scale, site-specific works incorporating installation and performance.  Arsem has presented work at festivals, alternative spaces, galleries, museums and universities in 15 states across the United States, as well as Belarus, Canada, England, Taiwan, Germany, Poland, Croatia, and throughout the Republic of Macedonia.

In her recent work, Arsem has focused on site-specific events, often designed for audiences of a single person, that respond to both the history of the site, as well as to the immediate landscape and materiality of the location.  These recent works examine hidden worlds that lie beneath the surface, which lurk underground, and ones which will eventually decay and dissolve back into the earth.  The pieces are designed to implicate the audience directly in the concerns of the work, to create an experience that is both visceral and intellectual.  To accomplish this, she incorporates a broad range of media.

Her work has been presented, most notably, in the Zamek Wyobrazni/Castle of Imagination Festival, Ustka, Poland; the Fifth International Festival of Performance Art Navinki 2003, Minsk, Belarus; Public Spaces/Private Places International Performance Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Hengstbachprojekt, Dreieich, Germany; Vogelfrei Festival, Darmstadt, Germany; Skopsko Leto Festival, Skopje, Macedonia; in New York City at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, and at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.  She was a featured artist at The Cleveland Performance Art Festival in 1990.

Arsem has participated in many national and international exchanges, including projects in Poland, Croatia and Macedonia.  In 1998/1999 she was part of an exchange between Boston, US and Tainan, Taiwan artists and architects responding to waterfront development in both cities.

She has been the recipient of numerous grants, including a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Theater Fellowship, 1994.  Arsem has also been awarded residencies at St. Norbert Arts Centre, Winnipeg, Canada; University of Newcastle, Northumbria, UK; Dartington College of Art, UK; The MacDowell Colony, Yellow Springs Institute; and in the Republic of Macedonia at the International Art Colony of Kumanovo; International Art Colony of Kicevo, and the International Plastic Art Colony of Strumica.

Her work has been reviewed in many publications including The New York Times, Parachute, Afterimage, New Art Examiner, Text and Performance Quarterly, Performing Arts Journal, Women and Performance Journal, P-Form, and High Performance.

Arsem received her BFA from Boston University in 1973.  She is the founder of Mobius, an interdisciplinary collaborative of artists.  She is a full-time faculty member of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she heads the Performance Area and teaches in the Graduate Program.


Marilyn Arsem: Artist´s Statement

In recent years I have been creating site-specific installations in outdoor locations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.  In each work I am responding to both the history of the site, as well as to the immediate landscape and materiality of the location.  All of these recent works examine hidden worlds that lie beneath the surface, ones which lurk underground, and those which eventually decay and dissolve back into the earth.

I am particularly interested in implicating the audience directly in the concerns of the pieces.  I use different strategies to design a very distinct role in the work for the viewer, so that they have an experience that is both visceral and intellectual.  To accomplish this, I incorporate a range of media, including text, video and performance, as well as using materials and objects generated from and in response to the site.

I insert my installation into the site so that it is nearly invisible.  The viewers' initial impression is that there is nothing to see.  It is only as they begin to pay closer attention that they become aware of the elements that I have hidden in the landscape.   The audience must make an effort to discover the buried images, take time to assemble the fragments, use their intellect, often in discussion with other audience members, in order to decipher and construct meaning out of their experience.

The installations operate in a liminal space, blurring the boundaries between art and life.  Because of the almost imperceptible images, and the inevitable intrusions of the real world, the viewers' interpretation of the experience has as much to do with their own projections and concerns as it does with my own.  In that respect, the work functions as a kind of Rorschach test, and the audiences' response is a critical component of the final work.  Documentation of their interpretation of the pieces reveals the collaboration between artist and audience in the construction of meaning.