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Brendan Fernandes in conversation with Inaction dancers Kiara Benn, Charles Gowin and Rachel Meyer

  • RAG@Home
  • Talk
  • April 3, 2021

    Above: Brendan Fernandes, Inaction, 2021, performance, Richmond Art Gallery. Photo: Michael Love. Dancers: Kevin Fraser & Rachel Meyer.

    To launch the video documentation of Inaction performed at Richmond Art Gallery (RAG) we welcome artist Brendan Fernandes and dancers Kiara Benn, Charles Gowin, and Rachel Meyer for a conversation exploring the process, development, and performances of Inaction at Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery (ECZG) and RAG. The discussion will be moderated by  Associate Director of Visual Arts at the Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, Benjamin Chaffee and RAG Director, Shaun Dacey.

    For Inaction, Fernandes worked in collaboration with the architecture and design firm Norman Kelley to design a set of mobile dance supports and platforms for activation by dancers. The mats, rug, tumblers, and square grid on display in the gallery evoke the communal spaces of training and play such as gymnasiums and playgrounds. Initially conceived as an in-gallery performance and first performed at ECZG in 2019, Fernandes’ choreography guides dancers to utilize the sculpture objects in movements, referencing a mix of childhood play and professional dance warm-up exercise.

    Due to the current health order in British Columbia RAG was unable to host in-person performances of Inaction. In lieu of this, Fernandes worked with four Vancouver-based dancers Kevin Fraser, Bynh Ho, Rachel Meyer, and Zahra Shahab and videographer Melanie Devoy to produce the performance for video. The performance will be available to view online as of April 3rd.

    Session Format:

    This session is a free live-streamed webinar on the Zoom platform.

    New to Zoom? Learn how to register and attend a webinar here »

    Live transcription/closed captions in English will be included during the live-stream via the Otter.ai platform.

    Join in the conversation by typing in your questions in the chat feature on Zoom.

    About the speakers:

    Kiara Benn graduated from Wesleyan University in 2020 as a Dance and Psychology double major, and finished her year with a senior capstone project that examined how movement can bring autonomy to black bodies  in documenting the past and their present selves. She is now working as an Executive Assistant at For Freedoms – an artist-led organization that models and increases creative civic engagement, discourse and direct action.

    Benjamin Chaffee is the Associate Director of Visual Arts in the Center for the Arts (CFA), Wesleyan University. Prior to joining the CFA, Chaffee worked as the Director of Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, Illinois where he managed all aspects of the contemporary art gallery from 2012-2017. He previously was the Director of the Tony Wight Gallery in Chicago and has also worked at Krakow Witkin Gallery in Boston. He has also worked as a freelance curator, visiting lecturer, critic, instructor, and exhibiting artist.

    Brendan Fernandes is an internationally recognized artist working at the intersection of dance and visual arts. He is currently an artist-in-residence and a member of faculty in the Department of Art, Theory and Practice at Northwestern University. Fernandes addresses issues of freedom, sanctuary and social solidarity in his work, which has been shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MOMA, the Getty Museum in LA., the National Gallery of Canada, the 2019 Whitney Biennial and many more. Fernandes is working on a new piece commissioned by the Richmond Art Gallery at Capture Photography Festival in April 2021. Brendan is represented by Monique Meloche.

    Charles Gowin is a dancer from Columbia, Missouri. He received a BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois in the Fall of 2015. Since moving to Brooklyn, he has had the pleasure of dancing for Katy Pyle’s Ballez in Sleeping Beauty & the Beast and Slavic Goddesses, Brendan Fernandes, Tere O’Conner, Ellie Goudie-Averill, Alex Rodabaugh, Emma Brown, Juri Onuki and Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and Other Works by John Bernd with Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez.

    Rachel Meyer grew up in Illinois, trained with St. Louis Ballet and received her BFA at the University of Utah. She trained at the Northwest Professional Dance Project and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, danced with Utah Regional Ballet and was a guest artist with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Rachel has danced for the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Michael Clark Company, and was a member of Ballet BC from 2011-2017. She is currently a Resident Artist at Left of Main, a creative hub for the live arts community in Vancouver.

    Above: Brendan Fernandes, Inaction, 2021, performance, Richmond Art Gallery. Photo: Michael Love. Dancers: Kevin Fraser & Rachel Meyer.

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