AU Press Releases

AU professor, alumna to give art performance at Foster Lake

Collaborative team Longva + Carpenter will present “Thirst,” a durational performance, from 4:30-8:30 p.m., Friday, May 27, at Foster Lake, Alfred.

Longva + Carpenter is a collaborative partnership of Terese Longva, a Norwegian video/performance artist, and Laurel Jay Carpenter, a U.S. performance/installation artist. Carpenter is an assistant professor of fine arts in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Alfred University. Longva earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Alfred University’s School of Art & Design in 2008.

“Thirst” is inspired and made by water. Two women in matching dress carry a clear glass vessel to the water’s edge and fill it. They strain under the weight of the heavy jug, but undeterred, head toward their goal—a small drinking glass on a pedestal. The vessels hold a terrible truth, however: they don't hold much else.

The production is dually inspired by two points of reference related to water: one an ancient myth, the other a current and pressing global concern. Some of the most prominent sufferers in ancient mythology are The Danaïds who must forever carry water in leaky jars. This is their punishment for killing the men they were forced to marry. By reperforming the punishment of these mythical women, Longva + Carpenter are examining the ceaseless efforts of the labor force in general. The artists are also asking questions particular to women’s history and personal narrative: what are the ways we are still forced to make unfulfilling choices, and how are we penalized for taking responsibility for our futures? Is there a way out of this cycle?

In addition, “Thirst” investigates the current global water crisis. With the growing scarcity of usable water and increasing extent of water pollution and groundwater overdrafting, are our personal and political actions enough? Is there a way out of this cycle?

Carpenter teaches in AU’s BAFA (bachelor of fine arts) Foundations program. Her special interests are in performance art and site-specific installation. From 1991-02, while based in New York City, Carpenter exhibited at venues including Exit Art/The First World, The Knitting Factory, Performances Space 122, Judson Church House, and Brooklyn’s Borough Hall.

She has been a fellow and invited artist at The University of Southern Maine; the Performances Art Festival, Cleveland, Ohio; the Performance Studies International Conferences; and the MacDowell Colony. She is a member of the international Independent Performance Group (IPG) and has presented personal work at IPG events in southern Spain and Berlin, Germany.

Carpenter earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Tufts University and a master’s of fine arts degree at the University of Connecticut. For more information go to:

Longva studied at the Aalesund School of Art in Aalesund, Norway, the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, followed by three years at Kosta Glass School, Sweden. She has shown her work in various venues in the United States and Europe. For more information, go to: