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Art professor to present performance piece at Rochester center
1/18/12

Longva+Carpenter will present Shelter, the third and final piece in a three-part "Needs" series from 1-9 p.m. Friday at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center, 137 East Ave., Rochester.

Founded in 2010, Longva+Carpenter is a collaborative partnership with Norwegian video/performance artist Terese Longva and U.S. performance/installation artist Laurel Jay Carpenter, who is an associate professor of fine arts in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Alfred University.

As interdisciplinary artists, Longva+Carpenter share interests in site, duration and the accumulation of action. After meeting in Western New York, the pair has been collaborating to develop new works that manipulate the body and time in their investigations of personal longings, feminist ideology and political urgency.

Shelter is a sculptural, durational performance that will gradually unfold over six hours. One woman sits at a solid table, piled high with pea-sized stones. She considers, perhaps counts, and drops each one to the ground. A second woman, with a similar, heavy table and chair strapped to her back, attempts to drag an overflowing bag of stones-without dropping any-across the length the art center’s main gallery. Both women wear neck-mirrors that demand that they finally face themselves as they perform these seemingly senseless, endless, yet poignant, tasks.

Viewers are encouraged to view the piece as any visual artwork - walking freely through the gallery, coming up close to notice details. Viewers may also be interested to visit a few different times during the performance to witness any changes that occur. The gallery will make it possible for viewers to come-and-go at will.

The performance will begin at 1 pm and end at 7 pm, without interruption. A reception for the artists will begin just after 7 pm, with a question-and-answer session with the artists from 8-9 pm.

All three pieces in the "Needs" series were inspired and influenced by the artists’ connection to Western New York, and as such have been presented in the region: Hunger was performed at Big Orbit, Buffalo, NY and Thirst was performed at Foster Lake in Alfred, NY, both in May 2011. Video documentation of these earlier performances will be on view in the gallery, making the Rochester Contemporary Art Center event the premier of the trilogy in full.