Soak up contemporary art, culture, and performances.
Pick your date or come every day forSummer Break, the Museum’s new contemporary art festival, August 1-10.
10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. | Double Portraits exhibition on view
10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. | Video screenings of Drama Queens and Double Self-Portrait
12:00 p.m. | Double Portraits exhibition tour
5:00 - 9:00 p.m. | Repeat After Me 2, sound installation by Curt D. Miller and Nichole Speciale
7:30 p.m. | BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer), video installation with Frankie Martin, Matthew Savitsky, Ash Smith, Hermione Spriggs, and Berglind Tómasdóttir
9:00 p.m. | Musical performance by Island Boy
Full Festival Schedule | View Festival Guide
Elmgreen & Dragset: Drama Queens
Drama Queens is a comedic one-act play originally created for the 2007 Skulptur Projekte in Münster, Germany, and now lives on as a video of the performance. Over the course of 45 minutes, works by Barbara Hepworth, Alberto Giacometti, and Jeff Koons come to life to discuss the meaning of art and their own existence. Drama Queens uses both parody and homage to satirize the art world while simultaneously making serious inquiries into territories of existentialism. Our own hopes and anxieties are embodied by the anthropomorphized works, whose quick and witty dialogue will bring a smile to the faces of art aficionados and novices alike.
Based in London and Berlin, Michael Elmgreen (b. 1961, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (b. 1969, Norway) have worked as a collaborative team since the mid-1990s. Their ambitious exhibitions have been presented at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (2010), MUSAC, León, Spain (2009), Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2007), Serpentine Gallery, London (2006), MCA Chicago (2005), Tate Modern, London (2004), and Kunsthalle Zurich (2001). In 2003, Elmgreen & Dragset won the prestigious Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. In 2009, Elmgreen & Dragset were awarded Special Mention at the Venice Biennale for The Collectors, their highly elaborate exhibition for the Danish and Nordic Pavilions.
Joanna Kidd: Double Self-Portrait
Double Self Portrait is a video installation that relies on the written word as much as it does the moving image. In her video, Kidd invites viewers to transform the written narrative of her formative years into a verbal portrait as well by reading her words. The image of a face emerges over the course of the video to reveal both a second representation of the artist and to create a semiotic tension between the word and the symbol. Kidd has questioned the nature of memory itself, saying, “The act of writing allows us to clarify our ideas and perceptions, but at the same time the act of putting a thought or memory into words changes the very nature of the experience.” Double Self Portrait uses a private experience to create a publicly shared narrative, and thereby forever alters the original memory of said experience.
Joanna Kidd is a northern California sculptor, printmaker, and video installation artist. After graduating in Philosophy and Cognitive Science from Dartmouth College, she studied Printmaking and Sculpture at San Francisco State University. She then moved to Florence, Italy, where she lived for eight years. She received a BFA in Sculpture and an MFA in Visual Art and Multimedia Techniques from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. In 2012, she was an Artist-in-Residence at Everglades National Park. She has participated in exhibitions and video festivals in Italy, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, England, France, Sweden, and the United States.
Nichole Speciale and Curt D. Miller: Repeat After Me 2
The sonic portrait created by Nichole Speciale and Curt D. Miller is composed through the installation of six speakers, set in a circle at eye level, and a microphone placed nearby. Once a visitor has spoken into the microphone, his or her utterance is passed around from speaker to speaker while diminishing in volume until it reaches the level of a mumble, where it remains with the other phrases spoken into the microphone before it. As more visitors add their voices to the portrait, it will become increasingly difficult to parse out any one voice, and the piece will work against the easy summation of group identity.
Nichole Speciale is an artist working two-dimensionally, considering the plane as a closed system in which a drawn, painted, or graphic image can reflect and respond only to itself. Her practice also problematizes the illusory canvas surface of a painting, pushing it into the object realm. She is currently in her second year in the MFA program at UCSD.
Curt D. Miller is a musician specializing in new music for the clarinet and is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Music Department at UCSD. In addition to this repertoire, he has an interest in electronic music tools for both performance and installation.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer)
BYOB programs utilize a relatively new format in which invited artists grab their projectors (or share with others) and come together to hold a one night-only screening of their work. This program is the first BYOB event in San Diego. Frankie Martin acts as both artist and curator, inviting the participation of other local video artists dealing with the concept of the double portrait. During the hour-long run of BYOB, the artists will be on hand to run their projectors and to answer questions about their work.
Frankie Martin: Born Again
Born Again (2009) was shot with an all-female cast in the legendary waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and features Sandro Botticelli’s Venus as born again into a tableau vivante–style video. This piece refers to the mythological creature of the female siren that lured men to their death; to the spiritual rebirth that can occur for a human soul in Christianity; and to the constant rebirth of this image in popular culture, all while anchoring it in a time-specific technology.
Frankie Martin is an MFA candidate studying video and performance in the Visual Arts Department at UC San Diego. She is completing a feature-length video entitled We are wild dogs with turquoise fur laughing at full moons. Frankie is represented by Canada in New York City.
Matt Savitsky: Screen Test
As a part of Frankie Martin’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) event, Matt Savitsky will be screening his video Screen Test (2012). The video was assembled from footage of a screen test done in anticipation of a larger collaboration between Savitsky’s drag mother, San Diegan queen Mz. Perez, and the artist. Via his mother’s teachings, Savitsky explores his relationship to drag, showing its typically polished devices and appearances in a lit rehearsal space. The work spans a selected moment of conversation in which, despite the extreme closeness of the two bodies, there is an apparent difficulty to explain ideas that seem at a far distance from the present.
Matt Savitsky (b. 1982 in Lancaster, PA. Lives and works in San Diego, CA). BFA: Cooper Union. MFA:UCSD (2014). Selected exhibitions include Foxy Production, Bull and Ram, New York, Helmuth Projects, San Diego and Little Berlin, Philadelphia (2013/2012); Good Children Gallery, New Orleans and Bodega & Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2011).
Ash Eliza Smith in collaboration with Jeremy Rojas: Water Cure
As a part of Frankie Martin’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) event, Ash Eliza Smith will be screening her video Water Cure (2012, 7:25 mins.). “Water Cure” is a term that ambiguously straddles the techniques of therapy and torture. In this work, a couple find themselves in an abandoned retreat in the desert and the “water cure” ensues. The spa-scape becomes a blank site for the projection and enacting of a couple’s desires, paranoia, longings, and self-perceived lackings. The camera shifts between self/other to capture, at times, a voyeuristic gaze.
Hermione Spriggs: Fox Lecture for Audacious Speculations
As a part of Frankie Martin’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) event, Hermione Spriggs will be screening her slide show Fox Lecture for Audacious Speculations, which presents the experiences of making art as a fox, through the guidance of a hypnotist. When this work was originally published to YouTube, something wonderfully prophetic came out of the problems Spriggs had with the video’s sound. She used the auto-subtitle function on YouTube and felt that the phrases it generated were better than the script she began with. In being hypnotized into another specie’s body, Spriggs is experimenting with the potential to un-learn forms of language and cultural habits that structure her relationship to space, time, and sensory perception.
Hermione Spriggs holds a BSc in anthropology, and is currently an MFA candidate in Visual Arts and a managing director of the Experimental Sculpture and Painting Studio at UCSD. Her works explore the overlap of being human and being "thing," and the creation of new languages though inter-species collaboration. Spriggs is currently undergoing various forms of agility training that allow her to relinquish human agency in order to materialize the anthropologically unthinkable. Spriggs is a fellow of Mildred’s Lane and part of research networks, The Culture of Preservation (AHRC, UCL) and the UCSD Living Archives group (UCSD Center for the Humanities).
Berglind Tómasdóttir: The Origin of Things
As a part of Frankie Martin’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) event, Berglind Tómasdóttir will be screening her video The Origin of Things (2012). The piece is inspired by the idea of a musical heritage and its relation to nature. This fictional narrative becomes a double portrait as Tómasdóttir merges the ancient traditions of her Icelandic identity with that of the modern touring musician. In this work, Tómasdóttir plays an invented instrument, the hrokkur, which is inspired by the spinning wheel and produces a low droning soundscape.
Icelandic flutist and interdisciplinary artist Berglind Tómasdóttir frequently explores identity and archetypes in her work. She holds degrees in flute playing from Reykjavík College of Music and The Royal Danish Academy of Music. Tómasdóttir lives in San Diego where she is currently pursuing her doctorate in music at UCSD.
Mixing tender vocals, eerie synths, and ambient guitar washes with drum and bass loops, Island Boy's electro-pop songcraft pays homage to the art of modern songwriting while at the same time exploring new recording processes that result in dense, cinematic, and surreal soundscapes.
Free after Museum admission unless otherwise noted.