Thursday, May 14, 2009 @
International House Philadelphia: International
House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia,
$5-10, 8pm. (map) Sons of God (Sweden)
noise and performance PIMA Group (Philadelphia)
movement and music Ghost Ship (Philadelphia)
harp, guitar, and vocals Ian Fraser (Philadelphia)
computer It's hard for us to talk about Sons
of God (Leif Elggren and Kent Tankred) because we don't really know
what they'll do. Without getting too theoretical or attempting a
treatise on semiotics. . . well. . . sure, we can tell you
we've seen a video of the Sons "performing a miracle," but we aren't
sure what it would have felt like in person. We'll give you some
videos of their performances to watch, but will you have really
experienced their "investigation of a mental airspace, undertaken with
the aid of unconventional tools"? Our favorite kind of art is
which raises questions, and Sons of God certainly do that.
would be instructive to relate some of the Sons' past work (together
and individually): the Royal Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland, "the
largest – and most populous realm on Earth, incorporating all
boundaries between other nations as well as Digital Territory and other
states of existence"; the amazing, must be seen to be understood letter
performances of snoring or laughter; recordings made in the mother's
womb; attempts to fly a carpet; amplified washing machines; and much
more. For this evening's performance, the Sons of God will bring
of their unique miracles to Philadelphia, using sound, bodies, props,
and projected images.
PIMA Group has been a key and stalwart connection between the
Philadelphia experimental dance and music scenes for years, plying
their unique trade in galleries, houses, historic buildings,
warehouses, basements, roofs, record stores, and probably outdoors
somewhere when we weren't paying attention. While too many dance
music groups seem to excel at one discipline over the other, PIMA
brings an unusual focus to not just both but to their union, to using
music to teach us something about movement and to using movement to
teach us something about music. PIMA uses pianos,
and electronics to create a noisy bed of sound while dancers seemingly
enter trance states to enact obscure rituals and/or secret
While PIMA often employs myriad musicians and dancers, tonight it will
be stripped to its core of Melisa Putz and Thomas Clark.
Ghost Ship is a new and ever-changing improvised music group focused
around the harp stylings of Mary Lattimore (veteran of the Valerie
Project). Dark improvised string tangles.
All this takes place at a new venue we are really and truly excited
about: the Ibrahim Theater at International House Philadelphia, a
gorgeous theater featuring newly refurbished comfortable seats and a
truly killer sound system (two sub-woofers!).
(Sons of God) field of activity can be described as an investigation of
a mental airspace, undertaken with the aid of unconventional tools. The
aural aspect is important, but equal care is devoted to the visual.
Guds söner is often augmented with supplementary performers who
then also influence the ideas and their expression.
Guds söner put themselves at the disposal of civil defence and
strive to imbue fortitude and courage.
(born 1950, Linköping, Sweden), is a Swedish artist who lives and
works in Stockholm.
Active since the late 1970s, Leif Elggren has become one of the most
constantly surprising conceptual artists to work in the combined worlds
of audio and visual. A writer, visual artist, stage performer and
composer, he has many albums to his credits, solo and with the Sons of
God, on labels such as Ash International, Touch, Radium and his own
Firework Edition. His music, often conceived as the soundtrack to a
visual installation or experimental stage performance, usually presents
carefully selected sound sources over a long stretch of time and can
range from mesmerizingly quiet electronics to harsh noise. His
wide-ranging and prolific body of art often involves dreams and subtle
absurdities, social hierarchies turned upside-down, hidden actions and
events taking on the quality of icons.
Together with artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff, he is a founder of
the Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland (KREV) where he enjoys the title of
Elggren spent five years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm,
specializing in drawing, design and bookprinting. In the late ‘70s he
began to associate with performance groups, meeting people like
Hausswolff and Thomas Liljenberg. With the latter he formed Firework in
1978, a duo that put up exhibitions and performances. Around the same
time he purchased a press and started to publish art books.
In 1988 he formed the duo Guds Söner (The Sons of God) with Kent
Tankred, whom he had met four years earlier. The duo excels in creating
long, puzzling stage performances that give equal roles to physical
action (or inaction) and soundtrack (live or taped) with themes such as
violence, love, the quotidian, food and royalty.
Elggren released his first 7" records in 1982 and 1984 on Hausswolff's
label Radium. A first solo LP, Flown Over by an Old King, came out in
1988. The inception of Firework Edition in 1996 allowed Elggren to
release more of his music and the growing popularity of installation
art in avant-garde music circles (thanks to its ties with experimental
electronica) has given his work more international exposure since the
late ‘90s. Other key solo works include Talking to a Dead Queen (1996)
and Pluralis Majestatis (2000).
Together with Hausswolff, Elggren represented Sweden in the Nordic
Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001 (with Tommi Grönlund and
Petteri Nisunen from Finland and Anders Tomren from Norway).
In 2007 he appeared (with John Duncan) at the Netmage festival in
Bologna organized by xing and executed "Something Like Seeing in the
Leif Elggen is also a member of Guds Soner (or The Sons of God) with
co-founded by dancer and choreographer Melisa Putz and musicians
Michael Barker and Thomas Clark, is interested in developing new
processes and approaches to the integration of dance, music and visual
art. The works range from improvisational performance art work to more
formal choreographed and composed pieces. PIMA Group has performed at
venues in Baltimore, Boston, New York City and Philadelphia including
the Painted Bride Art Center, The Community Education Center, Mobius,
The Construction Company, Joyce SOHO, 92nd St. Y, Williamsburg Art
Nexus and The Red Room.
PIMA Group has also performed at dance festivals including the
Improvised and Otherwise Festival in Brooklyn, NY, the 2003
Philadelphia Fringe Festival at the Table Space Gallery, the Dance On
Earth Festival at University Settlement's Beacon, NY campus and the
Goose Route Dance Festival in Shepherdstown, WV. As well as for the
Bread and Roses Community Fund at Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia.
PIMA Group has received Temple University Space Grants to assist in the
development of new work. PIMA Group gratefully acknowledges support
from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and Fractured Atlas. PIMA Group is
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.