S.F. gallery’s ‘Tenterhooks’ gets within the brain with blend of visible artwork, dance

Silas Riener dances among the functions of Martha Friedman in “Tenterhooks” at Jessica Silverman in San Francisco. Photograph: Jana Asenbrennerova / Distinctive to The Chronicle

The neuronal pathways, connective tissue and cells contained in the human brain established the stage for “Tenterhooks,” a two-working day dance functionality in conversation with a new visible art display at Jessica Silverman that opened Friday, May possibly 6.

Choreographer and dancer Silas Riener’s 40-moment do the job took position amid artist Martha Friedman’s “Brain in Hand,” her first solo exhibition at the San Francisco gallery. The art, on perspective by way of May 28, takes inspiration from drawings of the human brain by 19th century Spanish neuroanatomist Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

“It’s exciting to see people’s reaction just before they know the function is inspired by neurology,” reported gallerist Jessica Silverman. “There’s a little something powerful about drawing what’s within of us that looks so gorgeous, but in our bodies feels so tough.”

Friedman’s solid-rubber mild bins have been made by way of a method of manipulating liquid rubber and pigments until eventually they settle into her wished-for strains and shapes. A sculptural set up consisting of 20 substantial bands, established by the same rubber utilised in the light packing containers, are stretched on hooks from ground to ceiling and are at the center of the performance.

“My hope is that people see a sort of liquidity within (the get the job done) and that it reminds you of your body,” mentioned the 47-calendar year-aged artist. “There’s a attractiveness and vulnerability to this form of liquid system we’re in, and but, we practical experience it as a sound point. I feel that also relates to the overall performance.”

Artist Martha Friedman applauds following the dance performance “Tenterhooks,” which showcases Friedman’s solo exhibition “Martha Friedman: Mind in Hand” at San Francisco’s Jessica Silverman gallery. Image: Jana Asenbrennerova / Distinctive to The Chronicle

“Tenterhooks” is the to start with dance function Silverman has hosted in her Chinatown space, which opened very last May well. About 40 folks have been present for the personal display, which also has two performances scheduled for Saturday, Could 7.

Both of those at the moment primarily based in New York, Friedman to start with fulfilled Riener, 38, at Princeton College exactly where she is a school member. The dancer came to the school as a consultant of the Merce Cunningham Dance Firm. When Riener was not able to use a operate by artist Robert Rauschenberg as a backdrop for his efficiency, Friedman was drafted to generate a translucent rubber monitor. The two have been near collaborators in the ten years because.

The procedure of setting up the dances starts in Friedman’s studio as she generates the gentle containers and other sculptures, and Riener responds to the performs.

As the general performance started Friday evening, Riener entered the gallery sporting a flesh-toned leotard that left little to the imagination, aspect of each artists’ interest in reversing the standard conference of male visual artists objectifying the bodies of female dancers. He began by strolling as a result of the arrangement of rubber bands, screening his body weight in opposition to each and every. The elasticity of the bands permitted them to be stretched and pulled many toes right before Riener diligently returned them to their setting up location.

Silas Riener performs among the the is effective of Martha Friedman in “Tenterhooks” at Jessica Silverman in San Francisco. Image: Jana Asenbrennerova / Exclusive to The Chronicle

Following unhooking the bands from the ground, he permit them lift his physique in the air. During the overall performance, Riener  twisted, braided and reassembled the bands into preparations that he employed to climb up the wall, swing and bounce.

As Riener contorted the bands and his entire body in just the formation, the efficiency started to resemble the traces and designs in Friedman’s light box illustrations or photos. With the function “Floating Thought” hanging immediately to the remaining of the bands, the communion between dancer and picture felt even a lot more speedy.

He concluded the performance back again on the floor with the bands unhooked and floating from the ceiling, freely swinging.

“Martha and I method choreography by way of improvisation,” Riener explained just after the general performance. “I have a road map in my brain, I know what I’m hoping to hit. Due to the fact of style and aesthetics there is a very little wobbliness in the articulation of the choreography, but which is completely intentional simply because of the unpredictability of the rubber, tiredness, the sum of sweat. It is a really unique arc.”

Persons pay a visit to the solo exhibition “Martha Friedman: Mind in Hand” at San Francisco’s Jessica Silverman gallery. Photo: Jana Asenbrennerova / Specific to The Chronicle

“Tenterhooks”: Midday and 3 p.m. Saturday, May well 7.

“Martha Friedman: Brain in Hand”: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. On view by May perhaps 28.

Jessica Silverman, 621 Grant Ave., S.F. 415-255-9508. jessicasilvermangallery.com

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