Glasshouse will be presenting an iteration of Fassonaki’s project Khal on March 11th at 8pm. Sketched animation of visual scores will be accompanied by performing artist and environmental activist Suki Dewey’s spoken word interpretations.
Three artists will be performing Fassonaki’s scores live:
Zaïmph - performing ‘One Two Sides Dirty’
Kathleen Kim - performing ‘Punk Standards’
Kali Z. Fasteau - performing ‘5 Pillars’
In September 2014 Helga Fassonaki resided in an artist studio in Tabriz, Iran for a month. As a visual and performing artist, what she was able to share in public was restricted. Furthermore, as a female performing artist, the use of her voice in public performance was restricted.
Due to the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini ‘condemned all forms of music, other than classical and traditional Persian music’ as influenced by western culture, and therefore corruptive and forbidden. Khomeini also forbade women from singing solo in public because of 'the seductive quality of the female voice'.
Since performing as she chose was illegal in Iran, Fassonaki sent compositions in the form of sculptural scores created during her residency in Tabriz to sixteen female artists and musicians living in the US, the United Kingdom, Denmark and New Zealand. The concept being that the scores be interpreted and performed publicly by these artists in lieu of Fassonaki's ability to do so.
Different iterations of Khal will be presented at galleries in the US and New Zealand as a traveling exhibition in 2015/2016 where the scores and their interpretations by the participating artists will be displayed, heard, and reinterpreted - pushing the idea of a ‘living score’ as an archive open to edits, renewal and dialogue. As the series unfolds from one event to another, Fassonaki seeks to create a composition of voices and actions. Like the idea of Khal, (a derogatory term in Farsi for Iranian Pop music that was sent to Iran by Iranian US immigrants in the form of homemade mixed tapes so that Iranian residents could listen to their country’s own pop stars). Through these simple actions, the hope is that the reverberation of freedom of expression can echo back across the globe and via the clandestine channels of the world wide web find it's way back to the country in which the scores had their origin.
The participating artists who received and are performing Fassonaki’s scores include Kali Z Fasteau (NYC, NY), Kelly Jayne Jones (London, UK), Heather Leigh (Glasgow, Scotland), Jenny Graf (Norrebro, Denmark), Zaïmph (Brooklyn, NY), Chiara Giovando (Los Angeles, CA), Shana Palmer (Baltimore, MD), Purple Pilgrims (North Island, NZ), Rachael Melanson (London, UK), Christina Carter (Austin, Texas), Gabie Strong (Los Angeles, CA), Ashley Paul (London, UK), Angeline Chirnside (Auckland, NZ), Matana Roberts (NYC, NY), Rachel Shearer with Beth Ducklingmonster (Auckland, NZ), and Kathleen Kim (Los Angeles, CA).
Helga Fassonaki, a recent transplant to New York City, creates and curates sound and visual installations, group situations, films, and performances that utilize and question temporality, power structures, subcultures and the human body as a shaper of sound in space.
Floating between worlds of sound and visual art, Fassonaki borrows from one to set up the rhythms and pulses that inform the other. Fassonaki collaborates with New Zealander Andrew Scott in the free-psych duo Metal Rouge. Their Three for Malachi Ritcher album was included in the Public Collector’s exhibit in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and Experimental Sound Studio’s Audible gallery in Chicago. She also heads her own brand of noise in her solo project yek koo, exploring the body as a vehicle for the movement of sound. She is co-founder and director of Emerald Cocoon, a record label founded in 2008 devoted to releasing music from the 'empty quarter' – an area where the aesthetics of punk meet the philosophies of free jazz. In 2012, she began a series of staged hagiographies called Touching Them, Touching Me. In the first one, A Love Song for the Dead C, Fassonaki (re)created a post-punk era New Zealand bar at Human Resources gallery in Los Angeles. Uniting artists and musicians, the exhibition culminated in a 3-day performance series, Trapdoor Fucking Exit. Her Radio Concept Tour (2014-present) explores the relationship between body, microphone and air movement transmitted through radio waves. Iterations of her recent project Khal will be featured as a traveling exhibition in the US and NZ in 2015 at Glasshouse (Brooklyn, NY), LACA (Los Angeles, CA), Disjecta (Portland, OR), Audio Foundation Gallery (Auckland, NZ), and Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (Auckland, NZ). The project investigates the idea of a ‘living score’ by initiating a passage of visual scores, actions, and conversations between participating artists and the public.
Featured Participating Artists
From 0 to 67 slowly unmethodically at warp speed, an inconsistent consistent life passionate about issues of fairness that touch us all, a non dancer a non artist in constant rehearsal of a life spent on creating nothing but experience and memory. Sent from the woods
Zaïmph is the solo project of artist, musician and performer Marcia Bassett. Zaïmph’s recordings and performances shimmer with a dense, dissonant and often unsettling electronic aura, shot through with flashes of meditative beauty. In addition to her work with Zaïmph, Bassett collaborates with a wide spectrum of musicians including Samara Lubelski, Barry Weisblat, Andrew Lafkas, Jenny Graf and Helga Fassonaki. www.zaimph.org
Kathleen Kim is an experimental composer and musician whose current and past projects include LA Fog, SheKhan and Lady Noise. She has a background in classical, jazz and improvisational theories and has studied with Yusef Lateef, Jim Nadel and Inna Nedorezov. She has performed with her collaborative projects in a wide range of art contexts and music venues including: The Whitney Museum, LACMA, The Redcat, LACE, Mak Center for the Arts, and Art LA Contemporary.
Kali Z Fasteau is a composer and multi-Instrumentalist. She played piano, cello, flute and voice since early childhood in Paris and New York. She studied the music of Asia, Africa, 20th Century Europe and Jazz, and then traveled for fourteen years, living in sixteen countries on four continents.
Kali Z. led her ensemble playing her original compositions at New York’s Town Hall, Lincoln Center and Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art in Paris, The Museum Theatre in Madras, India, The Boston Center for the Arts, Pisa Festival, Guelph Festival, Vision Festival, Kerava Festival, Livorno Festival, Harare International Arts Festival, Uncool Festival and hundreds of other noted venues and festivals worldwide. She has recorded 20 albums as a leader.