"In 2003, George Scheer (Sylvia’s grandson) and Stephanie Sherman, collaborating writers and friends, took a spring break trip to the South with friend Josh Boyette, and stopped in Greensboro to see George’s grandmother’s old store. The box of things they brought back with them to George’s Philadelphia apartment demonstrated that shared fictions can be told through things, and as a collection have the power to expose ideas that stimulate communities. This exchange fostered the idea of making the Greensboro store something other than itself, and something very similar to what it was: a thinking playground and creative community, the dream fueled by the fantastic combination of the Mixed Up Files of Ms. Basil E Frankweiler and Gertrude Stein’s Paris salons.
In May 2003, George recruited two friends from Michigan, founders Josh Fox and Matt Merfert, and together, they moved to the store to excavate and explore, clearing just enough space in the front of the store to make room for a couch. Declaring “Nothing for Sale!” the crew began the extensive process of discovery and organization. Without neither roadmap or design the group set to organizing, sorting, categorizing, and shifting the vast collection of things, guided by the simple understanding that through organization the place for a community would evolve. Founders Stephanie Sherman and Allen Davis joined them in October. Elsewhere became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2004, and launched its artist residency program in 2005, bringing 35 creative producers across media and discipline to Greensboro to create new works using the collection. Soon the store where nothing was for sale became a living museum, and to this day continues the ever evolving process of “moving things around.” Thanks to a first lucky grant from Greensboro’s United Arts Council, some chance movie shoots, a new-work commission, and an active, incessant, and absolute fury of volunteer efforts and the creative inspiration of artists, Elsewhere made it to the five year mark, which seemed to be a launching point for solid longevity through state and national grants enabling our current sustainable growth.
Almost daily, Elsewherians discover new objects that reflect Sylvia’s fascinating mind and life, and whose placement and preservation reference the eccentric process by which the objects of her collection were ordered. This mass of objects tells a cultural narrative about material excess, consumption, and overproduction. The re-ordering of things and the curation of collections speaks to the potential to re-imagine collaborative creativity and the role of place and presence in telling a community’s story. The salience with which visitors and artists alike share in the immersive experience of this unique site, speaks not to an idea but to a shared narrative written in attics and basements across the country.”
You are cordially invited to attend Low Lives 2. Now in it’s second year, Low Lives is a one-night exhibition of performance-based works transmitted via the internet and projected in real time at numerous venues throughout the U.S.
The international artists and artist collectives participating in this exhibition will transmit their performances live from countries including Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore Trinidad & Tobago and from the following cities in the United States: Austin, TX; Houston, TX; Nashville, TN; NYC, NY; Miami, FL; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Las Vegas, NV; Gunnison, CO; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA.
Artists include Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Lawrence Graham-Brown, Hector Canonge, Alexis Caputo, Vienne Chan, Osvaldo Cibils, Gabrielle Civil, Marcus Civin, Chris Coy, The Bridge Club, Francesca Fini, Linda Ford, Lynne Heller, Anni Holm, Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa AKA Devil Bunny, Las Hermanas Iglesias, Michelle Isava, Tina La Porta, Elizabeth Leister, Luke Munn, Olek, Wanda Ortiz, Jacklyn Soo, Michael Smith, Sam Trubridge with Rob Appierdo & Stuart Foster, Migdalia Luz Barens-Vera, Marcus Vinicius, Martin Zet, Agni Zotis
For those of you in the NYC area, the program is co-presented by Aljira, A center for Contemporary Art and El Museo del Barrio at El Museo del Barrio- 1230 5th Avenue, from 8:00pm to 10:45pm on Friday, April 30th. This event is free but you need to RSVP at El Museo’s website: http://www.elmuseo.org/en/event/low-lives-2
The show will also be presented in the following venues and cities: Galeria de la Raza: 2857 24th Street, SF - 5:00pm – 8:00pm Diaspora Vibe Gallery: 3938 North Miami Ave., Miami – 8:00pm – 11:00pm The Temporary Space: 1320 Nance St., Houston - 7:00pm – 10:00pm Obsidian Arts: 3501 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis - 7:00pm – 10:00pm Terminal: APSU- Clarksville - 7:00pm – 10:00pm Co-Lab: 613 Allen St., Austin - 7:00pm – 10:00pm Studio 304: 304 Boerum St., Brooklyn - 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Join LMCC as we open our 2009-10 Workspace studios to the public for one weekend only, with an opening reception, open hours, and a reading. Meet the 20 visual artists and 9 writers in their studio spaces and see what they’ve been working on since September 2009!
Workspace is LMCC’s 9-month studio residency program serving emerging visual artists and writers working in all media and genres from painting to video, sculpture to photography, poetry to playwriting. Studios are located in unique spaces generously donated by the downtown real estate community.
Opening Reception: Friday, April 30, 7-9PM Open Hours: Saturday, May 2, 12–5PM; Sunday, May 3, 12–5PM Open Texts, Readings by our Writers-in-Residence: Saturday, May 1, 6–8PM
Circassian beauties, or “Moss-haired Girls” as they were sometimes known, reflect a curious legacy of racial stereotyping and sexual titillation. Racial theories of the mid 19th century held that the people living in the Circassian mountains near the Black Sea were examples of the “purest stock” of the Caucasian race. Legend had it that the Circassians produced the world’s most beautiful white women, who were consequently in great demand for the harems of Turkish sultans.
Acting on this myth in 1864, Barnum sent one of his agents to Constantinople to purchase one of these beautiful ladies in the slave market. Though Barnum claimed his agent, dressed in full Turkish costume, had there seen a large number of beautiful Circassian girls and women, for one reason or another he failed to return with one. Not to be denied his harem slave, Barnum hired a frizzy-haired local woman, put her in a Turkish costume and dubbed her Zalumma Agra, Star of the East. Zalumma’s story was a mixture of pseudo-science, folklore, and erotic suggestion about harem life.
The Circassian beauty was an instant success, soon to be followed by a succession of ‘imported’ beauties with an enigmatic letter Z figuring prominently in all their names. All of these women were local girls, most of whom were encouraged to wash their hair in beer and then tease it out for that exotic Circassian ‘do.
When the public began to lose interest in this tale, Circassian beauties were frequently cast in the role of snake charmers in order to try and milk a bit more erotic appeal out of the act.
Barnum put his first Circassian Beauty, Zalumma Agra (Star of the East) on display in 1865 and promoted her as an example of racial purity. As in many of his exhibits, Barnum publicized Zalumma Agra’s story and mixed scientific theories of the origins of the Caucasian race with titillating suggestions of harem life and a heroic rescue from certain slavery. More likely Barnum hired a local actress to play the part of a Circassian woman and Zalumma Agra was followed a series of such performers.