“For a long time we were making a show. The show was almost finished but never got made. The show was about a small German boy making a show he couldn’t finish. It was a show about hell that took place in his head. And it was a show about doing nothing in the hell of the world. Every day he keeps trying to make the show.”—Alexandra Tatarsky
Tatarsky was to premiere the latest episode of their ongoing SIGN FELT project this spring as part of High Pressure Fire Service, postponed due to COVID-19. In its place, Tatarsky shares collected and ongoing notes on nothing, collaging narratives of art-making and despair into a deranged meditation on derangement, situated in a public window display in Center City. From Sept 21-Oct 4, Alexandra Tatarsky as Wilhelm Meister will be using 1606 Chestnut Street as their clown studio. They will continue to investigate nothing for this durational installation, and visitors are welcome to observe from outside.
FringeArts is thrilled to include artists originally slated to present new works in our High Pressure Fire Service Festival this spring within the Fringe Festival this year. These artists were all faced with the unexpected consequences of COVID-19 that hit in the midst of rehearsal processes and just weeks away from premieres. In its wake there has been a complicated loss and grappling with how, why, and in what way to continue making work. Each artist has approached the opportunity to present work this fall differently–some crafting completely new pieces, others adapting materials and processes from their original plans for the spring–and all of them have crafted experiences that are timely, relevant, and poignant in the continued space of the pandemic. We are inspired by the ways these artists have adapted and continue to remind us of the importance of art as a means to contend with, reflect upon, and move through the world together. We hope you’ll engage with their work throughout the Fringe Festival and join us for the High Pressure Fire Service Talk with the cohort on Sunday, October 4 to talk about their unexpected transition, how they are grappling with the grief, and how they envision the future.
About the Artist
Alexandra Tatarsky (she/they) makes performances at the unfortunate in-between zone of dance, theater, comedy, and deluded rant — sometimes with songs. Venues include Vox Populi, Little Berlin, Space 1026, La Mama, Judson Church, MoMA PS1, Gibney Dance, Abrons Arts Center, The Kitchen and many bars and basements. Writings on spambot poetry, bootleg lyricism, and grotesque politics can be found in publications including The New Inquiry, Hypocrite Reader, ArtReview Asia, Garlands, Spike, Press & Fold, Weekday, and Folder. Her work seeks the logic of the clown as an antidote to despair and a model of one who keeps trying despite (repeated) failure. @tartar.biz
Check out the Digital Toolkit for Nothing to Show for sources of inspiration to Alex Tatarsky and their team in the making of this piece.
Alexandra Tatarsky developed material for Nothing to Show through the Camp Fringe residency supported by Independence Foundation.
Podcasts & Blog
Happy Hour on the Fringe: Geoff Sobelle, Trey Lyford, and Steve Cuiffo; Elephant Room: Dust from the StarsPosted September 17, 2020
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