Monday, June 13, 2016

Real Time dances with the Concrete River at Alfons Gallery

If you're following my work I expect you know that I and my collaborator Melanie Ariens have a major exhibit currently on display at the Alfons Gallery, called "Concrete River: Memorial and Promise on the Kinnickinnic." (If you missed my earlier description of it, click here.)

I am excited to announce that Daniel and Andrea Burkholder are planning to perform a dance that they've created especially for the installation. The performance is on July 1 at 7 PM.

Alfons Gallery is located at 1501 S. Layton Blvd.

"Real Time" is a regular feature held on the first Friday of each month.

This is how they describe the program:
July’s Real Time performance will draw inspiration from Eddee Daniel’s photography exhibit, Concrete River: Memorial and Promise on the Kinnickinnic, installed at Alfons Gallery, by exploring the inherent tension within the exhibit’s photographs of “urban wilderness.” Real Time will engage these photographs and gallery installation through their subject matter, the beauty of form found in them, as well as the absurdity.

As a 30-minute performance which will repeat, non-stop, three times, the audience is invited to enter and exit the event at their pleasure or whim.

Integrated throughout the performance will be opportunities for the audience to discuss with the performers, Andrea and Daniel Burkholder, as well as photographer Eddee Daniel and environmental artist Melanie Ariens about the art work, the performance, and ecological issues.

Wine and seltzer water will be available, without charge, as part of the discussion with the artists. 

The performance series is completely funded by its open-priced ticket structure. The cash-only tickets go on sale beginning at 6:45pm and are available pay-what-you-will, where the audience puts it’s own value on the live art it comes to see. While NOT a donation format- everyone must pay- the payment is meant to reflect what each individual can afford.

Real Time is curated by Andrea Chastant Burkholder and Daniel Burkholder. It has featured aerial dance from Andrea Chastant Burkholder, improvisational dance from Daniel Burkholder, duets from the two of them, as well as solos and collaborative work with guest artists from Milwaukee and elsewhere in the United States. All shows in the series offer a new insight into the performance form of dance and what it can encompass. With each show lasting one hour or under, there is always time for drinks and conversation at the end of the night.

“We are working to meet our community where it’s at as far as seeing the arts, and from there, we hope to develop together as performers, audience, and as a larger community.” says Andrea Chastant Burkholder one of the creators of Real Time.

Full disclosure: This is not my first collaboration with the Burkholders. In April Andrea invited me to collaborate on her program, Bayou's State, at Danceworks. And in May I was an enchanted witness to their tribute to nature in the open-air and traveling performance of Scenic Route MKE. It has been a great pleasure to be a part of their creative endeavors.

Portraits from SE WI opens at Gallery 224

"Greetings from Wisconsin," a juried exhibit of portraits from Southeastern Wisconsin opens at Gallery 224 on Friday, June 17.

Opening reception: 5:00 - 7:00 pm.

My triptych, "Nick - Fyxation," from my residency in the Menomonee Valley is included in the show. "Fyxation" was one of a series of profiles I did during the residency. You can read the story about Nick and his founding of the bicycle manufacturing complany, Fyxation, by clicking here.

Gallery 224 is at 224 East Main Street in Port Washington. For more information, click here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Arts on the Rivers

My triptych, Menomonee Valley: Winter, is included in this annual exhibit sponsored by Milwaukee Riverkeeper:


Tory Folliard Gallery
233 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee, WI 53202 

A closing reception at which awards will be presented is on Saturday, June 11, 2016, from 3-4 pm. Open to the public.

The Tory Folliard Gallery has regular gallery hours from:
11am-5pm Tuesday-Friday
11am-4pm on Saturday



Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Scenic Route: MKE" dances in the park

Daniel Burkholder has been dancing in the natural environment for some time now. Last fall he began a series of seasonal dance programs called Scenic Route: MKE. I had the great fortune of seeing the most recent iteration, spring, which was third in the series. The event involved a select group of audience members who attended a 2-hour nature hike with site-specific performances at various stops along the way. Burkholder and company led the audience along one of Milwaukee's most beautiful parks--the exact location of which remains secretive so that ticket holders can have an exclusive viewing. (Anyone can buy a ticket, however.) I found it a lovely way to experience both nature and dance.

Here is my photo essay of the event.

"Scenic Route: MKE" is directed by Artistic Director Daniel Burkholder, and created in collaboration with Andrea Burkholder, Dani Kuepper, Joseph Pitalek, and Jenni Reinke.

The fourth and final "Scenic Route: MKE" will be held July 17. Tickets can be purchased here. The suggested donation starts at $10.

To see more of my photos of "Scenic Route: MKE" go to my Flickr album.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nothing Kills A River Like Concrete: Exhibit invitation

Concrete River: 
Memorial and Promise on the Kinnickinnic River

Photography by Eddee Daniel
Collaborative shrine and installation with Melanie Ariens

Alfons Gallery
1501 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee, WI

Opening reception: May 22, 1 - 3 pm. 
Artist's remarks: 2 pm.

I hope you'll join me and Melanie for this event. This will not be an ordinary photo exhibit. We plan an installation that will make the gallery feel like the concrete channel.

Exhibit runs through July 31

Gallery hours:
Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun 12 - 3 pm
and by appointment.

For more information: Alfons Gallery website.

Artist's Statement:

Nothing kills a river like concrete. How we treat rivers is suggestive of how we relate to the natural world in general.

Historically, rivers have been central to the growth of human civilization. This was as true at the founding of Milwaukee as it was in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates. Somehow, though, in the late twentieth century, our modern society lost sight of this vital truth. Milwaukee’s three rivers suffered many abuses, including habitat loss, pollution and dams.

But there’s nothing like pouring concrete into it, essentially transforming it into a drainage ditch, to signal the destruction of a river. Sections of other rivers and creeks in the Milwaukee River watershed were subject to this debasement, but the Kinnickinnic River suffered the most.

In the 1960s the KK, as it is still affectionately known, was straightened and lined with concrete in order to mitigate flooding problems in the surrounding neighborhood. Although at the time this dramatic action did provide some relief from the risk of flooding, it also compromised the river in significant ways. The concrete channel destroyed aquatic and riparian habitats, degraded water quality, and increased the risk of drowning during high water flows. Ironically, today even the original intent of the channelization has become outdated and ineffective for flood control.

Fortunately, for the river and for the community, attitudes have once again shifted. Caring for and revitalizing rivers has captured the public imagination. On the KK the current solution is a project to remove the concrete channel and restore the river to a more natural condition. When I was invited by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to document the project area I jumped at the opportunity. It’s exactly the kind of subject to which I am drawn.
The KK River Project, officially known as the Kinnickinnic River Corridor Neighborhood Plan, is a joint endeavor by the MMSD and the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center. The project area is located between 6th Street and 27th Street. (An earlier phase of the project, completed in 2012, removed the concrete channel downstream from 6th St.) The 50-ft. wide concrete channel is to be removed and a 200 ft.-wide rock-lined river channel created. This has necessitated the acquisition and deconstruction of 83 homes in order to accommodate the wider river. Although most of those houses had already been removed, I witnessed and documented the deconstruction of several of the few remaining.

Because the project is in its early phases, most of the images in this exhibit depict the river’s current state as a concrete channel. Furthermore, the installation itself is intended to reinforce the claustrophobic and treacherous conditions that exist. In order to represent the more hopeful future of the KK, I have invited environmental artist Melanie Ariens to collaborate with me on a water shrine to signify the restored vitality that is envisioned in the KK River Project.

See more of my KK River photos in my Flickr album

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bayou's State: dancing into oblivion

Andrea Burkholder wants you to know she's a cajun. She cooks a cajun dinner for the audience cum guests who arrive to participate in her creation, called Bayou's State. A spirit of collegiality and community ensues. After dinner everyone decamps to the theater to witness Burkholder as she performs a dance that is equal parts personal history, contemporary abstract movement, and theatrical treatment of a dramatic and tragic slow-motion environmental disaster. The environmental story relates the destruction of coastal wetlands in the Mississippi delta.

Afterwards, the people in the theater, who have taken on several collective identities during the evening, including dinner guests, audience, and witness, have become compatriots. They are invited back into the dining room for dessert, drinks and deconstruction of the evening's experiences.

I was privileged to collaborate with Andrea. My photographs of the KK River graced the dining area as well as the stage, and her set decoration was inspired by my series of fence images from the Little Menomonee River Superfund clean up site. I am kicking myself mightily for neglecting to take installation shots of the display, but here are a few that represent the performance (shot beforehand.)

Bayou's State took place at Danceworks over the weekend. I look forward to seeing what Burkholder has in store for future performance events!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Milwaukee Arts Barge makes a splash at the North End

Gallery night was characteristically fertile last night. I enjoyed a variety of exhibits, including William Zuback's moody figure studies at the Iron Horse Hotel, Pamela Anderson, Richard Taylor and Terrance Coffman at the Pfister, and too many folks to name at the Marshall Building.

The most surprising find for me last night was not at an established gallery but at the North End apartments. I'd been to their pop up gallery before and on a whim decided to check it out before heading to the usual places downtown.

The exhibit is titled Mobility Matters. According to the wall text panel, it explores "links between mobility, agency and value in Milwaukee." OK, so moving beyond the academic lingo, what really intrigued me was the 3-D map of Milwaukee and the idea of moving an "arts barge" around the community using its waterways. I'm all for "activating" the waterways, as they put it.

The map is a wonderfully graphic depiction of not only Milwaukee's lakefront and river system, but also its parks and open green spaces, which are represented in raised relief.

There is a Milwaukee Arts Barge website, which describes the project this way:

"Two of Milwaukee’s unique assets, the confluence of public waterways and its performing arts communities converge and newly engage the social fabric of the city through the construction of a floating performance space, the Milwaukee Arts Barge (MAB). The project utilizes Milwaukee‘s most underutilized public space, its network of rivers and lake, as a means to transform the city’s social, political, and cultural boundaries through the performing arts.

"MAB establishes a premiere public venue for the performing arts communities to heighten its exchanges with the city and its residents. It offers unique opportunities for both emergent and established arts communities to further propel the city as a space of civic engagement, exchange and creative place-making.

"The Milwaukee Arts Barge (MAB) develops new forms of agency for the performing arts communities to choose locations that have both creative and social impact. MAB allows these communities greater access to reimage the future of the city."

I look forward to hearing more about this project as it unfolds and hope to see a gallery of public art works floating up the Milwaukee River before long.

The Milwaukee Arts Barge is a project of the UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning. The North End is at 1551 No. Water Street. The display will be on view through June 30, 2016.