I first communicated with Alena about the space at the Zhou B. Art Center, and my idea to develop a space to show works of artist friends early December 2014. I recalled, from my conversations with her and a visit to her studio last summer, that she was a multi-disciplinary artist with great interest in social and human behavior and I knew of a piece she produced then, a re-performance of Andy Warhol’s Henry Geldzahler. I am also interested in her pursuance of performance art, and I was curious to find out if she’d be interested in participating and show her piece. She immediately became interested and loved the idea to participate.
Soon after the Holidays we began to work and communicate consistently about what I would do. She sent me some material, stills of Warhol’s original video piece and I presented them with her statement (as seen below). Alena became my first visiting artist a multi-purpose space.
ALENA AHRENS – Third Friday, FEBRUARY 20, 2015
In this 49-minute film, Alena Ahrens re-performs Henry Geldzahler, a feature-length movie directed by Andy Warhol. The original piece captured Henry becoming increasingly awkward for the duration of the film. With an interest in psychology and performance, Alena Ahrens experiments with re-performance to explore Anna Freud’s Mechanisms of Defense. She currently attending the low-residency program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as finishing her doctorate in psychological research and evaluation at the University of Missouri.