Upon the suggestion of my mentor, Madeleine Bailey, I contacted and met Mark Jeffery, Performance Professor at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. That was early February. By early April, Mark invited me to do a presentation during his class’ graduate luncheon. I kindly attended, introduced myself and spoke to the SAIC Performance class of 2015. The project idea was well received and as a result I met Udita Upadhyaya, Sarah Skaggs, CV and Jose Santiago Perez. Udita and Sarah will present in the month of September and Jose was available for a performance post his graduation this May.
Later on, in April, I invited him to my studio and gallery space and we spoke more about his thoughts and ideas. He studied the space carefully and became acquainted with the different textures and surfaces within the space. After analyzing the dimensions and layout of the space he was ready for the May opening. Enre Dos, II (2015).
For the Exhibition he provided me with his bio/statement and photos I would later use for marketing/social media.
Working with Jose was an absolute pleasure (scroll down for a link to his testimonial)
EnreDos, II – Third Friday, May 15, 2015
Artist: Jose Santiago Perez; Performance Artist; durational work (1 hr. 45 mins)
What is the afterlife of an encounter, an object, a scene, relation, feeling, intuition, or fantasy? How do we attend to the afters that haunt the present? How is this afterness evoked, invoked, conjured or otherwise made present in the present of enactment or process of making? What remains?
Jose makes process-based studio and sited work that moves and wanders, walks and stands, approaches and departs, gathers and binds, stretches and perforates, twists and folds, stitches and knots near and around this set of questions.
Prior to moving to Chicago, José enacted both intimate and solitary performances in domestic and public spaces in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.
José Santiago Pérez holds a BA in Literature from University of California, Santa Cruz, an MA in Theatre History and Criticism from San Francisco State University, and is currently an MFA candidate in performance at SAIC.
During our earlier meetings, I tried not to ask many questions about how he approached his work. I know from personal experience, I like not to reveal too much about it. I also think that asking some of those questions may tamper with their flexibility and freedom to create work. My job was to researched any information available to me online about him and I based my decision to have him perform on May afterwards. I invited him for a walkthrough of the space and we spent some time getting to know each other. About two weeks before the opening, I requested bio/statement and photos of his work. All of which were used by the art center and I for marketing and social media.
After the performance, on May 15, 2015, I finally asked Jose what was he thinking about during the performance and his response was “what remains of desire.” It is interesting how my initial thoughts about his performance, were very different. For me it was about birthing himself.
Post Show Testimonial: