After the ARTELPHX Spring 2014 show this past May, we wondered how the fall show would measure up. But measure up it did. With more clearly scheduled performances and innovative, thought-provoking, and downright cool installations from over 20 artists spread throughout the exterior corridors of the Clarendon Hotel, ARTELPHX Fall 2014, the third edition of ARTELPHX, not only measured up to but may have even surpassed last May's show.
While all of the pieces shown were interesting, there were five installations and performances that set the bar higher than ever for the next ARTELPHX event.
Watching Julie Akerly and Jordan Daniels spin and maneuver around the Clarendon's pool was mesmerizing from wherever you stood, whether you were down on the pool deck with the dancers or looking down from a balcony. As the name suggests, the duet explored the struggle of dealing with vices, represented by a cigarette and bottle of liquor. The push and pull between the two created an engaging tension that captivated us so much we just couldn't look away.
"Thrill Room" Denise Yaghmourian
Once we saw a black light and bright-colored objects hanging from the ceiling, we couldn't get into room 210 fast enough. Once inside, we found ourselves in the midst of a neon jungle of zip ties. Walking around this maze would have been enjoyable enough, but then we saw the table holding extra zip ties, encouraging us to add onto the structure. Of course, we obliged.
"Reflected" Ryan Donovan-Schager
We weren't exactly sure what to expect when we walked into room 303, were instructed to take a seat, and saw three mirrors laying on the floor behind a ring of black barriers. However, when Ryan Donovan-Schager stepped out, our hesitations and doubts instantly vanished. The intensity of emotion Donovan-Schager carried throughout her performance to a violin-heavy instrumental version of A Great Big World's "Say Something" was grabbing and kept the audience glued to the three reflections of the young girl. Donovan-Schager's movements felt both trapped and freed at the same time as she danced, almost exclusively on the floor, and completely filled the room though she remained within an confined corner the entire time.
"What We Have Lost / What We Have Gained" Matthew Mosher
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As we made our way in and out of the Clarendon's art-filled rooms, we kept hearing chatter about Matthew Mosher's "What We Have Lost / What We Have Gained," one of the most playful, interactive pieces of the night. As guests walked into room 309, they were greeted with a backlit screen with 12 square images of mouths, frozen in different positions. Guests could then walk up and press the fabric screen within any of the defined squares, causing an organ-like note to sound. Pressing different squares at different times and in various sequences would create harmonies, dissonance, and tunes. It was almost endlessly entertaining, and we may or may not have revisited it a couple times.
"Nude" Grace Gallagher and Wayne Rainey
Grace Gallagher and Wayne Rainey joined forces to create "Nude," a multimedia performance during which Gallagher danced both in person and in a video that was projected on the wall behind her. The dance was beautifully choreographed and Gallagher's movements were graceful and powerful, but it was the intamacy and proximity between Gallagher and the audience that made this performance stand out. While twirling and leaping, Gallagher was maybe four feet from the nearest audience member, which made for a thrilling, memorable piece.