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Emerging: Falling/Flying, Anya Liftig (Santa Monica, CA)

Falling/Flying, Anya Liftig in Performance in Video, Feb 18-24, 2011,
Performance, February 19, 6-10 pm, FREE Admission
Highways Performance Space and Gallery
18th Street Arts Center
1651 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

The Brooklyn-based performance artist Anya Liftig has chosen Los Angeles for the debut of her latest work. For seven days Highways Performance Space and Gallery will be showing “Falling/Flying,” a seven-part video installation in which Liftig continues to cross the boundaries of the natural and unnatural. Accompanying the video installation will be a new four-hour durational performance, presented February 19 as part of the 18th Street Arts Center Art Walk Event.

Says Liftig, “These actions mostly originate from desires I had as a child, but could not be expressed until now. For me, these pieces are about the ongoing struggle to connect with people, places and things, and the correlating difficulty of making sense of the world.”

A rock, an ice cream cake and a badminton racket are just some of the objects Liftig turns to for help in her dauntless, often physically brutal search for creative transcendence. These pieces find Liftig doing everything from ticking off the names of every store she can think of, to hitting the heights of erotic ecstasy in a parking lot. (All thanks to a cheap bar of margarine.)

“This work is about breaking through the boundary of solitude with my body. I use repetition of simple actions to highlight the poetry of the unfolding of time,” Liftig says. “I also want the viewer to challenge his or her assumptions about what is comfortable, what is right, and what is supposed to make sense.”

Anya Liftig’s work has been featured at TATE Modern, Exit Art, Joyce Soho and many other venues. At MoMA, she staged an intervention into the Marina Abramovic retrospective, sitting, dressed as a doppelganger of the elder artist, for six hours. Liftig has published her work or been written about in New York Times Magazine, BOMB, ArtNews, Art Papers, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, Marie Claire Italia, New York Magazine, X-TRA, and many others.

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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