new project: Elaborate Gifts (with Anna Moser)

Elaborate Gifts’, an investigative, media- and genre-spanning encounter between Anna Moser and Sophie Seita, aims to approach the complexity of possible transferences between words and visual shapes, pictorial and poetic relations. The project’s proposed second stage is two-fold: (1) a public event in NYC, consisting of an installation with drawings, photographs, shared images, personal correspondence, texts, poems; as well as an on-site performance developed out of these materials; (2) an artist book, in the form of a collaboratively written assemblage of letters, which will play out a frisson of correspondence, appropriated materials, and poetic and discursive statements.

In the development stage (Spring—Fall 2014), ‘Elaborate Gifts’ will be penciled, inked, enveloped, folded, bound, unbound, and composed in the creases and collapses of words, lines, colour, shapes, ironies, excesses, transgressions, limitations, and digressions. This process will draw, in particular, on often under-acknowledged intricacies and contradictions in the material labors and performative processes of female makers. As such, it will ruffle up ‘analog’ versus ‘digital’ distinctions—through integrating and collaging ‘mediums’ that include drawing, painting, poetry, performance, e-mail, photography, and internet-sourcing.

The project’s first staging was presented at Page22, PagePoetryParlor, NYC, in December 2013. Curious about the sequential and cumulative experience of laid-bare conversations, drafts, linguistic and visual exchanges, this performance (of Seita’s satire “Talk Between Nudes”), installation (of selected correspondence and Moser’s visual work), and post-performance discussion made the letter-gift ambient and touchable.

Sometimes meditated and conversed across the Atlantic, sometimes over the exchange of edibles and drinkables in non-virtual space—the ‘Elaborate Gifts’ collaboration demands as much imagination, improvisation, and risk, as exchange, accumulation, citation, and re-presentation of sensual data. ‘Elaborate Gifts’ are repetition, habit, etiquette, abandonment, the contingent, the uncomfortable, the formal, the hopeful, the tragic, the melodramatic, the aphoristic—a redrafting of gestures.

Images, drafts, exchanges and updates can be found on our blog: http://thelaborate.com

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