Semi-precious: the faceting of a gemstone only appears complete and critical

March 11 – March 29, 2019


With Alison Denham, Billy Marchenski, Aryo Khakpour, Kate Franklin, Lisa Gelley, Josh Martin, Rianne Svelnis, Erika Mitsuhashi, Elissa Hanson, Ileanna Cheladyn, Kaia Shukin & Layla Marcelle Mrozowski

Semi-precious: The Faceting of a Gemstone Only Appears Complete and Critical is an ongoing project conceived of by Justine A. Chambers. The latest iteration of Semi-precious will take the form of a working studio residency, where Artspeak will be utilized as a dance studio. During this time Chambers with several long-time collaborators will together develop and write a movement and dance score. Further building on previous scores written by Chambers, Semi-precious considers the possibilities of the multiple, and the potential to build upon collective aspirations through reiterated actions.

Central to Semi-precious is the idea that the craft of faceting gemstones requires patience. Semi-precious is a study of movement, writing, speaking, feeling and forming relationships. It is through a somatic and embodied approach that the relationality between the members of Semi-precious determine the form and the shape of the work. Approaching Chambers’ scores as propositions, the studio will take the time to sit with what resonates, working towards shaping a lexicon that deepens methodologies of gesture and movement, and embodied and non-verbal forms of knowledge.

Chambers’ residency at Artspeak is but one part of the wider project of Semi-precious that considers wider questions of how we can develop frameworks, or inhabit already existing structures and systems that allow for our collective aspirations to unfold. What are the shifts and disruptions that we want to embody, and what are the ways that we can do this together?

For Semi-precious, to practice and work in this public manner requires an openness and acceptance of vulnerability as part of their methodology. As part of Chambers’ studio residency, a new work Rock Garden by Natalie Purschwitz has been commissioned for Artspeak’s windows. Rock Garden approaches the questions of Semi-precious through the lens of opacity and transparency to reflect a polyphony of perspectives. Rock Garden also traces the incremental passing of time, as the light of the sun passes through the space.

-Bopha Chhay


Post Script by Brynn Catherine McNabb

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