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Kate Hewson and Marina Kelly

Mobile Aesthetics & Social Movements: Thinkspace

12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Polycentric sessions, San Francisco Art Institute, Lecture hall and classrooms
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“RESIDENT.ALIEN.” is a 7 minute video work (available in standard and high definition) exploring the respective immigration experiences of the artists to the United States—Marina Kelly immigrated from Scotland at age 7 and Kate Hewson immigrated from South Africa at age 11.

The video features aerial performance (gestural movement phrases performed on suspended chairs), sound recordings (the artists’ spoken text mixed into an original sound score), suspended objects (actual belongings related to our respective immigrations and symbols of our memories and experiences) and video projection.

The process of creating the piece started with the sharing of personal stories about the artists’ immigration experiences, many of which seemed so particular to their identities as immigrants as to be incomprehensible to non-immigrants. Particularly powerful images and text from these conversations were selected and used as the starting point in constructing the sculptural, movement, textual, and sound elements of the installation.

Some sub-themes explored in the work include: The fairytale expectations of a new land vs. reality; flying across borders/between countries; reinvention of the self in a new land; passing as a native, the alchemical power of immigration to transform the self into “other” and the familiar into the strange.

Participant Bios:

Kate Hewson is a modern dancer and multimedia artist based in Madison, WI. She has also lived and performed in Belgium, England, and South Africa, her country of origin. She has presented her own aerial and modern choreography and performed with companies including Li Chiao-Ping Dance, Jin-Wen Yu Dance, Cycropia Aerial Dance, and Connolly Dance Company and in works by Jan Erkert, Claudia Melrose, and by many local artists. Last year she co-presented the peer-reviewed site-specific multimedia dance installation RESIDENT.ALIEN. at the UW-Madison TRANS Conference. She was a member of Cycropia Aerial Dance Company for five years, and teaches aerial and modern dance in the community. She has degrees in French and International Studies and a master’s degree in Image Studies. She is currently working on an MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition, she is a freelance web designer, and coordinates interdisciplinary arts residencies at UW-Madison for artists including Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Ute Ritschel, Judith Helfand, Fred Ho, Matthew Buckingham, and Gunther Schuller.

Marina Kelly is a multi-media artist based in Madison, Wisconsin. She has studied and danced with a variety of local individuals and companies, including Kristanne Connolly, Ellen Moore, Li Chiao-Ping and Cycropia Aerial Dance. Marina specializes in a number of photographic forms, including Polaroid transfer techniques, Holga prints and digital photography. Recent shows include: “Off Broadway” 2005 and 2006 at the Madison Enterprise Center’s Commonwealth Gallery, and a solo show at Sunroom Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin in December of 2005. Recent video projects include: “Taking a Bow: Reflections on Ellen Moore's Modern Dance Improv. Class” and “The Hidden Agenda”, documenting artist Carol Bjerke's installation art.

Marina integrates video into live performances such as the recent work, “Silhouette”, a dance/video piece performed with Christine Olson as part of the “Dark Side of the Moon” Exhibit at Commonwealth Development Corp. and the site-specific multimedia dance installation RESIDENT.ALIEN. at the UW-Madison TRANS Conference.