|MCLA Presents! To Showcase DownStreet Art Artist|
|12:52PM / Friday, January 20, 2012|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — C. Ryder Cooley, one of the featured artists from this summer"s DownStreet Art, will present her fully staged "extinction" cabaret "XMALIA" as part of the MCLA Presents! series on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Venable Gym at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
This is the second performance in Cooley's ongoing series called "Animalia," which was presented at MCLA two years ago. "XMALIA" is a multimedia performance that combines live and recorded music, taxidermy, video projections, and aerial and ground-based movement. An interdisciplinary artist, musician and performer, Cooley blends fantasy visions with cinematic performances and installation spaces.
The 70-minute show will feature a series of musical vignettes about vanished creatures as told by a lonely musician — Cooley — who "summons" extinct animals back to life. Musical instruments in the performance include a six-string ukulele and singing saw, autoharp, electric guitar, upright bass and percussion.
According to Jonathan Secor, special program director at MCLA, "Be ready to expect the unexpected, with artists performing on the singing saw 20 feet up in the air, singing ballads of passenger pigeons while wearing taxidermy deer heads and feathered shoes."
“I want people to be entertained and feel they've been somewhere," Cooley said. "I also want them to walk away feeling concerned and to think about what we’re doing to our planet and the other species with which we co-exist."
According to Silvermine Arts Center in Connecticut, where Cooley recently performed, "XMALIA" is "wildly engaging and moving."
Nippertown described the performance as “a wonderfully strange and utterly captivating evening to be sure. Describing it, however, is more than a bit challenging… A musical episode of Twilight Zone? An animal opera by the Incredible String Band? A surreal mash-up of Charlie Chaplin and Cirque du Soleil?"
The first in the series, "Stories of Collapse, Calamity and Departure," invoked visions of human-animal relations, secret bee societies and haunted circus scenes.
Cooley, of Hudson, N.Y., received a bachelor's degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in Sculpture, and a master of fine arts in integrated electronic arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her work has been presented at locations including White Box and Exit galleries in New York City, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Theater Artaud in San Francisco, Robert Wilson Watermill Center on Long Island, N.Y., Pan-American Art Projects in Miami, Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, N.Y., and Proctors Mainstage Theater in Schenectady, N.Y.
Tickets to "XMALIA" are $10; $5-$8 for staff, faculty and members. Students are free. Reserve tickets by calling at 413-662-5204.