Mahagonny, a play based on the work of Bertolt Brecht. Directed by Jose Manuel Dominguez, music by Juan Carlos Espinosa.
The Miami Herald. December 2, 2012
Where have all the antiheroes gone? Knight Arts Blog, December 7, 2012
Xavier and I had an opportunity to share our work with members of the local community on July 12 at the White Mountain National Forest headquarters in Campton, New Hampshire. I was pleased by the number of people who showed up and by their interest in what we are doing as part of the WMNF artists-in-residence program. I presented a sampling of my work, focusing on pieces created or inspired by residencies and my collaboration with Xavier.
By HOLLY RAMER
The Associated Press
CONCORD, N.H. — If a tree falls in the White Mountain National Forest this month, it could be seen — and heard — far beyond New Hampshire.
Artist Xavier Cortada and composer Juan Carlos Espinosa drove from Miami to New Hampshire last week to begin a monthlong artist-in-residence program based in the forest. The program, in its second year, is a collaboration between the forest and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire.
“It’s really about using art to help people understand the forest,” said Frumie Selchen, the alliance’s executive director. MORE
White Mountain National Forest is located in New Hampshire ( a small piece juts into Maine). Xavier and I were awarded a residency to create new work during the month of July. In addition to our individual responses to the forest, he and I will create at least one collaborative project. The artist residency is a collaboration of the White Mountain National Forest and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire. For more information about the residency, please scroll down or please visit: http://aannh.org I plan to create six site-specific soundscapes that will then be available on the project blog as things progress. I also have other plans in the works Blog: White Mountain Trail Mix.
I heard his paintings before I got close enough to see them. I have been writing a string quartet inspired by his work for the last few months. The piece is shaped by my strong synesthetic response to his very intense work. I am revising a couple of sections and hope to have it done by September.
Anicca – अनिच्चा
I put together this piece, Anicca, on the occasion of my friend April Dolkar’s visit to Miami last week. The sound collage weaves fragments of a conversation we had about her work, Tibetan Buddhism, as well as reminiscences of he late 1980s in Miami. I literally stitched this together in a couple of hours and will be gong back to trim and polish. April now lives in Dunedin, New Zealand painting and working to support Tibetan culture and identity.
Text, Choreography & Performance: Octavio Campos
Original Music: Juan Carlos Espinosa
Music: Gershwin, Spolinski, Mr. Rogers, Celia Cruz, DJ Muller, a.o…
Costumes: Slick It Up
Direct from Miami – Florida USA, renowned Cuban/American performance provocateur and dance theatre artist, Octavio Campos, makes his Australian debut with THE PIG SHOW. His sojourn in Melbourne sees him in a rare series of only 4 performances in the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
The Pig Show is a subversive cabaret performance with song, dance and storytelling.
It is also a celebration of Freedom, through the eyes of a Gay Pig stuck in a twisted story of the 50th Anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion. This interactive socio-political work looks at religion, GLBTQ issues and Cuban culture all blended together with humor and social experiments. The audience will be invited to participate and along the way offered staples of Cuban life such as Cuban coffee and plantain chips.
Fresh from a guest teaching position at NIDA in Sydney, in Melbourne he’ll be a guest cultural exchange artist as part of Punctum’s In-Habit International arts research program, and will be undertaking further research and conducting workshops at the Abbotsford Convent.
Octavio can also be seen in pop up performances throughout Melbourne, and will be conducting workshops for artists and performance makers prior to his opening in The Fringe Festival.
Warning: The Pig Show contains nudity and language
This past year marked the culmination of a marvelous collaboration with choreographer Heather Maloney on an evening-length piece called Vertical Sprawl. We had a chance to work together for almost two years. It was an incredible learning experience for me. Seeing a choreographer work, create a score, convert movement into art, was amazing. Heather is an extremely generous and creative collaborator. She and I came to together, in part, because we are not linear thinkers when we start our creative process. I hope we will together again in the future.
In Vertical Sprawl we explored the consequence of the human urge to reach for excess and control and how it affects everything around them. The piece is informed by a number of narrative strands that are delicately woven through the piece. The sources include the Easter Island Birdman myth, the extinction of languages, and Wagner’s Ring. Several scenes from the work have been performed in Miami and Cholula, Mexico during 2009. The piece had its first full premiere in May 2010 and featured dancers Carlota Pradera, John Beauregard, Joanne Barrett and Heather Maloney.
Excerpts from Vertical Sprawl will be performed on January 7 and 8, 2011 at 8 PM at the Byron Carlyle Theatre, 500 71st Street, Miami Beach. Tickets: $15 general, $10 students/seniors, $8 (FDA Members). The performance is part of the Florida Dance Association’s Winterfest – Miami Dances.
Although this year was not as productive as previous ones, a number of significant projects were either completed or premiered. The most important achievement was the premiere of Vertical Sprawl, a full-evening work created in collaboration with choreographer Heather Maloney. Also premiered this year was This is your home now. The piece has been described as a two-minute forty-second opera and features the 3-D animation of Athens-based artist Dimitris Fotiou, a text by poet Maria Tranou and the voice of Katrina Mena. Espinosa worked with Juan Carlos Zaldivar providing the score for his short film Mal de Horror and with Xavier Cortada on two of his 2010 installations, Ancestral Journeys and 90-N, 90-S. He also completed a piece for piano begun in 1982 and recently rediscovered in a box of old photographs. The finished piece is dedicated to Cuban-Colombian pianist Heliana Portes. Throughout the year, Espinosa continued a series of electroacoustic works inspired by endangered and extinct languages and began on a chamber work inspired by the work of American poet Wallace Stevens.
The title of the video is “Infecundas,” which means “infertile” in Spanish. Miami artist Xavier Cortada documented three employees at work in a refrigerated room of the USDA Medfly Sterilization Facility in Sarasota, Florida. Each day they vacuum millions of flies hatched from eggs sterilized by gamma radiation in Central America from their breeding boxes into specialized containers. The irradiated flies are later released into the wild from crop dusting planes. The release of the sterilized males makes it virtually impossible for a fertile wild female Medfly in the area to find and mate with a fertile wild male. The mating between a sterile male and a wild female produces no progeny – no flies. Science is helping us eradicate this invasive foreign species without the use of pesticides. However, the battle against the Medfly will not end any time soon because humans continue to smuggle infested fruit into Florida every day. Infecundas (2007) – video: Xavier Cortada, music: Juan Carlos Espinosa. Digital video: 3 minutes, 11 seconds.