Monika Weiss: performance and keynote lecture (DRAWING IN THE UNIVERSITY TODAY)

Monika Weiss

— Anamnesis II —

Public drawing, performance, video and sound composition

Museum of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto, until June 30th

Drawing in the University Today – International Meeting on Drawing, Image and Research, is proud to host a public drawing, performance, video and sound composition followed by a keynote lecture by the Polish-American artist Monika Weiss.

The performance will take place at 2 pm on May 31st, at the Museum of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. The audience is invited to participate in the performance. The installation Anamnesis II will remain on view until June 30th.

The artist’s keynote lecture “Performing Drawing – Performing Lament in Public Domain” will be held on June 1st at the Faculty of Architecture at 09.45 am.

Monika Weiss’ Anamnesis II is a site-specific, ephemeral installation that includes public performance, projected video and sound composition. As a systematic inquiry into the relationships between history, public space and the space around the body, the work addresses the performative act of drawing as related to speech, trace, erasure and disappearance. It is part of a series of performative installations like Drawing Lethe (2006) and Shrouds (2012), which evoke ancient rituals of lamentation as traditionally performed in response to war.

Her current work considers aspects of public memory and amnesia as reflected within the physical and political space of the City. Originally educated as a classical musician, the artist continues to compose sound environments for her installations and cinematic works. Weiss is renowned for the use of her own body as a vehicle of artistic expression and for incorporating historical documents and narratives within her works.

“Performing Drawing—Performing Lament in Public Domain” is an artist lecture by Monika Weiss on the nature of drawing as a performative language sited within the space of historical memory and contemporary urban landscape. Monika Weiss proposes that both ancient forms of expression—drawing and lamentation—share complex relationships with the notions of trace, history and postmemory. In this work Weiss suggests how collective mourning, including for the loss of purported enemies can also become a powerful political tool in opposition to the heroic masculine narratives of conquest and power. By enacting ancient gestures of lamentation, Weiss’ work also considers contemporary contexts of apathy, indifference, invisibility, and historical amnesia within the public forum and polis.

Biographical Note:

Monika Weiss is a Polish-American contemporary artist based in New York City. She works primarily with installation, video projection, performance, sound and drawing. Her transdisciplinary approach investigates relationships between body and history, and evokes ancient rituals of lamentation. Her work has been exhibited in over twenty solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions internationally. In 2005, Lehman College Art Gallery organized and published a retrospective of the artist’s work, Monika Weiss: Five Rivers, which was reviewed by The New York Times. Weiss has given lectures on her work at institutions around the world and her writings have appeared in numerous publications, including New Realities: Being Syncretic (Springer, Wien/New York) and Technoetic Arts (Intellect, London). The artist splits her time between New York and St. Louis, where she is Professor at Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and faculty affiliate in the Performing Arts Department. Weiss’ work is represented by Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal and can be found in public and institutional collections worldwide.