PERFORMANCE • VIDEO • INSTALLATION
Upcoming show and performance!
OpeningSaturday 9/13 at Kunstallle Galapagos
Performance by Dirty Churches with the Wanting Hour string trio Saturday 9/27
Check out the Facebook event here Why You Got to Be so Evil?
Rachel Blackwell and Jesse Gelaznik are Dirty Churches. They combine experimental sound and music with sculptural installations and ritual-based performance in what they describe as a manifestation of the collective subconscious. The couple alternatively starts from the music or the concept to develop immersive themed visions. The collaboration exists as a video, an installation and a performance. The Dirty Churches performance titled A Guest in the Cavern premiered at the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center, Inc.’s 2013 Arts Happening series in Brooklyn. The site specific performance titled An Orchard of Echoes was performed at Soho20 Gallery as part of their annual Savior-Faire performance series, and the video component from A Guest in the Cavern was featured. The video Hearts Are Dust, on display here at Kunstalle Galapagos is from a performance at Spectrum earlier this summer. Dirty Churches was started by Jesse as a noise collective with an ever-changing group of musicians. Rachel provided an emotional landscape via the visuals. It has since morphed into a two-headed video art monster. Among a world so desperate for control, Dirty Churches defy the notion that we must rely on a constant reality to exist.
DIRTY CHURCHES exhibitions:
2013 An Orchard of Echoes video installation and performance
Images and promotional material
SOHO20 Chelsea Gallery : Savoir- Faire performance series presents : Dirty Churches an Orchard of Echoes Performance by Jesse Gelaznik and Rachel Blackwell
This collaborative multi-media performance explores dramatic rituals performed against hypnotic video projections in an altered environment with a live score. The suggestion of being in an apple orchard during a storm is created by presenting objects from the orchard on pedestals, first person video projections of exploring the orchard, and audio samples such as footsteps, rain and thunder. This in effect creates the setting for the performance of the harvest ritual. The costume for this ritual portrays a masked old woman in farming clothes caring bar chimes. Her hair is bound up in cornhusks and her mask is painted with the alchemical symbols of nature, fire, earth, water and air. The harvest ritual is performed in three parts, introducing the orchard, the storm, and the smearing of the mask with colored pigment as a conclusion. These three parts all have individual musical scores performed live, which establish a sonic environment that completes the illusion of the orchard. The insinuated theme of this piece is the performers relationship to their surroundings as they encounter a storm of percussion and prepare a harvest of dark emotional thoughts. The performance of this ritual takes 20 minutes.
Rachel Blackwell and Jesse Gelaznik of the Dirty Churches combine experimental sound and music making with sculptural installations and ritual-based performance in what they describe as a manifestation of the collective conscious. An Orchard of Echoes will bring together aspects of story-telling and mythology to fabricate and ancient and untold experience. The group’s fluctuating body of members is an ever-changing factor, which can accommodate any number of aesthetics, ideas and directions. Among a world so desperate for control, Dirty Churches defy the notion the we must rely on a constant reality to exist.
2013 A Guest in the Cavern pyramid and video installation with performance
The Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center, Inc.’s 2013 Arts Happening Series Presents: A Guest in the Cavern is a multi-media installation featuring Jesse Gelaznik, Rachel Blackwell, Natalee Cayton & Dirty Churches
The cavern provides a typical analogy of the projecting individual. It provides the repetition of light and shadow as a backdrop to the woman in the pyramid. Inside the pyramid she reflects up from the terrestrial world to the celestial and cosmic world. The infinite becomes newly created/birthed/banged. The woman, the light, the constellation and the point. The woman's thoughts are reflected below the water's surface, glowing down to this world. Her exploration of the loneliness and the isolation fill the cavern with echoes of the yin/yang universe, the infinite, the contained, the container. Her pyramid is distribution of mental and emotional weight. Her dress becomes a river of light that emanates out from her core past the walls of the pyramid. Once combined the elements of the video art projections, pyramid installation, performer and dress with a live soundtrack, the space will be completely transformed into a fantastical landscape of thought, sound and vision.
This event is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).
Dirty Churches performers: Jesse Gelaznik (concept, composer, pyramid structure) • Rachel Blackwell (costume, pyramid performance, video) • Justin Miller (samples) • Robert Boston (synthesizer, samples) • Alfra Martini (vocals) • Liz Pulos (viola) • Eric Elterman (viola) • Anna Callner (cello) • Donnie Undeen (bass clarinet) • Daniel Garcia (percussion)
Images and Text
2011 While I was in a sleeping state... Multi-media performance with Robert Boston
DIRTY CHURCHES Video and Sound Archive:
DIRTY CHURCHES has been performing dark and hypnotizing live soundtracks for multi media art installations since 2003. Jesse Gelaznik formed Dirty Churches with Joe Robinson, Alex Beard and John Delassi. The early Dirty Churches performances consisted of improv noise sets with projections. In 2005 Dirty Churches began performing live sound tracks to Rachel Blackwell’s video art projections. And in 2006 Jesse began writing conceptual scores for Dirty Churches performances and recordings, which included the track Eat Birth, which was recorded for a noise comp titled Getting rid of the Glue on Pendu Sound. In 2009, Dirty Churches performed a live score for Rachel Blackwell’s video pieces Yes! Witches, Rituals and Meditations on Death during the NY Eye and Ear Fest II at the 92Y in Tribeca. Since then Dirty Churches has morphed into various projects working with a variety of musicians. Here's some material from Jesse's personal archive of early Dirty Churches recordings and live performances.