ps/o8.n. untitledforlargeensemble
ps/o8 public museum | silent listen | the aids uncanny

Photo: Dara Brady.
Untitled (for large ensemble)
Van Buren Street, Chicago, Saturday, 9 May 2008


01' Joseph Belknap and Ian Hatcher: "I was gloved up, [pause] gowned up, [pause] masked up, [pause] protected [long pause]"
Entered into the record by Laura Gillis, Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, Maryland, Saturday, 16 April 2005)

02' Sarah Koziol and Clover Morell: "[Breath] I was worried that [pause] this performance would aestheticize or trivialize political discourse, [breath] um"
Entered into the record by Ferd Eggan, Armand Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, California, Thursday, 5 May 2005)

03' Scott Ian Ray and Katrina Chamberlin: "And this question frustrates me to no end [breath]"
Entered into the record by Nicole Neve, Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff, Alberta, Thursday, 23 June 2005)

04' Elizabeth Czekner and Faith Wilding: "Yes they are afraid of the T-Cell and Viral Load result [breath]"
Entered into the record by Shennod Moore, Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, 30 November 2005)

05' Emily Siefken and Alycia Scott: "And ... still to this day [breath] I'm baffled by that"
Entered into the record by Mylene Saint-Pierre, VAV Gallery, Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec, Tuesday, 4 April 2006)

06' Marci Ross and Kristen Santarsiero: "I cannot say how I would feel ... if I were to find out next week that I am positive [short pause]"
Entered into the record by Evan Smith, Student Health Center, Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Illinois, Friday, 14 April 2006)

07' Joseph Belknap and Ian Hatcher: "I guess I hope ... some of my input is useful ... to your effort [breath]"
Entered into the record by Syrus Ware (Pete Collins, on tape): Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Ontario, Wednesday, 9 August 2006)

In an on-going series of experiments toward the translation of an AIDS analysis into action, Ultra-red invited a large ensemble to gather in Grant Park in downtown Chicago in the final hour of sunset on Saturday, 9 May 2008. Two choruses of artists and activists were asked to perform one short excerpt from statements recorded during the seven performances of Ultra-red's SILENT|LISTEN (2005-2006). The excerpts were looped for four minutes. Walking down the north and south sidewalks of Chicago's busy Van Buren Street, the two choruses lead processions from Grant Park to Clinton Street. Each chorus member took turns led one of the ensembles in acting out one of the loops accompanied by a gesture of their own invention.

After four minutes, the ensemble paused in their walking to listen to statements, or arias, from one of invited soloists. In those breaks where no soloist was selected, the ensemble listened in silence while the city of Chicago performed an aria of its own. Ultra-red invited community organizers whose organizations work on issues such as HIV support for prisoners, human rights for prisoners, social justice for youth and harm reduction. After each aria, the next chorus member moved into position to lead the procession further down the sidewalk with another four-minute performance for voice and gesture. For Ultra-red, the experiment contributed to our on-going development toward an AIDS activist opera, or operaction.

Ultra-red would like to thank the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Betty Rymer Gallery for negotiating the use of Grant Park and the public sidewalks for this action. We would like to thank the members of the entire ensemble, with special thanks to the soloists who performed the arias: Hugo Garcia, Maritza Bautista, Dan Bigg, Rev. Doris Green, Cliff Sanchez, Craig Harshaw, Milka Ramos, Joann Montes, and Rev. Charles Straight.

(Organized by Taisha Paggett, Dont Rhine and Robert Sember.)