On the occasion of Gretchen Bender: So Much Deathless, Red Bull Arts New York and ISSUE Project Room will co-present Image Haze: A Tribute to Gretchen Bender’s “So Much Deathless.” Held on Saturday, May 18, the two live audio-visual performances have been organized in response to Bender’s unfinished work of media theater, which was to be entitled So Much Deathless. In writing on Bender’s earlier Total Recall (1987), the critic Jonathan Crary compared her electrifying performance to the narcotic “image haze” of 80s television, stating that Bender “outlines survival tactics for artists to maintain a mobile position at the boundaries of mass culture.” These performances follow in Bender’s footsteps, and continue to sketch survival tactics for our evolving media and cultural landscape.
The evening will begin with a performance by Bender’s frequent collaborator Stuart Argabright and his post-industrial band Black Rain, set against a mesmerizing new video score by contemporary artist Philip Vanderhyden. The second act features an interactive performance by electronic musician Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, who will present her most recent album, Tides: Music for Meditation and Yoga, as a guided meditation. In collaboration with video artist Sean Hellfritsch, Smith’s performance will be set within a newly commissioned light therapy/video installation.