For the past year Alan and Michael Fleming had been living apart for the first time in their history as twin brothers. Stretched between New York and Chicago they reinvented their practice and experimented with a sustainable model for working together long distance. Their work takes many forms - performances, video pieces, drawings, and sculptures, creating humorous and poignant reflections on their collaborative relationship.
GAME ON features two bodies of work from Alan and Michael Fleming; one from this last year when living separately and the other made after reuniting in New York. While apart, the Fleming Brothers made packages, postcards, Polaroids, and calendars as a record of their communication and as a "pyschic game." Playing with the cliche of latent twin pyschic abilities, their efforts became a genuine investigation of cerebral collaboration. Trying to think of the same color every day, or playing “rock, paper, scissors” over the phone and not knowing who won for months became a metaphor for a disjointed studio practice. Through these materials and objects they tried to map their distance and reflect on what our collaboration meant (or could mean) now that they were separated.
The second body of work on display (made while in the same city) captures the brothers reunited in play through a variety of different media including performance for video, drawing, and sculpture. Works like 100 Balanced Cans of Beer includes formal elements of repetition and balance while others such as Who's Bad? a video of Alan, a trained dancer, teaching Michael, an amateur, how to dance like Michael Jackson focuses on concepts of measurement, learning, and failure.
Like a game of street hockey interrupted by traffic, this exhibition represents a temporary hiatus of play. As the cars pass the artists think of the potential game ahead. Eventually the players return to the studio, GAME ON!
The Fleming brothers have shown their collaborative work throughout the United States and abroad. They have performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Chicago Cultural Center, BARN in Brooklyn, and The Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Scotland. Their videos have been screened internationally in Copenhagen, Lviv, Ukraine, Rio de Janeiro and Berlin. Their work has appeared in TimeOut Chicago, Art Slant, Buzz Magazine, Chicago Art Magazine, and Artforum. Recent group exhibitions in Chicago include LVL3 Gallery, Boomerang Space and the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute. In the summer of 2011 the Fleming brothers attended the ACRE residency program and will have an upcoming related solo exhibition at Happy Collaborationists in 2012. They are recent MFA graduates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which they attended as a collaborative. As of 2012, they are both based in Brooklyn.