Brainchild, Part II
Human Resources is pleased to present the performance of Brainchild, Part II by Los Angeles based artist Kathleen Johnson in collaboration with composer Gregory Lenzcycki on the evening of Saturday, November 3rd. Doors open at 8:00 and the performance will begin at 8:30. Brainchild is Kathleen Johnson’s nine-part, nine-year fiction based project. For each part, Johnson collaborates with a different guest composer who creates a choral piece, setting her text to music. Part I (David Patton Gallery, 2009) was a song poem arranged by artist Stephanie Taylor, and Part 1a (redux) (ACME Gallery, 2011) was a partial re-telling to test the narrative’s evocative power through drawing. For Brainchild, Part II at Human Resources, L.A. based composer Gregory Lenzcycki has created a hypnotic, electro-acoustic score for three singers that beautifully illuminates the Brainchild story.
Johnson’s sci-fi inspired narrative follows a girl, Brainchild, who stumbles upon the abandoned structures of an ancient, presumably space-faring, race. While exploring the ruin, Brainchild becomes aware of her connection to these beings. As she struggles with whether to reveal what she’s discovered, mysterious overseers monitor her awakening with unease.
Each of Part II’s nine stanzas contain “extra-textual” elements, subtle disruptions in the narrative— Johnson’s attempt to force an active listener. Brainchild is influenced by the artist’s decade-long participation in a sci-fi reading group, where issues of narrative structure and the reliability of narrative voice are always under scrutiny.
About the Artists
Kathleen Johnson’s work explores landscapes and built environments, both real and imagined, as well as structures of narrative. From the “drawing-in-space” quixotic designs for a desert house made of fishing net, to a photographic survey of landscapes used to practice for missions to Mars, her projects explore realms that easily straddle the plausible and the incredible. She has had solo exhibitions at Lucas Schoormans Gallery, New York and David Patton Los Angeles. Collaborative projects include The Minded Swarm at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and The Grotto, and a three-year, site-specific installation with Taalman Koch Architecture for High Desert Test Sites. Johnson attended Otis College of Art and Design and received her MFA from the University of Southern California.
Described as “always poetic” and “twittering with excitable circuitry,” composer Gregory Lenzcycki’s work explores the rhythms of space and the architecture of sound. His music is often self-referential, drawing from a personal archive of borrowed code, irregular sequences and obscure melodies that are weaved together in lyrical cycles. Lenzcycki received his MFA from Mills College where he studied composition with Alvin Curran and Maryanne Amacher. He has worked with Curran, Amacher, Naut Humon, Joe Potts, Doug Henry, Anna Homler, and Ted Byrnes, among others. Lenzcycki has presented at such venues as CalArts, LACMA, ResBox at the Steve Allen Theatre, Mount Wilson Observatory, Highways Performance Space, Las Cienegas Projects, and as part of SASSAS's 10th Anniversary Mapping Sound festival. Lenzcycki’s collaborations include Light Show with Fluxus artist Jeff Perkins, Still Life with Bomb with drummer Ted Byrnes and accordionist Ari DeSano, and Small Liberties (2006, Whitney Museum) with artists Andrea Zittel and Giovanni Jance. Lenczycki’s work has received Meet the composer and the NEA support, and his music is available at http://gregorylenczycki.
About the Performers
The part of Brainchild will again be played by Dominique Cox, and the chorus by Bianca G. Marrero and Juliette Dwyer. Dominique Cox studies theater arts and dance at Cal State Los Angeles, and her recent roles include Mimi in Rent and Elizabeth in Spider Baby the Musical. Bianca G. Marrero is a singer, actor and songwriter who received her BFA from the CalArts. Recent roles include Christine in Vox Lumiere’s rock opera version of Phantom of the Opera and Adult Eva in Meditations: Eva Hesse. A graduate of USC’s Thornton School of Music’s, Juliette Dwyer has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and French electro-pop group M83, the Pacific Opera Project, and was recently in Vox Lumiere’s Phantom of the Opera and Metropolis. Accompanist William Roper is a distinguished tubaist who has played with such artists and ensembles as the Los Angeles philharmonic, Elton John, Anthony Braxton, Vinny Golia, and Wadada Leo Smith. Roper’s compositions have been performed in the U.S. and Europe, and he has also worked extensively in theater, dance and performance art. His work has been supported by the NEA, California Arts Council, City of L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs and the American Composers Forum, among others.