After a year in the making, artist Marc Arthur debuts Mascot, a cross-disciplinary performance that combines painting, sculpture, dance and theater, into a visually and conceptually rigorous hour-long experience. Following the success of the artist’s recent collaboration with Jack Pierson at Xavier Hufkens Gallery in Brussels, this project unpacks perception and loss to investigate the nature of violence through live painting.
Using visceral materials like latex and fiber, four performers will create three large paintings while extensive choreography, text and music guide their actions. Doves are also used by performers during each event which focuses on capturing the live performance through physical transformation. The performances will live on as permanent art works when the paint dries. This non-narrative piece builds on structures created by Merce Cunningham and is rooted in techniques perfected by theater and visual artists alike, including The Wooster Group, Richard Foreman, Robert Wilson, the Viennese Actionists and the Abstract Expressionists.
Mascot envisions a new performance practice that bridges the relationship between painting and contemporary performance through Arthur’s highly stylized cross-disciplinary vision. Marc Arthur explains, “Mascot is my largest piece to date and builds from a recent collaboration with artist Jack Pierson at Xavier Hufkens Gallery and my 2011 performance Peter/Wolf which involved 10 children painting a 20 foot canvas during a live performance. The opportunity to present this piece at the former home of the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio was a serendipitous moment that I truly could not miss.”
Marc Arthur is an artist that investigates theater as a total medium — moving between forms
of representation to interpret and construct conditions of identity, history and time. His body of
work has been built on an unfamiliar blending of the worlds of painting, theater, dance, media
and art history. He pays homage to the great avant-garde art movements of the early twentieth-
century while simultaneously incorporating his own unique signature of live painting, sculpture
and contemporary performance.
Arthur’s work has been produced at Xavier Hufkens Gallery, New Langton Arts, David
Cunningham Projects, LaMaMa, Dixon Place, The Living Theater, and the University
Settlement. He has attended numerous residencies including the Emily Harvey Foundation,
Venice (07); and Frise, Hamburg (09). As head of research at Performa, Arthur works closely
with RoseLee Goldberg on publications and historical projects for the Biennial. He is also a
contributing writer to Performa Magazine. Arthur has studied at Universität der Künste, Berlin;
California College of the Arts, San Francisco; and in the dramatic writing program at Tisch,