Notes on Empty Chairs (part 1)


Taking place over three Tuesday evenings at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Notes on Empty Chairs is a series of three one hour performances by Chicago-based artist Kirsten Leenaars, with assistance of Lindsey Barlag, that explore themes of empathy, loss, and remembrance in response to the exhibition Doris Salcedo. The performances are cumulative and -collaboratively developed with local community groups. The performances will take place on March 24, April 14 and May 19, 2015, 6-7 pm.

This first performance, Notes on Empty Chairs (part 1), performed on March 24, 2015, explores the notion of (an empathetic) silence, both as a complicit space as well as a space for remembrance and listening. Rather than posing speech, or one’s voice against silence, silence is proposed as a way not to grasp but to reach emotively for other forms of connecting to what often remains invisible or unspeakable. The performance incorporates spoken text, sound, and a simple choreography or movement as performers and audience travel through the museum.

The performers for Notes on Empty Chairs (part 1) include:
Marvin Tate, Kathleen Rooney, Martin Seay, Matthew Robinson, Regin Iglora, Monica Brown, Udita Upadhyaya, Sonia Yoon, Alexis Atwil, Christopher Gambino, Jada Armina Harvey, Tongyu Zhao, Valentina Vella, Nora Sharp, Mallory Backstrom, Alex Main, Alison Auwerda. Drummer: Dan Bitney. Camera: Paul Deuth.

Documentation video of Notes on Empty Chairs (part 1).

The following text was performed during the performance, (text written by Kirsten Leenaars):

Read the text 

Images of the performance:










Notes on Empty Chairs (part 2):