P·P·O·W is pleased to present our first exhibition of performances, artifacts and drawings by Tony Orrico. Since 2008, he has been exploring his own anatomical symmetry, combining his experience as a dancer and visual artist to inform the demanding durations and actions of his work. In the exhibit Petrified Acts, Orrico will complete three performances in the gallery using his body as a vehicle, guided by inherent impulses, to create work through timed manipulation of graphite, a surface and space. The remains of his performances will be exhibited alongside supplemental films that reveal how the works have been created. Together these works culminate to map out the artist’s carefully choreographed identity influenced by science and ritual.
Orrico presents works that delve into his exploration of surface and the various dichotomies that occur through application of his body; proximal and distal initiation, continuous and dynamic posturing, control and release. In the work waning Orrico uses friction between the graphite and the wall to trace the contour of the body in four standing orientations. When Orrico meets a fold, or joint, in his body he releases muscular tension ultimately causing the dead weight of his body to propel across the wall leaving the evidence of the action in the trailing lines. After the performance is finished, Orrico reproaches the lines to solidify action into sediment through color blocking bilaterally. He does this while alternating pressure between left and right hand creating a dissonant rhythm between pressure, a lateralization of the mind and movement.
Orrico has said that “Commonly, the mind is the impetus of a gesture, and artists have a knack for refining gesture” and through the presented work Accelerated Image: Yvonne Rainer’s Hand Movie he challenges himself to further tribute and refine the gestures performed by Rainer. For Orrico, Rainer's disembodied hand in Hand Movie (1966) becomes bodied in the sense that it functions autonomously; it deciphers its own direction through time and space with no impositions. Orrico’s performed sequence is a live tessellation across a single plane in space. Through his homage, he accelerates Rainer’s original movements by performing them forward and backward, regenerating the image beyond the frame.
The second room of the exhibition houses two works on paper, Textile: SELJAVALLALAUG SWIM and Penwald 18: seven drum stand both works exhibit the artists varied concentration between control, rhythm and release. Orrico’s Penwald series is comprised of bilateral drawings in which Orrico explores the use of his body as a tool of measurement; inscribing dimensions through movement. Textile: SELJAVALLALAUG SWIM is Orrico’s only dominant-hand drawing where he rigorously repeats his record of the same seven memories, revealing deviations, imperfections through cross-hatching and empty space as icon of the synapse between memories.
The final gallery houses the artifact of /Vessel for Governing and Conception/ alongside the film CARBON set. The film exhibits Orrico’s performances over a period of a week at Polyforum Siqueiros, Mexico City in 2012, and presents narratives beyond drawing, confounding surfaces and transformation of mediums within his practice. In /Vessel for Governing and Conception/ Orrico maps out his innate sense of bodily geography using loose graphite that he releases from barrow negro pottery. He begins by locating his center line, then further divides his body into segments; signifying the simultaneous balance and opposition of energy that flows both Yin and Yang until completely consumed by graphite. This performance further embodies Orrico’s symmetry practice in which he pushes his awareness of point and line, peripheral expansion, levitation and suspension.
Tony Orrico has been presented and exhibited in the US, Australia, France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain. His visual work is in the permanent collections of The National Academy of Sciences (Washington DC) and Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) in Mexico City, as well as prominent private collections. He has been presented at New Museum (NYC) and Poptech 2011: The World Rebalancing. As a former member of Trisha Brown Dance Company and Shen Wei Dance Arts, Orrico has graced such stages as the Sydney Opera House, Teatro La Fenice, New York State Theater, and Théâtre du Palais-Royal. Orrico’s Penwald: 4: 8 circles: 8 gestures is included in the exhibition Simple Shapes at Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, France from June 13th through November 5, 2014.