The Other Side of Life presents
NINNIE, R. KEENAN LAWLER
JOE DUTKIEWICZ with Special Guests
810 E. Market Street
Louisville, KY, 40206
Doors 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Cynthia Norton is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky. Influenced by folk aesthetics and the history of her surroundings, Norton’s work employs music, video, mixed media, and performance as her country-music alter ego NINNIE, in a manner that combines feminist thought with local and vernacular imagery inspired by the cultural traditions of the rural South, specifically of her native Kentucky. While often combining these mediums, Norton uses the portrayal of the traditions, readymade sculpture, storytelling, and technology. Her works often have a “homespun” quality -- from self-made musical instruments, constructed from suitcases and tennis rackets, to liquor stills that consist of buckets, copper tubing, and pressure cookers -- while her music ranges across blues and country classics sung in a warbling voice, to haunting dirges that recall the mysteries of mountain culture. These makeshift elements combined with her quirky persona -- complete with old-timey Southern costumes fit for the country music star -- all attest to Norton’s creativity and inventiveness. Fascinated by the culture of fictional celebrity that pervades amateur Country Music contests in the South, Norton employs NINNIE as a surrogate to address the struggle for women to be seen and heard while her ingenuity transcends ordinariness and revels her to be the Everywoman of Country and Blues. Norton’s most recent solo project opened at PAFA on March 2, 2012 in the Historic Landmark Building using paintings in the collection as sounding boards for a group of four video/song works, two installations, and four prints, which reflect variously on issues like the historic portrayal of women in art, paternalism and colonialism, and the vernacular forms of folk culture. Mixing high and low art, the exhibition creates a counterpoint between PAFA and its fine art collection and the cultural and musical history of the artist’s Kentucky home. Much like her performances of altered country and blues songs, the project is not an attempt to satirize these histories but, instead, to critically-and sometimes humorously- engage with ideas about myth, power, and identity. Cynthia Norton received a BFA from the University of Kentucky and an MFA in Time Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the past decade, Norton has exhibited and performed extensively in the USA, Europe, and Asia. In 2005 she was included in the exhibition Nowhere during the Styrian Autumn Festival in Graz, Austria, and in 2008 her work was featured in the exhibition The Old, Weird America: Folk Themes in Contemporary Art, organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston.
R. KEENAN LAWLER
R. KEENAN LAWLER is a guitarist who has collaborated or performed with a wide range of forward-thinking musicians and mavericks including Rhys Chatham, John Butcher, Eliott Sharp, Charalambides, Ignaz Schick/Perlonex, Kaffe Matthews, Burning Star Core, Jason Kahn, Ut Gret, Kevin Drumm, Helena Espvall, Ian Nagoski, Alan Licht, Taksuya Nakatani, Bhob Rainey, Eric Carbonara and Joseph Suchy.
Dreamland - Louisville
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