On Feb 9th, Tyler Mills and Luxin Zhang shared their artworks in Arts Letters & Numbers with other artists and visitors. Tyler, who is an architect interested in queerness, opened up his environmental interpretation and created installational object. Luxin Zhang, a video performer, experimented her site-specific audience participating video performance in the studio.
Thinking of a queer generation whose stories and lives were lost to AIDS and those lives who we are losing today, this project is a memorial reflecting on those histories. The memorial is designed for the church of St. Francis of Xavier in NYC, which was the first Catholic church to address and provide services to those affected by the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and today. The work explores the connections of the sacred and of queerness. Installing this work in a church is also a political act of creating queer space and recognize a queer history within an institution that has been at odds with queer people.
Tyler Mills is a Providence, RI based architectural designer. He grew up in Maryland working in carpentry with his dad. Those experiences propelled him to pursue an education at the Rhode Island School of Design where he got his B.ARCH degree. His work explores the intersection of history, queerness and the built environment. An ongoing project "Queer the Church" is an proposal for continuing construction on St. Peter's Basilica which would open new space and new interpretations of the Catholic faith through a queer lens. Although his work can be viewed as simply "paper architecture," look closer and you will find in the detailing that it can be constructed. Currently he is working towards being a licensed architect.
Through video and live performance, Luxin Zhang explores the relationship between performer and audience under traditional physical stage performance perspective. In her work, the performer and the audience are relative concepts, and their positions are interchangeable. Her pieces seek to break down the hierarchy of the stage by bringing the performance to the viewer and playing with the expectations of the audience.
Luxin Zhang is an interdisciplinary artist and curator who works in the fields of performance, video, sound and photography. As a classically trained vocalist, she creates video and performance that seek to break down the hierarchy of the stage by bringing the performance to the viewer, and playing with audience expectation. Widening the lens of performance and stage to include original audience, gallery viewers and mundane “off stage” scenes expands the spectrum of a song’s larger subliminal language. Luxin Zhang holds a B.S from Far Eastern University and received her MFA from Syracuse University in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. She has exhibited and performed both internationally in galleries, museums, concert halls, including Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse; David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center in New York. Her work was also shown at Light Work in Syracuse, N.Y. She recently joined Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia, PA as an artist collective.