'CORE' - A collaboration with Luis Adorno, Ben Billingsley and Grey Pascal (2016)
Video of CORE coming soon. For now Hippolyta is holding this space....
Printmaker Ben Billingsley, Musician Luis Adorno, Performance artist and Sculptor Grey Pascal and Choreographer/Scene Designer Karola Luettringhaus are collaborating on a piece that is part interactive installation, part performance, exploring the forming of beliefs, the shedding of the unnecessary, and the dismantling of social constructs such as shame, guilt, and hatred. This performance contains nudity and invites mature brains into an honest and open exchange.
Ben Bilingsley, Karola Luettringhaus
Karola Lüttringhaus, Ben Billingsley, Grey Pascal, Luis Adorno
Composition, music, live performance
Prints, visual art, live painting
Karola Luettringhaus, Ben Billingsley
Grey Pascal, Karola Luettringhaus
Karola Luettringhaus, Tara Rogan Noland
Luis Adorno, Karola Luettringhaus, Grey Pascal, Ben Billingsley, Casey O'Heffernan, Sarah Royal
Tara Rogan Noland
Special Thanks go to:
Michael Epting, Brandon Guthrie and CFCC's
Humanities and Fine Arts Department for their support of this project, the CFCC Foundation and the
Arts Council of Wilmington.
Thoughts about 'CORE' - Ben Billingsley
"Core" developed over time, with an emphasis on collaboration. In the earliest stages, we realized we shared a common vision of addressing social and cultural issues about gender and identity - the "masks" or "skins" we wear in public as opposed to who we truly are inside. In some ways, I think the most descriptive explanation I can give of "Core" is that it is similar to a performance art "happening" from the 1960s. I think of the set as a "living sculpture" which the audience is encouraged to investigate and explore. At various points, the artists will begin to move through the set performing a variety of actions for the audience. Personally, I think of us as being four characters, each on their own individual paths who encounter and react to one another, as we do in the real world. Karola's journey involves issues of gender and empowerment - learning to accept and celebrate an authentic self. Grey deals with rediscovering self-identity in the face of obstacles and oppression. Luis provides a sound-based experience which combines elements of our social/public lives with natural sounds and social commentary - a combination of our social and animal aspects, in a way. I embody a kind of artist - an observer, at first, who alters/manipulates /exhibits visual imagery in response to their observations of our natural and social world.
"Core" is definitely open to interpretation - each audience member will bring their own experience/baggage to the piece and have a unique reaction to it. Hopefully, ideas about body-image, gender-identity, repression and empowerment will surface in viewers' minds. In many ways, "Core" is about how we are different (and how we're made to feel separate from one another) based upon surface appearances - while also addressing the essential aspects of our humanity that bring us together (our universal need for love, acceptance and opportunity for actualization). If we can shed shame about ourselves over things we cannot change - if we can ameliorate our false but socially-imposed guilt about our true identities - if we can identify hatred as a concept based upon focusing on our surface differences rather than celebrating our abiding similarities - then we will have approached an understanding of the core of our humanity."
Thoughts about 'CORE' - Grey Pascal
"I think the seed for this piece can be traced back to Ben's idea to have a workshop with Karola for CFCC's students and alumni. It feels like each of us has total freedom, but we also give and receive feedback. Much of it developed through the inspiration and rejection of many different ideas that eventually boiled down to what we have now. I enjoyed how dialogue with each other was such a strong driving force for the piece. Seems like we covered everything from spirituality, creativity, current events, censorship, and much more.
In our culture, public nudity equals shame. We confront that notion. Many aspects of our past experience or present identities that are beyond our control evoke guilt. Elements of these traits and memories are incorporated into the narrative. Everyone has personal experience with hatred. I think that those who choose to experience this interactive piece will sense the emotional responses and defense mechanisms we use to deal with hatred even though hatred may not be represented in a literal or direct way.
I think that the premise for this performance is fear. That seems to be where we all began. I keep asking myself over and over again, "What am I afraid to say or do?" Whatever answer I get I try to put into the work. Also, much of my piece deals with the essence of fear from my childhood that I have carried with me for most of my life, but from which, miraculously, I am now free. For me, it's about the journey from fear to freedom."
Thoughts about 'CORE' - Karola Lüttringhaus
'Knowing: what is knowledge?
Feeling: what are feelings?
Believing: why do we defend our beliefs to the extent of destruction?
Why do we choose belief over knowledge?
Fear: what is fear?
Hatred: what is hatred?
Honesty: what is honesty?
Honesty: I would appreciate some fucking honesty.
Freedom: what is freedom?
Love: what is love?
Egotism: choosing one's own well-being over that of another/others.
Truth: … ?
Pain: what is pain?
Evolution: I am just so tired of hearing the same old shit.
Censorship: Is there a price for being honest, true, fearless, and free,... for seeking Knowledge and for abandoning the old, useless, skins that were put on us?
Luis Adorno/Inference Engine
Inference Engine is a project created by Wilmington student, artist, and musician (who performs under The Waking Life) Luis Adorno in 2015 in order to get local musicians from all areas together to create collaborative and improvisational site specific pieces of music and sound art. The collectives first performance was at the Cameron Art Museum for their exhibit Response Is The Medium where the crowd was encouraged to interact with the art as well as accompany the group on various instruments that were provided.
is a painter and printmaker living in Wlimington, North Carolina. He holds an MFA from UNCGreensboro (1995). He has exhibited work in the Southeastern United States as well as in Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Japan. He has been a regular participant in the large-scale woodblock printing events held in Carolina Beach, at UNCW and at ECU since 2010. In summer 2015, Ben was co-director of a printmaking symposium at Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum in Sabile, Latvia; participants carved and printed large-scale 1 meter by 2 meter woodblocks using a steamroller. (This was the first time steamroller printing has been done at Pedvale, and most likely the first time such an event has been done in Latvia.) This was Ben's second residency at Pedvale. Ben has taught studio art and art history at Cape Fear Community College full-time since 2001. In 2006 Benjamin Billingsley received the Marilyn Goodman Anderson Endowed Award for Excellence in Teaching. He teaches a variety of studio courses (including drawing and printmaking) as well as various art history courses. In 2015, Ben joined the Teaching Artist faculty at DREAMS of Wilmington. In addition, Ben has lectured regularly for UNCW's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Cameron Art Museum. In 2015 was the guest curator for the CAM exhibition;The Eye Learns: Modernist Prints from the Belden Collection; Ben has created artwork for the cover of a variety of publications including: Daniel Nathan Terry's full length poetry collections City of Starlings from Sibling Rivalry Press (2015) and Waxwings from Lethe Press (2012); the full length poetry collection Hide Behind Me by Jason Mott from Main Street Rag (2011); and the poetry chapbook Days of Dark Miracles by Daniel Nathan Terry from Seven Kitchens Press (2011). Currently, Ben is working on a site-specific print-installation and performance art piece for the 2016 Sarus Festival, and will be an artist in residence (organizing a steamroller printing event) at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in summer 2017. Ben is the third generation artist and art instructor in his family. His maternal grandfather, Robert Schellin, was a painter / printmaker / ceramicist based in Milwaukee, WI - he worked for the WPA during the Great Depression and taught art for the University of Wisconsin system for many years. Ben's parents are Carl Billingsley (MFA, UWM) and Catherine Billingsley (MFA, ECU). Carl is an award-winning sculptor whose work was displayed in downtown Wilmington, NC in 2008 through Ped Art. Catherine is a weaver specializing in large-scale tapestries. Carl and Catherine have both retired from teaching at East Carolina University's School of Art and Design.
Ben would like to thank:
Brandon Guthrie and CFCC's Humanities and Fine Arts Department for their support of this project
The CFCC Foundation and Arts Council of Wilmington and NHC for their support of Karola's CFCC workshop which led to this project.
Ojars Feldbergs, Laura Miglone and the artists of the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum in Sabile, Latvia for inspiring me to explore performance art
- and most importantly, the collaborative artists of "Core" : Karola, Luis and Grey - for their support, encouragement, criticism and dedication
Grey Pascal's conceptual sculptures, installations, and performance art are propelled by metaphysics and materials. He challenges traditional notions of what constitutes art and questions deep-seated assumptions associated with natural laws through deliberate and monomaniacal repetition of recycled materials numbering in the hundreds or even thousands, typically collected over a period of several years. His work is meant to excite other artists and to inspire people unaffiliated with the art world. Grey holds degrees in liberal arts, general science, and fine art from CFCC and is resident of ACME Art Studios.
CORE short 1 video
This project is supported by: