The Weekend List: Artist Mary Ann Peters, Cobain documentary at SIFF, Complex Movements at OTB

By Florangela Davila, Joseph Sutton-Holcomb, Nicole Capozziello and special guest C. Davida Ingram
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See "Stardust" and other works by Seattle artist Mary Ann Peters at the James Harris Gallery.

By Florangela Davila, Joseph Sutton-Holcomb, Nicole Capozziello and special guest C. Davida Ingram

Featuring picks from artist C. Davida Ingram

Earlier this year at the wonderful Genre Bender event, conceptual artist C. Davida Ingram blew audiences away with a spoken word/audio/film project about love and discovering why she could not cry.

“I’m not a sketch-in-the-studio artist,” Ingram, 38, explains. “I tend to have some question on my mind that I want to pursue.” That approach results in some provocative, spiritual, stays-with-you-for-months type of work. Like when she explored the labels, name calling, perceptions and identities of African Americans with “Stereotype,” a show she curated at the LxWxH gallery last year. Or when she tackled the notion of white privilege in 2006 by placing this ad on Craigslist: Black woman willing to make your favorite meal. Strangers signed up; Ingram cooked.

In her latest project, Ingram queried a range of people about their hopes and dreams for themselves and their community. “I feel like everyday people are philosophers,” she says. Her “Eyes to Dream: A Project Room” includes recordings of these voices alongside text-based work from “Stereotype” and photos and pieces from Ingram’s 2014 performance show “I Wish a Mother Would.” (If you go, look at a lacy white dress embroidered with dried fish; it’s about feminism, women of color and mermaids.)

“I want to make art that’s not inconsequential,” says Ingram, a transplant from Chicago who is arguably one of the city’s most appreciated artists. She’s a convener, a connector, a multi-hyphenate with a warmth and intelligence who has generated many friends and fans. Her newest daytime job is doing public engagement work for the Seattle Public Library. I, for one, can’t wait to see what impact she’ll have there.

In the meantime, Ingram shares some of her not-to-miss events for Crosscut's Weekend List.

If you go: “Eyes to Dream: A Project Room,” Northwest African American Museum, now through July 5 ($7) — F.D.

* Denotes events that are $15 or less

Mary Ann Peters *

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She does really beautiful, large-scale abstract works about memory and history,” says Ingram. The Seattle-based painter has been exploring her own Syrian and Lebanese ancestry of late. She is known for her political and social activism.

If you go: Mary Ann Peters, James Harris Gallery in Seattle, Now through May 9, (Free) — C.D.I.

Buster Simpson *

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Palouse Campanile by Buster Simpson

“He’s been doing social practice work, countercultural work, for years,” Ingram says. “He’s shown internationally but he’s not always known here at home.” This is Simpson's first one-person gallery show. It features works about the urban environment and nature from his 40-year career, including pieces made at various residencies as well as work shown in a 2013 retrospective at the Frye Museum. “Buster has spent his career identifying urban maladies, " said Scott Lawrimore, curator of that Frye retrospective. "… and his works can be viewed as prescriptions.”

If you go: Buster Simpson, Greg Kucera Gallery, Now through May 16 (free) — C.D.I

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck *

Considered the first authorized documentary of the music legend, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck uses home videos, journals and personal interviews with Kurt’s loved ones to paint a breathtaking, breathless picture of the artist’s tumultuous life and success. At the 7 p.m. showing on Thursday, director Brett Morgen will be on hand to discuss the film, which has been lauded by both fans and critics for its intensity and intimacy. Rolling Stone calls it an “eight-years-in-the-making collective labor of love.”


If you go: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, April 23 through April 30 (showtimes vary) ($9-$12) — N.C.

Saul Williams is a cryptic amalgam of images and words. A post from April 3 links to an Executive Order from the White House concerning illegal cyber activity. A March 28 entry displays a block of text consisting mostly of phrases like “Hack into the rebellious gene. Hack into narcissism. The effects of poverty on the psyche. The effects of race. The effects of cruelty.” There are many images, seeminglyfrom all over the world. According to the press release, this new endeavor from rapper/poet Saul Williams is “a multimedia project that engages the digital dialogue between the 1st and 3rd worlds, and the global street sounds that yoke the two.” The album was recorded in Senegal, Reunion Island, Paris, Haiti, New Orleans and New York. Williams’ hip-yet-intelligent blend of rap with more formal spoken-word poetry has earned him a diverse and substantial following. Trent Reznor and Rick Rubin have both produced albums for him, but Williams produced this latest release himself. (Embedding has been disabled, but you can see the video go here.)

If you go: Saul Williams, Chop Suey, April 23 ($20-25).21+ — J.S.H.

Jeffrey Karl Ochsner *

Crosscut archive image.In recent years, Jeffrey Karl Ochsner has given a lecture on the history of Seattle architecture from the 1880s to present. This Saturday, the dynamic and insanely knowledgeable U.W. professor focuses on the development and lasting impacts of regional modern architecture, also described as Northwest Regionalism. Ochsner will focus on residential and small institutional buildings erected between 1930 and 1970. While I haven’t seen this lecture yet, I can guarantee that Ochsner will give us all a new appreciation for the structures we pass by every day.

If you go: Jeffrey Ochsner, Seattle Central Library, 1 p.m. on April 25, All ages (Free) — N.C.

Complex Movements: Beware of the Dandelions *

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Photo by Vanessa Miller

“They’re a media arts collective out of Detroit that does smart, consistent, community-oriented work,” says C. Davida Ingram. The group is inspired by 99-year-old Detroit activist Grace Lee Boggs. Its latest work is a mobile art installation that weaves together hip hop, architecture, theater and community organizing. Several free events preview the installation, followed by discussions. Performances are sold out but a wait list is available.

If you go: Complex Movements: Beware of the Dandelions, On the Boards, Preview installation events (free) begin April 25; performances are May 7-10 ($25). — C.D.I

Alice Gosti: How to Become a Partisan

On the 70th anniversary of Italy’s liberation from fascism, Alice Gosti, who bills herself as a “space transformer,” presents a 5-hour, world premiere immersive event with dance, choirs and musical compositions by Hanna Benn. Ingram is a big fan of Benn, who was her creative collaborator for this year's Genre Bender event. About Gosti she has this to say: “I love the way she [Gosti] thinks.” Gosti is another local artist who doesn't shy away from performances that push buttons and prompt deep thoughts. A piece this long is sure to challenge audiences. But it’s a come-and-go experience so you can drop in at any time.

If you go: Alice Gosti: How to Become a Partisan, St. Mark’s Cathedral, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 25 ($18) — C.D.I

Mommy Long Legs *

There are so many articles chastising Millennials for their apathy, abuse of technology, lack of empathy, etc. Making jokes at their expense isn’t nearly as fun as it used to be. Regardless, it’s worth noting that as the Facebook generation ages, rock music has never been more nihilistic or ironic, and Seattle is leading the charge into the inky abyss.

The ladies of Mommy Long Legs are killer because they keep their nihilistic Millennial rock amusing. Like local musical trendsetters Chastity Belt and Tacocat, Mommy Long Legs’ lyrics find humor in faux-enthusiasm and tongue-in-cheek quips. They sing in baby talk, and Cali girl accents. The cover of their debut album, “Life Rips,” shows a girl sitting in a grave; a tombstone behind her reads “Life R.I.P.S.” Musically, Mommy Long Legs makes stripped-down punk rock injected with lots of sun and surf. The band opens for garage rock duo Pony Time at the Highline, and tickets can only be bought at the door.

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If you go: Mommy Long Legs, Pony Time, The Highline, April 28 ($7) 21+ — J.S.H.


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