Karen Sherman
Hildas and Trojans + The Part That’s Human

1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
April 19, 2021 - April 25, 2021

Karen Sherman makes work that incorporates her background in dance, writing, theater, music, and the handyman arts. Hands-on in all aspects of her work, she choreographs and performs, builds sets and props, designs sound, and writes text. Her explorations in craft and visual art, including glassblowing, woodworking, and sculpture, illuminate how the body extends to and through other materials, culminating in an interdependent world where objects elucidate bodies, choreography is language, and words become tools. Her work as a freelance stage technician, technical director, and production manager for 25 years allows her to instinctively strategize the technical execution of her own work as she creates it, as well as directly serve other artists and the field as a whole. In conjunction with her show Soft Goods, which explored work, death, loss, and the occupational self-obliteration of stagehands, she partnered with Behind the Scenes, a national support organization, to create a mental health/chemical dependency counseling fund, the first in the nation specifically for technical production workers.

Her work has been presented nationally by Walker Art Center, P.S. 122, Center for the Art of Performance UCLA, PICA/TBA Festival, Fusebox Festival, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Hair+Nails Gallery, American Realness, The Southern Theater, Diverseworks, Movement Research, Highways Performance Space, ODC, and many others. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2020 Herb Alpert Award in Dance; a Bessie Award for her performance in Morgan Thorson's Faker; multiple McKnight Foundation Fellowships in Choreography and Dance; a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship; Sage Awards for her work as a choreographer, performer, and scenic designer; multiple MacDowell Colony Fellowships; and residencies through Vermont Performance Lab, Movement Research, ADI/Lumberyard, and the Bogliasco Foundation program in Liguria, Italy. She was a 2016-2017 Hodder Fellow in The Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University where she is currently an inaugural Caroline Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence in its dance program. Her writing has been featured in such forums as e-flux journal, Movement Research Performance Journal, Hair+Nails Gallery Zine, Good Job, Criticism Exchange, mnartists.org, and The Triumph of Poverty: Poems Inspired by the Work of Nicole Eisenman. For more information, please visit karenshermanperformance.org.

First image, above: video still from Hildas and Trojanssecond image, below: video still from The Part That’s Human.

Hildas and Trojans and The Part That’s Human will be projected each afternoon and evening, visible directly from the street at 1224 W Loyola Ave while the space itself remains closed to the public. These video works are a being shared as part of Movement Studies – a new series of screenings, performance, research, workshops, and reading groups created by artists in Chicagoland and across the Great Lakes region investigating social and environmental transitions.