The Urgency of Quiet & Cops Are Actors are two distinct performances that converge for one night only. Circling around the gaps between the body and the self–where rehearsal ends and performance begins–both pieces challenge the critical distance inherent in spectatorship.
The Urgency of Quiet suggests the audience switch off one sense to amplify another, to engage with performance beyond the visual realm. Cops Are Actors asks viewers to see through metonymy, hesitations beneath a show of force. Though differing in content and delivery, both works puncture the fourth wall while forming subtle yet radical departures from preconceived notions of performance.
The Urgency of Quiet is written and directed by Barnett Cohen in collaboration with Lea Madda, Pearl Marill, Carolina Vargas, and Dre Matthews. Astral Props are a collaboration between Cohen and Eric Holbreich of House of 950.
Cops Are Actors is choreographed and directed by Tova Mozard. Actors/Cops are Darnell Baldwin, Al Burke and Chuck Saale.
Barnett Cohen originally received formal theatrical training, with an emphasis on breath and vocal work, at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. He then embarked upon a career as a visual artist with an interest in multiple disciplines, employing a wide-range of media—sculpture, painting, video, installation, and performance–-that collectively serve as meditations on the space between thought and the self and between the self and the body. His work has been exhibited at such venues as House of the Book (Los Angeles), 356 Mission (Los Angeles), Human Resources (Los Angeles), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), City Limits (Oakland), The International Center for Photography (New York), and La Galerie SEE Studio (Paris.) In 2019, he will present new work at The Neutra VDL House (Los Angeles), and at JDJ in Garrison, New York. He received a BA in English literature from Vassar College, an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and will be in-residence at the MacDowell Colony in 2019.
Tova Mozard (1978) is a Swedish artist living in Stockholm and Los Angeles. Mozard holds an MFA from the Malmö Art Academy, Sweden and has also studied photography at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has exhibited extensively, both in Sweden and internationally, and is represented in several public and private collections. The uncertainty one experiences as a viewer encountering the photographs and video works of Tova Mozard is related to the extent to which we are used to reading images and their contents. Mystery is a key element in her photographs, along with the information that has been omitted. The sense of finding yourself in the middle of a story is striking. Although Mozard’s compositions are made up of decayed environments, film sets and bizarre characters, making her photographs visually attractive, the viewer is left with a feeling that is both nostalgic and saturated. Mozard’s work reveals the nature of the relationship between the camera, the protagonist and the director. Sometimes relying on fiction and other times delving into her own biography, she takes on different roles in front of and behind the camera, testing the limits of directing and acting. Looking back, nostalgia and alienation are characteristic aspects of Mozard’s pictorial world. She exploits them in an evocative way, cleverly playing with our receptivity and empathy on various levels.