Reclaiming the Dancefloor as a Site of Resistance in North Texas with Guest Artist Brendan Fernandes. For this First Friday event at the Greater Denton Arts Council, artist Brendan Fernandes presents Free Fall 49, a dance, sculptural, and performance work that reflects on the mass shooting that occurred at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. For two hours, a collective body of dancers will fall 49 times, once for every victim lost in this tragedy. This work engages the falling body as a metaphor for queer politics in an attempt to understand brutality and offer sanctuary. It acts as a memorial to the men and women at Pulse, whose appearance and culture were at a charged intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. Here the metaphor of falling includes the perseverance of getting back up, and defiance in the face of perceived defeat.
Brendan Fernandes Bio:
Brendan Fernandes (b. 1979, Nairobi, Kenya lives and works in Chicago) is a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent. He completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007) and earned his MFA from the University of Western Ontario (2005) and his BFA from York University in Canada (2002). Fernandes has exhibited widely domestically and abroad, including exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal; The National Gallery of Canada, Ontario; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Sculpture Centre, New York; The Quebec City Biennial; and the Third Guangzhou Triennial in China.
Fernandes has been awarded many highly regarded residencies around the world, including The Canada Council for the Arts International Residency in Trinidad and Tobago (2006), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Work Space (2008), Swing Space (2009) and Process Space (2014) programs, and invitations to the Gyeonggi Creation Centre at the Gyeonggi Museum of Art, Korea (2009) and ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (2011). He was a finalist for the Sobey Art Award, Canada's pre-eminent award for contemporary art in 2010, and was on the longlist for the award in 2013 and 2015. In 2014, he was a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Residency and Fellowship. Recent exhibitions include, Lost Bodies which originated at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University, Ontario (2016), traveled to the Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto (2017) and culminated in the catalogue, Lost Bodies: Brendan Fernandes. His recent monograph, Brendan Fernandes: Still Move, was published by Black Dog Press, London, in Fall of 2016. Fernandes is currently represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. His first solo exhibition at Monique Meloche Gallery, Free Fall, took place in January 2017, and an expanded version of the performance, Free Fall 49, took place at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles in summer 2017. Upcoming solo projects include The High Line, New York (summer 2018), and the DePaul University Art Museum (fall 2018). He is currently Artist in Residence and Faculty at Northwestern University in the Department of Art Theory and Practice.
Read more about Brendan at http://www.brendanfernandes.ca