FACE IT: Spoken Word Fun Inspired by Art Etched with a Pen of Light. Collaborations between Russil Tamsen and Anita Wexler. Available as illustrated e-book. Word Count: 10,549. Includes 57 poems, 57 psychedelic drawings, plus 8 bonus color plates; 135 pages; pdf file format for iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, laptops and desktops.
Blurb: This multimedia project is a unique, fascinating collaboration which evolved out of a virtual coffee table book. The two creative teammates have turned a neo-primitive art collection into a modern illustrated poetry show.
In her swirling, 60’s psychedelic “scratch art” style, Anita drew a myriad of trippy, densely detailed portraits. These female faces hail from aboriginal and mythical cultures. Mostly androgynous, they flaunt plump yet unsmiling lips. Their serious stare is challenging, and yet challenged. Whose faces are we looking at in this mirror? What will we find lurking behind those unsmiling eyes if we dare to interact? Painful mysteries, tender vulnerabilities, kinky mating calls? Silent, hard-won lessons in love gone wrong? Anita wonders about life for the modern woman: how to navigate the rushing waters of sadness, or find trustworthy sexual partners, or calm the fearful craziness that lurks inside. She suggests digging deep down into one’s soul ancestry and Nature for healing answers, and to find beauty in the details en route. These simple, healthy obsessions are on display in her work.
Each of Anita Wexler’s faces became the inspiration for a spoken word piece by Russil Tamsen. During the FACE IT show, Russil toys with themes of male-female relationships and their endings. The pieces are ground zero for the evening’s polycultural detonation. Throughout the four-part evening, Russil tosses out a variety of tight character monologues, dark poems, humorous limericks – even rap. (He’s like John Leguizamo, Eddie Izzard and Chief Joseph rolled up into one animated shapeshifter.) His poetic flow even branches out into philosophy and meditational haiku. Plenty of humor shines through the ever-morphing literary juggernaut.
For the FACE IT gallery lit show, Russil’s lady partner-in-crime will be a certain local performance artist/speaker.
His vision for the evening: the audience will enter through a lobby where a large face mask hangs. Three gallery projection screens will create an equilateral triangle around the main room. To the right will be the projected slideshow of drawings from FACE IT. To the left will be a quick-paced, trippy slideshow from a Tumblr blog called Quirkyvision that represents the distractions of the digital age. Behind the audience will be a large e-reader/teleprompter. The guests will follow the thread that alternates between the two narrators standing on either side of Anita’s projections. The evening will be punctuated with music interludes, perhaps dubstep or the psybient of Shpongle, plus a few audience-participation improv games.
Audio clip (takes a moment to load):
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