An exhibition at Franklin Furnace in 2019.
Between 1987 and 2012, Franklin Furnace hosted and funded performances by artists Frank Moore (1987, 1989), Linda Sibio (1991), Gary Corbin (2005), Lisa Bufano (2006-7), and Dustin Grella (2012). These five artists utilize the ambivalent forces of hyper- and in-visibility directed towards them within a culture of ableism to captivate audiences and challenge viewers to confront their own relationships to ability, access, and identity. The performances of these disparate artists each point towards alternative modes of existence and relation.
[Label This] is the product of the passionate efforts of a group of Franklin Furnace’s 2019 interns. The topic of ability is personal, complicated, and important to highlight. Through this exhibition, we hope to work in concert with the project of Disability Awareness Month (July) by reiterating the importance of promoting diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity in the arts.
We focused primarily on works supported by Franklin Furnace (and of which original documentation resides within Franklin Furnace’s archives) and chose to incorporate some of these artists’ more recent work in order to trace their artistic development. We are excited to display documentation of work from these extraordinary artists who are connected through Franklin Furnace.
This exhibition and zine were curated by Rebekah Boggs (University of Virginia), Roxy McHaffey (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Alyssa Rodriguez (Brown University), Mari Sato (Bates College), Allison Schaum (Brown University), and Van Tingley (New York University).
Here are some of the pages from the zine produced as part of the exhibition. Franklin Furnace intern, Alyssa Rodriguez, was one of the curators of the show and she was responsible for researching Frank and curating the portions of the exhibition and zine that explore his work.
Download the pdf of these pages here:
Here is the text from the Frank Moore pages:
“I’m lucky to be an exhibitionist in this body. I like to be around people, but not in a polite way. I like to get down, talk about what you really feel, and play.”
Frank Moore interviewed by Chiori Santiago for “Artist on a Roll” in the October 4, 1985 issue of East Bay Express
As a performance artist and self-proclaimed shaman, Frank Moore is recognized for his development of eroart and the concept of eroplay, which he defined as “an intense physical playing or touching oneself and others.” 1 Moore postulated that intimate community, formed through playful, asexual contact, could serve as a critical tool in the promotion of spiritual healing and human flourishing. An antidote to the social fragmentation and self-alienation necessitated by a culture of individualism, eroplay calls for psychic presence, vulnerability, and spontaneity.
Franklin Furnace hosted and helped fund Frank Moore’s performances of Intimate Cave in 1987 and Journey to Lila in 1989. These pieces, like much of Moore’s eroart, consisted of sustained, multi-hour sessions and incorporated elements of meditation, ritual magic, vocalization, rhythmic percussion, physical gesture, painting, projected image, and nude physical exploration to create an immersive world experience – a realm of fantastical possibility, which he called the “awake-dream.” Moore himself performed random gestures and vocalizations throughout these sessions. Local performers, musicians, and dancers were invited to participate as a cast of playful and eccentric characters, guiding the audience towards active participation. Moore urged his audiences to surrender their fears and inhibitions and embrace pleasure in the taboo.
Moore, who was born with cerebral palsy, cited his body as a creative asset, granting him freedom from societal expectations and normative standards of conduct. Moore firmly argued for the generative, world-making potential of embodied performance to manifest new modes of relation beyond culturally sanctioned conventions.
Moore’s creative work is inherently tied to his political beliefs and personal philosophy, which drew upon psychology, non-western spiritual traditions, the occult, and the creative, spiritual, and political countercultures of the 1960s. A prolific writer, painter, and musician, Moore was a resolutely anti-establishment advocate for difficult art.
Moore campaigned for the US Presidency in the 2008 election cycle. His performances and video works can be viewed online at https://vimeo.com/frankmoore
These works, as well as many of Moore’s visual and written works can be accessed via Frank Moore’s Web of All Possibilities: https:www.eroplay.com/
Background image: Frank Moore & Chero Company, 1989. Photographed by Eric Kroll
1 Caves* a book for a performance tour by Frank Moore, 1987