A Chicago-based performance artist, my practice is in cultivating a bridge between performance and sculpture that lingers in the intimacy between human presence, matter, and site. Both technical and philosophical, my interdisciplinary art practice integrates process-based installation with thematically-based live performance. The both lasting and fleeting environment presents a point of attraction between somatic, material, persona and meditation. I work to facilitate visceral art experiences that stem from both the personal and poetic so as to envelope the senses in dream-like states of being.
I have devised and developed my process for performance art making through a self designed philosophy that weaves together theories of deconstruction, corporeal study, material explorations, and hybrid writing with both solo and collaborative projects. I Invite audiences and participants to survey a landscape of collected refractions between the living body and the physical matter. The boundaries of performance are left blurry and acknowledge the challenging exchange between performer and viewer. By calling out my audience, by getting into close proximity, and by confusing our casual and abstract behaviors, I try to shorten the distance between performance and witness.
My sculptural practice combines found or salvaged materials and site-referential research with design and craftsmanship. In exploring the performativity of materials, I build furniture, sew garments, compose sound-scapes, and construct scenographic installations. The materials have an imaginative function that is in relation to the live body. I build specific sculpture pieces that are activated during performance, and also serve through their stillness as an essential part of the site. Intimacy between the object and the performer is explored through performative mediums such as sound and process-based installation. My practice contemplates the strata of meaning imbedded within materials and bodies, working with the performativity of site and time-frames to embody a determined set of provisions improvisationally.
Language as material, is integral to my practice. Hybrid writing—the cumulous collaboration between prose and poetry. In the unions and collisions of logic systems, emerge visceral feelings and images in writing. Integrating the familiar with the strange to participate with surrealist narrative. I destabilize the unitary sense of words and leave meaning ambiguous, swiveling off of puns and plays on words. Swimming through the sedimentation of language, we come up for air in the unreified.
My performances are mapped with structures for improvisation that poetically frame perceptual abilities, anatomy, senses, and sensory objects. The practice of improvisation is a practice of observing, listening and of participation. Improvisation is a place to experience acknowledgement, unknowing, the effort to understand, and the willingness to live. Through the sequence of actions, re-actions and repetitions, an improvisation score provides the logical structure with which to unpack a surrealist narrative, present happenings, and site-specific on-site in-performance research. Through this complexity I question the tools in which we use to navigate between the inner and the outer.
Amelia Charter regularly performs one-on-one, offers group and private creative restorative sessions, and coordinates Movement Improvisation Laboratories. She received a BA in Performance and Directing, an MFA and fellowship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was co-founder of Denver Performance Research, and is currently working with artists KJ Holmes, Precious Jennings, and Elizabeth Watt. Charter is a Links Hall fiscally-sponsored artist this fall. Her performances have been featured with artist-run organizations and larger curations in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, and internationally in India.