Yes, it’s time for more of that lovely performance art. Today we bathe in the radiance of Mr Joseph Ravens, a fearlessly non-conformist artist who uses the medium of “action and movement” to “project energy and images with abundant focus.” Not just that, of course. Mr Ravens also “devises highly stylised situations in which images and actions coalesce to produce decidedly poetic, often conceptual, narratives.” It’s decidedly poetic. He says so himself.
Naturally, all this decidedly poetic energy projection is harnessed to “touch on subjects such as materialism, insatiability, conformity, and alienation,” with works presented in “hay fields, school buses, closets, and [on] rooftops.” “My images and ideas are designed to have impact,” says he, “while at the same time embracing depth, resonance, and artistic integrity.” Pondering his own efforts to awe and enlighten, Mr Raven adds, “Only a short time ago I realised that in much of my work I am expelling something from my body. I often produce objects from my mouth, my anus, or compartments within my sculptural costumes. For me, these objects represent creation and the creative impulse.” I’ll just leave that one there, I think.
In the following piece, titled Ravenous and performed in 2012 during the Venice International Performance Art Week, Mr Ravens projects his energies, poetically, with the aid of a marker pen, feathers and a small metallic groin cup. Go on, taste the art.
Feel free to applaud.
If you’re wondering what the black circle is about, and I’m sure you are, the artist reveals its mystery: “A black circle is often present in my performances. Representing a sort of existential hollowness and insatiability (a spiritual void), this symbol is a direct reference to my never-ending hunger to find pattern and purpose within an imposing and random universe.” Other major works include the weighty and thrilling Strange Bird, photographs of which can be seen here, and Fly Away, a towering effort involving “paper, ink and a large carrot,” and in which said carrot is chewed to a pulpy mass and then regurgitated onto a bird table.
Mr Ravens is a “recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Interdisciplinary / Performance Art, the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for New Performance Forms, and an Artist Project grant in New Performance Forms from the Illinois Arts Council.”