Pegi Christiansen: Distance

Pegi Christiansen
Photo: Ben Krapf
Photo: Ben Krapf

Exhibition: September 28-October 11, 2015
Performance: Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11, 4:00 p.m. A reception follows the Saturday performance. For more info click here.
Failure Round Robin: Saturday, April 25, 2015, 1-2:30 pm. For more info click here.
Exquisite Corpses: Making Art Together - A Workshop with Theresa Columbus: Sunday, August 2, 2015, 10 am-12 pm. For more info click here.
The Landscape of Memory, Loss and Desire: A Performance Workshop with Jennifer Holmes: Sunday, August 2, 2015, 1 pm-4 pm. For more info click here.

Pegi Christiansen’s grandson, born in 2013, lives in Los Angeles with her daughter--1756 miles by plane. Her mother lives in Phoenix--1460 miles by plane. Critical people in the development of her art--Theresa Columbus, John Loscuito, and Jennifer Holmes--live 641, 1183, and 1756 miles away by plane.

The shortest route between Christiansen’s home and the Lynden Sculpture Garden is 23 miles. By bus this would take 2 1/2 hours each way. It is too far for her to bike easily, so she drives her car.

For her yearlong residency, beginning in September 2014, Christiansen will address distance in three different ways:

Distance, A Performance and Exhibition
Christiansen is collaborating with Jennifer Holmes, John Loscuito, and Theresa Columbus on a project tentatively titled “Distance” that will be presented at the Lynden Sculpture Garden as an exhibit and performance in October 2015. As part of this project, Christiansen will be taking a photograph of herself at dawn at Lynden once a month in modeling poses she has developed into trademarks.

Distance performance at Lynden Sculpture Garden

Distance Visits
Christiansen had never visited Lynden until the Bradley Family Foundation made the civic-minded decision to open it to the public in 2009. Since then, it has become a treasured Milwaukee County destination. She has escorted friends and family there, especially to see the temporary outside installations.

Throughout her residency, Christiansen will accompany people to Lynden who have not been there before. She will pick them up, drive them out, take a walk with them, and bring them back. As part of the excursion, Christiansen will ask a series of questions about distance. (This will not limit the nature of the conversation, but will be part of the discussion.) Christiansen will write about these trips on the Lynden blog.

If you are interested in participating, please call 414-446-8794 or email and mention you are interested in a “distance visit.”

The Qualities of Distance
Distance has emotional as well as physical qualities. In the spring of 2015 Christiansen will hold a Failure Round Robin at Lynden. Christiansen feels failure creates distance between people. Everyone who attends will have five minutes to share a failure and its implications. Christiansen will start by sharing one of hers. She lives by the Winston Churchill quote, “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

About the Artist

Pegi Christiansen’s art is driven by urgency. If she isn’t urgent, why should anyone else care? Christiansen started doing performance art in 2000 because she needed to speak as an art model. She had been silently posing for artists on a part-time basis since she was pregnant with her daughter in 1980. 2015 will mark 35 years of nude modeling and 15 years of her performance art practice.

Until 2008 Christiansen performed monologues. With “Pen/ance” she asked people about forgiveness and dialog entered her performances. Endurance is also a quality of her work. In 2012 she participated in the “12/12/12 Show.” Twelve performers engaged with the come-and-go audience for twelve hours. Christiansen made and shared twelve cranberry recipes from noon to midnight as part of her piece.

Christiansen is a freelance organizer, writer, educator, and performance artist. In 2004 she founded and co-produced the Performance Art Showcase, highlighting talents from Southeastern Wisconsin in an annual show. She cofounded IN:SITE in 2005, an organization fostering temporary public art. In 2011 the Performance Art Showcase merged into IN:SITE. She is a consultant for public art policy. Writing of hers (also under the name Pegi Taylor) has appeared locally and nationally.

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