Tapestry Truths performed among the paintings El Mirage at Participant Inc


Stanley Love Performance Group, "Tapestry Truths"
Performances: January 13-17, 8pm

" 'Tapestry Truths' is a dance / performance piece based on the depths of joy, celebration, heartfelt humanity, and spirit. We are conveying a message of eclecticism in dance styles, music styles, body types, and spiritual practices. The dancers are totemic in their individual expressions of movement, but are also part of a group that is mostly moving in unison — a universal force of individuals. Most of the piece is composed of uplifting, fun, emotional, cosmic, funky, physical, and rhythmically based material. But we finish with a final mediation on the Earth: the truth that all over this planet, for thousands of years, the human race has had spiritual practices. These practices are different in style and focus, but possibly all originate from the same source and impulse. All are ancient and deserve to be respected by Earth’s children.”
—Stanley Love

These five evening performances are the culmination of Stanley Love Performance Group’s residency at PARTICIPANT INC, sharing space with an exhibition by Martin Gustavsson, "El Mirage." Gustavsson’s paintings reference and pick up a theatrical schema outlined by Jean Genet: resisting illusion and proposing a space of the indeterminate, making room for fantasy, pleasure, and play. Conceived as screens, Gustavsson’s paintings are affixed onto metal structures on wheels. Performing in and around these works, SLPG performers have utilized the exhibition as an open rehearsal space, a space of interaction, continually re-shaping itself. Working from social and modern dance idioms, the SLPG cast is built on an array of individuality, a large ensemble of diverse bodies. While highly structured and choreographed, the performance introduces movement that is widely dynamic and open to past and future agencies.

Founded in 1992, Stanley Love Performance Group has recently performed at the Lower East Side Girls Club (2015), The Whitney Museum of American Art (2015), MoMA PS1 (2013), PS122 (2013), and the Whitney Biennial (2012). Other venues include The Kitchen, Paula Cooper Gallery, The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Cooper Union, NYU, Dixon Place, and the LGBTQ Center. Stanley Love graduated from the Juilliard School and creates works of eclecticism and expression to inspire humanity. Love Lives and works in New York.

Photo: Stanley Love Performance Group, "Tapestry Truths," 2015. A Performa 15 Consortium Project presented by PARTICIPANT INC. Photo by Paula Court, courtesy of Performa.

Glen Fogel talks to Art News about El Mirage


El Mirage at Participant Inc


Paintings on wheels and Stanley Love in rehearsal every Wed-Sun 12-7.

Oceanic Feelings, Festival of Arts in North Norway this summer, 2015


Festival exhibition 2015 "Oceanic Feelings" is the last installment of a trilogy examining the uniqueness of mankind.

The title conjures up visions of endless expanse, and sheds light upon art´s symbolic capacity for revealing civilization´s ebb and flow. The festival exhibition 2015 contains work by art collective AES+F from Russia, Martin Gustavsson from Sweden plus Trygve Luktvasslimo and Kjell Varvin from Norway. The exhibition´s curator is Joakim Borda who has also been responsible for "Pioneer Voices" in 2013 and "Paradise Reclaimed" in 2014.

Yesterday We Wanted To Be The Sky. Group show in Stockholm at Kamerade Gallery earlier this year


Installation view from a group exhibition at Kamerade Gallery in Stockholm earlier this year. Hanging with a photo by Slava Magutin curated by C-print.

El Mirage at Participant Inc

From November 22, 2015 – January 17, 2016, PARTICIPANT INC is proud to present
Martin Gustavsson, El Mirage, an exhibition of new paintings explicitly produced
to be utilized by Stanley Love Performance Group, in residency for the duration of
the exhibition. There will be a special opening performance for Performa's 10th
Anniversary, Performa 15, on the evening of November 22. The exhibition and
residency will culminate in the premiere of a new performance work, Tapestry
Truths, by Stanley Love Performance Group (SLPG) in January 2016.
With El Mirage, Gustavsson upends the conventional aesthetics of a painting show
with mobile works that compose an environment for intervention by others. The
thinking around this project started five years ago as a conversation between
Gustavsson and Ian White (1971-2013). White was a performance artist, curator,
writer, long-time friend and collaborator. Together, Gustavsson and White
discussed the potentialities of an exhibition that combined painting and
performance. They spoke of Baroque music as rhythmic gesture, Jean Genet, Poussin;
and about being, inhabiting, performing, or not performing an image. In
discussions about revisiting such an exhibition at PARTICIPANT INC, Stanley Love
was introduced as a collaborator.
Genet plays a pivotal role in the overall work; specifically his 1961 play The
Screens, to which Gustavsson makes direct reference through the deployment of
painted movable screens. In Genet’s stage directions, the representations depicted
on the screens are always in proximity to real objects, betraying the possibility
of stable imagery and initiating novel scenes. As an artist who refused to play
the game of representation, Genet, to quote Leo Bersani in his 1996 book Homos,
“turns his back on The Theatre of Good.” Proposing a space of the indeterminate,
El Mirage re-creates room for fantasy, pleasure, and play. This is where Love
comes in.
Performing in and around Gustavsson’s screens — paintings affixed onto metal
structures on wheels — Stanley Love Performance Group will utilize the exhibition
as an open rehearsal space, a space of interaction, continually re-shaping itself.
Working from social and modern dance idioms, the SLPG cast is built on an array of
individuality, a large ensemble of diverse bodies. While highly structured and
choreographed, the performance introduces movement that is wildly dynamic and open
to past and future agencies.
This collaboration reflects upon the daily occurrence of action, pictured outside
and within the set of paintings, not as spectacle, but as an investigation into
physiology: what is a body, what is an image, how do the two correlate and mutate?
The exhibition foregrounds the un-boundaried image, one that originates and exists
beyond the canvas, and poses the question: When does a painting become a body?
In making these works, Gustavsson looked to heroes, while engaging a personal
narrative of his formative years in the 1990s — to be young and gay in New York
and Europe in the wake of the AIDS crisis. Speaking to this directly, Gustavsson
stated, “I learned about David Wojnarowicz from a distance, while at art school in
London. His sense of urgency felt electrifying. Stanley transports us from this
time. I am also looking at William Blake, his use of swirls and labyrinths, in an
effort to access these spaces for myself. I surround myself with these largerthan-
life figures, or, the image I have of them, and converse with them in this
‘play’ that we are making.”



Private view: Thursday 18th April, 6.30-8.30pm
Exhibition dates: 19th April – 1st June 2013
Gallery opening times: Tue-Fri 11-6, Sat 11-3, or by appointment

Maria Stenfors is pleased to announce ‘Indentations’, a major new series of paintings by Martin Gustavsson. The core subject matter of the paintings reveal a physical rotation, through a fixed viewpoint, as if they were snapshots or the frames of a film reel. If a film is a large series of images shown in quick succession of one another, the paintings presented act equally as a short film of the sculpture, in all its dysfunction and disjointedness.

The majority of the paintings in the exhibition are inspired by a neoclassical sculpture in Gothenburg Museum of Art. Viewed from different angles, the sculpture has been captured in a rotation of perspectives. Presented and represented is an idealised body, a male nude and a still life. The artist’s use of bold colours and graphics lends heavily from the tools and techniques of visual communication. Gustavsson re-uses existing imagery, copying and creating likeness in difference. In a number of the paintings, representation has been altered by the addition of a physical object. This interference creates a sense of realness, enhancing and transferring the rotation and creating tension. This addition of an object breaks the conventional perception of the framing, allowing the painting to have physicality, a weight, an accentuated sense of presence. Art history is treated as a wealth of potential readymades, waiting to be recast and re-inscribed over time. With the painterly volume and flatness in the paintings, through the flatness comes indentation. Different works and times collides, one indentation in one painting starts a ripple effect, a subtle shift, across the neighboring works. Pressing the surface of one, it creates a representation of the footprint, or a change in the time line.

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Contact Martin:

69 Bannerman House
Lawn Lane
London SW8 1UA
United Kingdom



Maria Stenfors
Unit 4, 21 Wren Street
London WC1X 0HF