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Dirty Churches (Rachel Blackwell / Jesse Gelaznik) is a performance-based collaboration integrating theatrical performances, live scores, and video installations to present altered environments exploring the intersection of myth, ritual and contemporary urban life. Gelaznik is a composer and visual artist whose artwork explores themes derived from mythology, tarot, folklore and fairytales. Rachel R. Blackwell is a performance artist who also works in video, collage, and installation and is curious about the imprint of archetypes on the collective mind. Blackwell studied under Sharon Grace at the San Francisco Art Institute. Together as Dirty Churches the couple has presented music compositions and installations at such NYC venues as Westbeth, White Box, The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Soho20, 92Y Tribeca, Brooklyn Fire Proof and Art Helix. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibitions:

2017     The Silver Suite, (Collaboration with Alexandra Jacob) Williamsburg Art and Historical Center for the opening of Building Bridges,                NOT Walls, Brooklyn, NY 

             TheVisitation, Performed at Westbeth Gallery for the opening of From Inside the Whitney: Staff Art Show,  New York, NY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2016   Modern Clouds, Park Church Co-op, music for chamber orchestra and electronics, Brooklyn

            Dance of the Crocodile , A Decalogue of Tenebrous Luminares, music for flute, cello and electronics, Brooklyn

            Imaginary Friend, Park Church Co-op, music for chamber orchestra, Brooklyn

            Night Diviner, Out To See, video installation and performance, NYC 

            Something CosmicThe Tarot Society, performance, Brooklyn

 2015   Vox Novus Festival, MC Gallery, super 8 film screening, NYC

            Behind the White Walls, Brooklyn Fire Proof Gallery, performance, Brooklyn

Bacchus' Skeleton, Kunsthalle Projects, Bushwick Open Studios performance, Brooklyn

            Tonal Vision, White Box Art Center, performance, video, drawings, NYC

            Transworld Holiday, Art Helix, performance, Brooklyn

2014     Bacchus’ Skeleton, Northside Town Hall Arts Happening Series, site-specific installation at Engine 212 Firehouse, Brooklyn

 SHE is near... Kunsthalle Galapagos, group show Why You Gotta Be so Evil? Installation and performance, Brooklyn

Hearts are Dust: Eulogy for Sarah Winchester, The Spectrum, multi-media performance Brooklyn

2013    An Orchard of Echoes, Soho20 Chelsea Gallery’s Savoir-Faire performance series, multi media performance, NYC

            A Guest in the Cavern, Northside Town Hall Arts Happening series, performance/installation, Brooklyn

2011    Alive in Texas, Diverse Works, performance with video installation, Houston

            While I Was In A Sleeping State, Theater Lab, multi- media performance, NYC

            Las Medias Delicioso, Secret Project, installation, Brooklyn

2010    SPUN 3, The Convent of Saint Cecilia, video installation, Brooklyn

            Majickally Delicious::Sight & Sound::New Times, Party Expo, performance, Brooklyn

2009    Wolfman and Sandy, Dying Science & Death for Sale, Eye and Ear Fest II at the 92Y, Tribeca, live soundtrack for video, NYC

 

Member bios:

Rachel R. Blackwell is a performance artist who also works in video, collage, and installation. Her work is inspired by mythology, and a curiosity about the imprint of archetypes on the collective mind. In Dirty Churches, Blackwell transforms herself into various shamanistic and mythological personas through costume, masks and movement, thereby connecting to viewers on a subconscious level. Blackwell studied under Sharon Grace at the San Francisco Art Institute. Professionally she works on theatrical and commercial productions as a set dresser and prop stylist, and Blackwell co-founded The Ouroboros Play Company, and was the Design Director until 2014. She has shown independently and in collaboration at White Box, the 92Y Tribeca, Theater Lab, The Chelsea Hotel and many other galleries, festivals, clubs, theaters and music venues

Jesse Gelaznik composes film soundtracks, chamber ensemble pieces and creates sound and video art installations.  His music has been featured in the films H. and Skyline, which have screened internationally including at MoMA, Sundance Film Festival and the Venice Biennale. Jesse's music was also used in the Bossa Nova fashion video campaign for the designer Zana Bayne. In addition to film soundtracks Jesse has composed commercial soundtracks for the Children's Aid Society and the Phenix School of English. His collaborative art project Dirty Churches creates costumed performances and installation art set to live hypnotic scores. Dirty Churches has performed at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Westbeth, Whitebox, Soho20 Gallery, Brooklyn Fireproof, Park Church Coop, Tarot Society, and Art Helix to name a few. Gelaznik’s collaborative project with Daniel Garcia, PWR&$$$, received a commission from the Sharjah Art Foundation for their Biennial X and was displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  In 2008 Jesse performed alto guitar in Glenn Branca’s 13th Symphony Hallucination City. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.