Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review of COLORFORM at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge, Lower East Side).

 Made it over to Fontana’s last night for a performance by the concept band Colorform (that’s Colorform Music and Live Art). I don’t use the term “concept band” loosely, it can apply to “acts” as diverse as The Velvet Underground and Pussy Riot, not to mention the compositions of Cage, Berio, Glass, and where art is concerned there is of course the artist/theorist Sol LeWitt (who gave currency to the term), but, really, the term can be used and is indeed over-used to explain and to justify and to “upscale” just about anything. I use it here in its epitome sense to point out what is the real thing—which is to say, in Colorform the idea is realized, and it’s realized live, it happens live. Colorform is a multimedia event that lives up to its name.

 Around the early nineteen-sixties there came about the phenomenon we call the “Happening.” A Happening was a live and in great part chance-derived event that could be “staged” anywhere and that, in one way or another, exceeded the spectator’s expectations. More than just the unexpected, Happenings held an element of awe (something unfolding before the spectator’s eye and often including the “spectator’s” involvement—even if only in that he was there to be awestruck, to be “entertained,” or, simply, to bear witness). A Colorform performance is a Happening.

 Colorform is variously electric and acoustic with cello, percussion and atmosphere guitar (last night’s show was electric) and is fronted by singer-songwriter-guitarist Kate Logan and artist Sarah Valeri. Both Logan and Valeri are “physical” performers—Logan, who can wail lyrical riffs and in that she is constantly in motion, exuberantly “dancing” to her song and Valeri in that she is (most times, and as she was last night) on her hands and knees in the gestures of an Action painter over a huge “canvas” that is (most times, and as it was last night) stretched out on the floor before the stage. Her gestures bring to mind Jackson Pollock, de Kooning, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Valeri is an artist just born to create live, “live” as in before an audience, in a performance atmosphere. She puts out as much energy as a drummer.

 Colorform lives up to its name, “Music and Live Art.”

 Colorform is playing Fat Baby September 15 and on September 27 they’re at Cake Shop. See them now while you can still get up close.

Check out their Facebook Page for the rest of the story—

Colorform Music and Live Art.

by Sarah Valeri of Colorform Music and Live Art at Fontana’s 8/29/12 (detail).