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Art Department

Alum Ryan Mitchell a “Provocateur to Watch”

Alum Ryan Mitchell a “Provocateur to Watch”

: Photo of openning installation w Director Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchel and Performer Kate Ryan, Paradisiacal Rites, Donaufestival, Austria. Courtesy of Saint Genet. Photo by Dan Hawkins.

Theater alum Ryan Mitchell, artistic director of Saint Genet, makes Marina Abramovic’s “10 young provocateurs to watch” in Harper’s Bazaar.

If you make Marina Abramovic’s list of up-and-coming performance artists, you’re red-hot: she comes to the table with big-time, performance art cred. The New York Times calls the Yugoslav-born performance artist “one of the field’s most visible and magnetic figures.” The New Yorker tells us “the body is her subject, time is her medium.” In her Art Class column, #The LIST: Marina Abramovic’s 10 young provocateurs to watch in national magazine Harper’s Bazaar, Cornish grad Ryan Mitchell (TH ’04) comes in at number two. That’s number two with a bullet. Literally. The listing makes much of Mitchell’s reenactment of Chris Burden’s classic piece Shoot, in which a .22 rifle is used to inflict a wound in the arm.

See Abramovic’s Harper’s Bazaar list.

“Ryan Mitchell is a celebrated performance artist and Artistic Director of both Implied Violence and Saint Genet,” reads Abramovic’s listing. “In one of his boldest performances, Mitchell re-created Chris Burden’s 1971 artwork Shoot. In Burden’s “sculptural” version, the artist was shot in the arm with a .22 rifle inside a gallery. More recently, Mitchell’s “performance” consisted of the artist getting shot in the arm with a .22 rifle beneath a tree and walking approximately 10 miles to a theatre.”

“Ryan Mitchell is a wonderfully creative grain of sand in the craw of conventional artistic thinking,” says theater department chair Richard E.T. White, “a subtle irritant who produces performance pearls that balance images of exquisite beauty with sudden eruptions of violence and chaos.”

In Abramovic’s list, Mitchell joins an elite mix of performance artists, sculptors, installers, choreographers and performers from all over the world. Number one was Amanda Coogan, Irish performance artist. Coming after Mitchell, numbers 3-10 are Melati Suryodarm O, installation performance artist, Surakarta, Indonesia; Lynsey Peisinger, Paris-based choreographer; Jamien Jalet French/Belgian choreographer and performer; Rebecca Davis of New York, an artist in performance, installation and sculpture; Pippin Barr, interactive video game art, Malta; Nico Vascellari installations, performative scultpture artist; Paula Garcia performance artist, São Paulo, Brazil; and Kira O’Reilly, U.K.-based artist.

The honor and high-profile recognition follows on the international success of Mitchell’s company, Saint Genet, at the Donaufestival in Austrian state of Lower Austria. At the festival, Saint Genet performed its Paradaisical Rites. Along with Mitchell, Saint Genet includes a multitude of other Cornish alums, including kinetic sculptor Casey Curran (AR ‘06), who was recently featured on ArtZone.


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