Loveseat: Andre Keichian With Nell Ruby

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Loveseat, a monthly audio series for BURNAWAY Radio, is artists talking with their favorite people. Loveseat works to access artists’ most natural voices by inviting them to speak with any one person of their choosing in the intimate StoryCorps studio at the Atlanta History Center. BURNAWAY’s published excerpts from Loveseat conversations seek to expand our perceptions of how artists live, think, and make in Atlanta, as well as revealing who is doing so alongside them. A wild and ever-growing document, Loveseat captures personal histories, local histories, relationships, communities, obsessions, quandaries, plans, processes, coincidences, jokes, and secrets—all with equal enthusiasm.

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Andre Keichian as Young Boy (left) and Nell Ruby as Stripper (right) in the performance Standing Outside with my Mouth Open Wide, (2011). The project is a series of vignettes where the artists dress and sing to each other assuming dreamed-up identities.
Andre Keichian as Young Boy (left) and Nell Ruby as Stripper (right) in the performance Standing Outside with my Mouth Open Wide, (2011). The project is a series of vignettes where the artists dress and sing to each other assuming dreamed-up identities.

Andre and Nell are “collaborators, former teacher/students, and current peers,” and (as shared by Andre) their “relationship helps in these sorts of spaces, where I don’t need to be nervous because I’m not alone and because I trust you.”

Loveseat dreams of conversations that grow from here.

This is how Andre and Nell make art together (in Nell’s words):

The F Word at Hunter Museum

“We set up a situation, set up a timed schedule for how long we’re going to be in that space, and basically just video-record what happens. And often we prepare for that by costuming, or just giving ourselves adjectives to think about, or sound devices and light devices. We set up that scene aesthetically and we talk about relationship, we talk about our relationship in various guises, and I think it’s really interesting to be in this space; it feels very much like an old library and….”

Audio: Click the player above to listen, or download the MP3.

Andre Keichian is an Atlanta-based artist who works in video, performance, and installation. In addition to currently holding an artist residency with the Creatives Project, Keichian is a former Walthall Fellow. Keichian was a finalist for the 2012 Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award. Keichian’s artwork constantly invokes the notion of play: play between the individual and the collective, between the tangible and the intangible, and between proximity and distance. Through the dynamism of video and performance, their work exists at the intersection of image, sound, and movement to gesture toward the fluidity of identity among people. By emphasizing plasticity, Keichian often uses their own personal history as a queer, Argentine American to illuminate the larger complexities and flows of identity. Their new work seeks to morph the digital, virtual realm into a more material experience by constructing physical elements that house the virtual via installation. 

Nell Ruby has worked as an artist and educator in Atlanta since 1991. She is currently an associate professor of studio art at Agnes Scott College, where she teaches a myriad of art-making techniques, all of which inform her creative practice. Ruby’s work focuses on mixed- and multi-media installation and performance work, examining the boundaries between public and private, as well as physical and psychological, spaces. In the collaborative project Andre and the Giant, Ruby and Keichian play with their relationship to explore the absurdities in private definitions and public declarations of various identity constructions.


Loveseat theme music courtesy of Adna Moraia.

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BURNAWAY is a community partner of StoryCorps Atlanta. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.

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BURNAWAY Radio is supported in part by Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts.

 


 

 

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