In conjunction with the release of Esopus 22: Medicine, Esopus will hosts an evening of readings, live music and audiovisual presentations by contributors to the issue. Performances will be interspersed with audiovisual elements related to the magazine—including the debut of a music video for another track for the issue’s CD—Boister’s “Mr. Spleen.” The event will take place at the exhibition and performance space The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street) on May 26 at 7pm. Admission is free.
Actor, director, and screenwriter Hampton Fancher (Blade Runner) will open the evening by reading a 1942 letter, reproduced in Esopus 22, written by the late Pulitzer Prize–winning poet William Carlos Williams to a medical student explaining his decision to become both a doctor and a poet. Contemporary artist Nina Katchadourian will offer an audio-visual presentation related to her ongoing Sorted Books series, in which she culls through a public or private book collection, pulling particular titles and then grouping them into clusters so that their titles can be read in sequence. Katchadourian will focus on the latest iteration of the series that is featured in Esopus 22: Medicine, in which she incorporated a range of medical thrillers from the library of the late author William S. Burroughs.
The evening will close with a performance by musician, actor, filmmaker, and author Will Sheff, the front man of acclaimed alternative band Okkervil River, who will perform a series of songs including “Famous Tracheotomies,” the track he created (as Lovestreams, the name of Sheff's new solo project) for the Esopus 22: Organs themed CD.
About the Collaborators
Hampton Fancher was born in East Los Angeles in 1938, and moved in his teens to Spain to become an accomplished flamenco dancer (briefly changing his name to Mario Montejo in the process). He returned to L.A. in the early ’60s and entered into a career as an actor in TV westerns such as The Rebel, Maverick, Outlaws, and Have Gun, Will Travel. Fancher eventually gave up acting to pursue a career in screenwriting, and he is perhaps best known as the screenwriter for Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 film Blade Runner. He also wrote the scripts for a number of other films, including The Might Quinn (1989), The Other Side of the Mountain (1975), and The Minus Man (1999), which he also directed (and which was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance that same year). Based in Brooklyn, Fancher recented completed the screenplay for the Blade Runner sequel.
Nina Katchadourian was raised in Stanford, California, and on the Finnish archipelago. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her M.F.A. from the University of California at San Diego, and she was selected for the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 1996. Katchadourian has exhibited at institutions such as MoMA PS1, Serpentine Gallery, and Saatchi Gallery, and her work will be the subject of a solo traveling exhibition in 2016 organized by the Blanton Museum in Austin, Texas. Her publications include Sorted Books (Chronicle, 2013) and All Forms of Attraction, the catalog for her 2006 exhibition at the Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York. The recipient of numerous honors, including a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 2001, Katchadourian is on the faculty of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
In addition to his work as the songwriter and lead singer for the rock band Okkervil River, Will Sheff’s arts criticism and fiction have been published in McSweeney’s, The Talkhouse, Magnet, Billboard, and the Austin Chronicle, where he worked as a film critic. In 2010, Sheff’s liner notes for the Roky Erickson album True Love Cast Out All Evil, which he produced, were nominated for a Grammy. In addition to his writing and music work, Sheff acted in the 2012 film The Comedy and directed the upcoming film Down Down the Deep River. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
About The Kitchen
The Kitchen is one of New York City’s most forward-looking nonprofit spaces, showing innovative work by emerging and established artists across disciplines. Our programs range from dance, music, performance, and theater to video, film, and art, in addition to literary events, artists' talks, and lecture series. Since its inception in 1971, The Kitchen has been a powerful force in shaping the cultural landscape of this country, and has helped launch the careers of many artists who have gone on to worldwide prominence. This event represents The Kitchen's fifth collaboration with Esopus.