In the beginning, a cage is re-purposed as a site for performance and installation. Non-Grata, a performance art group premiered the first re-use of the recognized caged trailer.
Photos by Laurel Barickman & Lauren Klotzman
Performa Non-Grata by Non-Grata
Non-Grata is a performance art group from Estonia. Founded by Al Paldrok, aka Anonymous Boh, in 1998, it has become an underground legend whose exploits are whispered about in art circles all over the world. The name Non-Grata is borrowed from the phrase persona non grata, meaning “an unwelcome person.” The group has been traveling the world practicing performance art with a revolving set of members that have amassed over the years (total of 500 different individuals).
In 2016, the re-use of the cage was a kind of stage, enclosed and yet exposed to the elements. The year began with KUNIKLO Collective followed by a performance by Sean Ripple and ending with CHEEKY LaSHAE sings Black Sabbath with Meka Jean “Ivy League Ratchet” encore performance and The Younger Lovers opening.
Photos by Kaya Sümer
KUNIKLO is a mutating, cross cultural collective, formed in 2015. Their practice centers around themes of nature, queer sexuality, culture, and investigations into literary/philosophical theory. Members mesh their own respective particular specialties into a dense art practice, using painting, sculpting, puppetry, costume design, video art and music to create other-worldly, multidimensional environments.
Members include Luis Gabriel Sanabria, Jose Luis Sanabria, Cheraya Esters, Diego Mireles Duran, Olivia Warmer, and Sebastian Turner.
Sean Ripple is an artist, writer, and curator based in Austin, TX. His projects are often improvisational and interventionist in nature and rely heavily on social media and the Internet to frame the outcomes of a feverish dedication to an idea. Recent projects have explored a perceived lack of commitment to interactivity and participation across a number of digital platforms as well as the destabilization of meaning that seems to trail technological innovation and advancement.
Photos by José Centeno-Melendez
CHEEKY LaSHAE sings Black Sabbath
CHEEKY LaSHAE is the alter-ego of Yale-educated, Brooklyn-based artist Kenya (Robinson).
Kenya (Robinson) is a community-taught artist from Gainesville, Florida. A socialite, philanthropist, producer, and international southerner, (Robinson) investigates gender, consumerism, and ability through unexpected performative actions and sculptural gestures.
In 2017, artist and curator Ryan Hawk invited artists Michael Muelhaupt and Rachael Starbuck to become Cage Match’s first installment in its series of public art installations. Since the opening of ROUND ONE in February 2017, the Cage Match Project identified “rounds” as a useful term to present future exhibitions.
ROUND ONE by Michael Muelhaupt and Rachael Starbuck
February 17 – March 31
For the projects’ first installment, ROUND ONE, artists Michael Muelhaupt and Rachael Starbuck addressed the cage as a metaphor for the porous body. Inspired by the permeability of the structure’s form, the artists employed specific materials such as translucent plastic, cast paint, and raw clay to soften the rigid structure of the cage, ultimately complicating the boundary between interior and exterior space.
Rachael Starbuck is an artist, educator and arts organizer born and raised in Miami, FL; currently living in Austin, TX. In her practice Starbuck navigates how we make and maintain connections––negotiating touch, desire, intimacy and communication across distance. She makes fluid fleeting objects that are sensitive to their environment and live in the space between distance and proximity.
Michael Jay Muelhaupt is an artist whose work has taken many forms, ranging from large installations, sculptural objects, video, and most recently functional furniture. His furniture is constructed from discrete parts: materials found on the curb, belts from his partner’s late father, craigslist purchases, his old clothes, pieces of other furniture, and various other objects.
Round 2, Suspension of Belief by Michael Anthony García
April 21 – June 9
Michael Anthony García’s Suspension of Belief explored themes of displacement, immigration, and migration. Multidisciplinary artist & independent curator Michael Anthony García, claiming both Mexican and US citizenship, is based in Austin, Texas and predominantly focuses his practice around photography/video, sculpture/installation and performance. He is a founding member of Los Outsiders curatorial collective and have curated large-scale exhibitions of international artists, in and out of the US. Notably, he has had solo curatorial projects for Mexic-Arte Museum, Texas State University Galleries, the gallery at the Austin Central Public Library and Fusebox Festival. He participated in the 2011 Texas Biennial and has won awards both for his curatorial and three-dimensional work. He co-hosts an intersectional conversation podcast named El Puente and is publisher for POCa Madre Magazine. García has premiered work for The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art Biennale in Houston, The Contemporary Austin, Soundspace at The Blanton Museum of Art, El Museo de la Ciudad de México, and ThreeWalls in Chicago.
Round 3, Help Earth Rover Get Unstuck by Rachel Stuckey and Jesse Cline
July 28 – August 31
Help Earth Rover Get Unstuck is an emotionally stuck AI looking for validation and attention online and IRL. The project crowdsources help and advice from visitors through a clunky analog “forum” and a Twitter-activated selfie station. Visitors can interact with Earth Rover’s Ansible (selfie station/surveillance module) by triggering the camera module. Camera is activated by pressing a button or by tweeting #helpearthrover. Earth Rover posts recorded images with auto-generated commentary about identified lifeforms, the weather, or existential musings using the Twitter handle @HelpEarthRover. https://rachelstuckey.net/earthrover.html
I am a lone, severed unit of a huge, electronic brain. The window I previously went through is closed. I’m about halfway through the geothermal valley––I’m not starting it again…I had to take a long phone call and when I came back I completely forgot how I got in. The ansible is only accessible from the exterior panel… attempting to communicate with the local fauna… Call home for me? Thanks… If it matters, I also found the three potion elements just before this—but don’t see the cauldron to put them in. Does this have anything to do with it? Please help!!!
Rachel Stuckey is an artist, media arts project consultant, and nonprofit professional in Austin, TX. As an artist she investigates historical and contemporary enthusiasm, confusion, and mystical lore about computers and life online. She creates performative videos and interactive environments, hybridizing New Ageism with technophilia and pop culture. Stuckey has attended residencies at Belgrade Art Studio, Vermont Studio Center, Laboratory, Signal Culture, and the Media Archaeology Lab. Her work has shown at The Wrong New Digital Art Biennale online, Partial Shade and Hyperreal Film Club in Austin, Moonmist in Houston, Drkmttr in Nashville, aCinema in Milwaukee, Other Cinema in San Francisco, Film Forum and Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles, daswerk in Vienna, Slovenski Filmski Center in Ljubljana, and elsewhere.
Jesse Cline is a visual designer, digital artist, and educator interested in contemporary systems of representation and production, as well as the appropriation and diversion of those systems. How do people use language and signifiers to define themselves? How do these systems overlay and augment meaning? Cline received a BS in Electronic Media, Art and Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a MFA in Design from the University of Texas at Austin. @superpattern
Round 4, Work In Progress by the collective FLEET
September 9 – October 29
FLEET is an artist collective of six members; Michael Colaianni, Haley Hill, Brooke Johnson, Emily Lee, Tín Rodriguez, and Connor Walden. Their collaborative work centers around reactions to changing physical and conceptual environments, as well as responses to the current political climate that are performed through a lens of absurdity.
Michael Colaianni @michaelcolaianni
Haley Hill is a Texas-based food, beverage, and product photographer @haleyrhill
Brooke Johnson is an artist whose work has been featured in numerous key galleries and museums such as Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin. Johnson has been featured in articles for Glasstire and Art Daily. In 2019, Johnson received an Artist Award by Dallas Museum of Art. https://brookejohnson.format.com/8785781-oozy-rat-in-a-sanitary-zoo
Emily Lee (b.1996, Beaumont, TX) is an installation-based artist living in Texas whose output includes a wide range of media and processes including sculpture, image-making, video, object theater, communal events, and critical writing. Their works are site-specific installations of multiple parts. These parts––an aluminum cast of a circle drawn in sand, a space heater, a kodak photograph Lee shot at age seven, segments of a broken jade bracelet, to name a few–are used and then re-used in other installations, creating a multimedia vocabulary of parts. This repetition allows Lee to investigate the site itself and the habit of meaning-making through objects. https://leeemily.com/
Connor Walden was Raised with a twin brother in a conservative Christian suburb of Dallas, Connor Walden is an artist currently in Los Angeles. After spending his formative years as an adult in the liberal secular cities of Austin and Seattle, Connor finds himself in a state of ambivalence, holding a complex of feelings, ideologies, and communities. In order to continue this dialectic move, Connor’s studio becomes a playground to feel around for common threads and pokey stitches. His current body of work investigates the relationship between steel and yarn, two materials he learned to work with from his grandfather and grandmother, respectively. Playfully and intuitively made, the works explore the tension and relationship between hard and soft, heavy and light, tough and tender—while also confronting the gendered context of material to parallel his own identity formation.
Connor has exhibited throughout the US, including Seattle, Austin, Los Angeles. He is in collections in California, Washington, and Texas. @connor_walden https://www.connorwaldenart.com/
Tín Rodriguez is an artist whose work has been featured at the Visual Arts Center, University of Texas. In 2019, Rodriguez was featured in Top Five: January 24, 2019, a piece from Glasstire.
Round 5, Deadfall by Sterling Allen
November 11 – January 15th
Sterling Allen holds a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA in Sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College. He is a co-founder of Okay Mountain, a collective and former gallery based in Austin, Texas. He has exhibited, organized, and completed projects at venues throughout the United States and received several residencies including the Artpace International Artist-In-Residence Program in San Antonio, TX and a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE.
Round 6, were friends/foes now foes/friends by Stephanie Concepcion Ramirez
March 3 – April 21
“You can judge the moral fiber of a political regime…. by the degree of danger they consent to.” – Roque Dalton (Salvadoran Poet)
Stephanie Concepcion Ramirez b. 1984 is a Salvadoran-American artist from Prince George’s County, Maryland. She received her BFA at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and her MFA at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work is based on notions of memory, personal and historical amnesia that trace the veins of the Central American diaspora. In an attempt to reconcile with her personal and cultural histories and memories, she combines images, installations and text that validate truth, false memories, filtered history and fantasy. Ramirez is privileged and grateful to currently work and live in the original land of the Akokisa people.
Round 7, Color Composition by Aryel René Jackson
April 27 -June 3
Aryel (Ar-y/ee-el) René Jackson (they/them) (b. 1991, Louisiana) Jackson currently works in Austin, Texas, and teaches foundation courses at Texas State University in San Marcos. They are an alum of The University of Texas at Austin (2019), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2019), the Royal College of Art Exchange Program (2018), and The Cooper Union (2013). Their films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2022); the Baltimore Museum of Art (2021); and The Momentary in collaboration with the Crystal Bridges Museum (2020). Jackson’s work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions such as Artpace, San Antonio (2022); Women & Their Work, Austin (2022); IDEA Lab, Art Gallery at Black Studies at The University of Texas at Austin (2021); Dallas Contemporary (2021); Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Seattle (2021); SculptureCenter, New York (2019); New Museum, New York (2019); Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2018); and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2016). In 2021, Jackson was awarded the Tito’s Art Prize. The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center
Round 8, This is Everything by Tammie Rubin
July 27 – September 9
Tammie Rubin (b. Chicago, Il) is an artist whose sculptural practice considers the intrinsic power of objects as signifiers, wishful contraptions, and mythic relics while investigating the tension between the readymade and the handcrafted. Using intricate motifs, Rubin delves into themes involving ritual, domestic and liturgical objects, mapping, migration, magical thinking, longing, and identity. Her installations open up dream-like spaces of unexpected associations and dislocations. Rubin received a BFA in both Ceramics and Art History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MFA in Ceramics at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Round 9, I see london, I see france by Annie Miller
November 10 – March 9
Annie Miller‘s work explores a space of sensuality and desire; the longing to touch, to penetrate, to hold and make contact and the inherent failure or displacement of this longing. Miller holds an MFA in Painting from The University of Texas at Austin and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from California State University Fullerton. She has exhibited throughout the country and currently lives and works in Austin, Texas where she is a lecturer in Studio Art at The University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University.
Round 10, My Little Runaway by Alex Goss
March 11 – May 19
Alex Goss has held solo exhibitions and screenings of his work in Austin, Baltimore, New York, Houston, and Richmond, VA. He has worked as a High School woodshop teacher and professor of Sculpture and Video in addition to working in the precision manufacturing industry as a CNC programmer and machinist. He received his BFA in studio art from the Cooper Union in New York, and his MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University. Goss also attended a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2014.
Round 11, Gustavo Gómez-Brechtel
June 7 – August 25
“Using industrial materials such as paraffin wax, copper, and rebar, Gómez Brechtel installation will approach the concept of autopsies – Defined as a system of reproducing and maintaining itself – to materialize the environment context and conditions of viewing in the Texas summer.”
Gustavo Gómez Brechtel is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Mexico City. His practice focuses on a liminal space between science and art, utilizing empirical observation as a method for approaching natural materials and processes in an artistic capacity. Frequently working with living plant life, the artist explores the aesthetics of entropy and photosynthesis using system-based drawings, installations and sculptures.
Round 12, Base Camp by Leah Dyjak
September 7 – December 15
Leah Dyjak received their MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. They are currently a director of photography on a docu-series created by writer, director, and producer Joey Soloway in addition to other projects. Their work is in multiple private collections and has been acquired by the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University. In 2022 they received the prestigious Howard Foundation Grant through Brown University to fund their documentary film, As we play god. Recent publications include The Architectural Review, London UK, and The Leonardo Journal of Art and Science, MIT Press. Dyjak is represented by the Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown Massachusetts. Leah is working on a feature-length documentary about rising water, failing infrastructure, and coastal restoration projects along the Gulf Coast.
Round 13, Hold. Elmina, Ghana (2012) Austin, Texas (2020) by Kara Springer
March 6 – April 2
Kara Springer holds degrees from the University of Toronto, ENSCI les Ateliers in Paris, and the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of the Bahamas, the National Gallery of Jamaica, and the Frankfurt Museum of Applied Arts. She is an alum of the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art and currently holds a fellowship with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Core Program.
Round 14, (in)box by Taylor Barnes
September 18 – October 23
Taylor Barnes was born in 1993 in Austin, Texas. In 2019, she received an MFA in Fibers from the University of North Texas, where she earned two BFAs in 2015 for both Ceramics and Fibers and served as a Teaching Assistant and Fellow. She has exhibited solo shows at Erin Cluley Gallery, UNT on the Square, Denton Black Film Festival, 500X Gallery, and at Big Medium in Austin, TX, running concurrently with her outdoor installation for Round 14 of the Cage Match Project outside The Museum of Human Achievement.
Round 15, Overgrown by Rachel Means
November 13 – February 5
Rachel Means is passionate about creating art as well as engaging artists and students. She currently lives and works in Austin, TX. She received her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2018. She has exhibited work in numerous places including Washington, DC; Davidson, NC; Tampa, FL; Austin, TX; Philadelphia, PA; and New York City, NY. In 2019, she was invited to be a Visiting Artist at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX and, in the beginning of 2020, she participated in the Carrizozo Artist-in-Residence program in Carrizozo, New Mexico. Later that year, she released a virtual art exhibition experience – Stillness, What Lies Beneath. In 2024, she will participate in The Brehm Residency.
Round 16, A Realm of Disquiet by Aimée M. Everett
April 10 – May 8
Aimée M. Everett is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. She now lives and works in Austin, Texas. Everett’s work has been showcased in galleries and included in collections in New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Dallas, Austin, and Canada.
“Disquiet, anxiety, and worry are a few entities that have become fixtures in my life within the past year. With my mind being the cage they all live in, this project has arrived during a pivotal time to interrogate and give space to these Titans. Metal and wood are the materials I chose due to their pliant nature with hopes that their manipulation, aging and rusting, will begin the conduction of relief.”
Round 17, Roadside Geology by AYA (b.hannah alpert)
May 15 – June 18
AYA (b. hannah alpert) is a dynamic creative designer with over 10 years of experience in art direction, creative strategy, fabrication, and team leadership across multiple creative industries.
Round 19, Debut’s Dream House by Emma Rossoff
September 2 – November 11
Emma Rossoff has an MFA in sculpture and expanded media from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in visual art and art history from Columbia University. Before attending Columbia, she completed her foundation year at the Rhode Island School of Design and studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London. She currently works as a furniture fabricator in Austin, TX.