The Winona Arts Center presents a screening of “live art” videos and free jazz in the main galleries on Fifth and Franklin Streets in downtown Winona at 7:30 p.m., June 6. The classic videos are culled from pioneering performance artist Billy X. Curmano and will include “Performance for the Dead” and several shorts followed and interspersed with free jazz from long time collaborators the New X Art Ensemble featuring the Amazing Tess Toster Tones.
The award-winning artist entered the international arena with universal subject matter. He was buried alive for 3 days with all the trimmings including an Italian wake, New Orleans-style jazz funeral and an international postal exhibition on the theme of death. He explored water issues with a trilogy that included swimming the length of the Mississippi River, fasting in Death Valley and traveling to the Arctic Circle on public transport.
The videos and other tracks from these performances have gone to major collections like the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He’s been featured on the “City Pages A list” in Minneapolis and as Mary Beth Crain reported for a Los Angeles “LA Weekly Pick of the Week” article:
“Curmano calls 'Adventures with Billy' 'a slightly satirical journey documenting art as life and life as art.' I call it an uninhibited blend of courage, charisma and chutzpah, the sort of thing you either love or hate but definitely aren't allowed to regard with, God forbid, neutrality.”
D.L. Hunt, Steve Smith and Billy X. formed New X as a link between performance art, classical music and free jazz. It is arguably the longest running free jazz collective in the region. The unit expanded as other musicians were drawn to the artistic freedom New X offers. They don’t embalm jazz or play hug-your-bunny cute insipid pop. New X is an eclectic blend of music, sound and improvisation rapped around words and odd tones. Reviewers have compared them to Lionel Hampton, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Recession pricing: $5.00 - More information is available at www.winonaarts.org or www.billyx.net