Avant To Leave This Planet Art Collective
December 18, 2020 - January 16, 2021
Collective Bio: Founded in 2017, Avant to Leave This Planet is a Dallas based experimental performance art collective that hosted monthly variety shows in the back room of Tradewinds Social Club (RIP). We feature music, spoken word, theater, dance, comedy, miming, and really anything that can be done live. We hold dearly our values of closeness, vulnerability, and intimacy and our room is a womb for artists to grow and push their own boundaries. We prioritize our platform to the LGBTQ community.
Exhibition Statement: Altar Ego is how we as a collective will convey our themes of closeness, vulnerability, and intimacy in the throes of a pandemic. We cannot be together performing in this room, so we leave behind these shrines that is the essence of who we are, how we see the world, and how the world sees us.
Kelechi Ladel Uz
Individual Artist Statements:
Artist Statement: As an animist I've decided to acknowledge the spirit of the stories I write through the interface of ritual. This practice has helped me understand that the narrative is not something I create but rather something I become a host to be expressed by. This altar is one example of a ritualistic space I've crafted to speak directly to the comic I'm writing. I'm doing this to gain further understanding of its messages, intentions, and energies. With this piece I hope to show the audience that we have agency in who and what we speak with and how we can communicate with it.
Bio: Thoele is a Dallas based comic artist and illustrator. She uses language construction, comics, fiber arts, and sculpting to immerse herself in the worlds she dreams with. Using this process of immersion she further develops the story she writes. Her current project is a comic about an animist shaman who is visiting cultures that are in spiritual and political crisis.
Eliot Ovacik is a multi-media artist from Dallas, TX. Their work seeks to use color and shape to communicate images in the most direct way possible, in order to put focus on the physicality of materials and the simplicity of representational art. They rely on crude, sometimes childish techniques that rely on the natural impulse of the human brain to fill in whatever was left out, allowing the audience to participate in the finished piece as it stands in their mind’s eye.
Artist Statement: My art yokes the occult relationship between flesh and nuance. Without always realizing it, humans possess a physical body and a subtle body that simultaneously function in separate dimensions. Consciousness is the barrier between space and matter, and this work operates as a psychic fetishization of my will. “Stable and Sterile” is a multidimensional stupa, and my astrological data is meticulously mapped on its surface. The sculpture is omniscient and is an ode to the creative impulse woven in the elements of mind and time.
Bio: Reivin Alexandria is a gate to hidden dimensions. A Tantric Vaishnava and Jyotishi, she deconstructs identity in alignment with the fixed stars and planets. She engineers alternate realities through yoga, esotericism, music, prose, poetry, theater, mixed-media visual art/installations, and ceremonial magic.
Kelechi Ladel Uz
Bio: Kelechi Ladel Uz is a Dallas based performance, Intermedia artist, and occultist. They have worked in a range of mediums ranging from installation, VR/ 3D modeling, Live Art, Video Art, and experimental fashion. Kelechi studied and received their BFA in New Media at the University of North Texas.
Artist Statement: I primarily identify as an installation and performance artist. I paint but
I don't consider myself a painter. I sculpt but I am not a sculptor. I do ceramics but I am not a ceramicist. These mediums are what most people think of as traditional art and therefore the standard. It could be imposter syndrome, that I do not identify with these disciplines as nominals. I think of these mediums as tools. This is why I feel comfortable identifying as a Cultural producer instead of an Artist. Regardless, my work is mostly about metaphysics, the Occult, religion, ritual, identity, Indigeneity, Afroism, Futurism, and the destruction of Pachamama. I use metaphysics to observe my cultural origins (Afro-Caribbean and Mexican Indigenous). And last, I use mini-controllers, which are little computers, called Arduino to make art. I manipulate data and programming languages and then project the output on a wall. I enjoy supplementing my performance art with digital media.
Harley Deville is a musician, performer, and multimedia artist hailing from Dallas. Their work explores the intersection of masculine and feminine, the ego and the soul, and the divine and diabolical, creating spaces of non-judgement where the illusory veil of separation is lifted. Harley's contribution to Alter Ego examine's the "self" as an altar - at once the deity and the worshiper. The body becomes the point wherein the higher self and lower self meet to perform a symbiotic exchange.
Now from lofty Mysticism to base Satanism there is but one step. In the Beyond all things touch.
J.K. Huysmans - La Bas
Blessed be thine hands, for they are unclean!
At every joint lie secret sins unseen,
Their white nails beneath the lamp
Evoke hosts stolen beneath the white shadow of the lamp,
And upon thy finger, the captive opal’s gloss
Is the last sigh of Jesus on the cross.
Remy de Gourmont - Oraisons Mauvaises
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.
French Diabolism and the French Decadent movement inspire and inform this altar to Lucifer. It's concept is expressed through the cunning urge to "serve with both hands alike". In that liminal space where there is no difference between the Saint and the Blasphemer, where the ache of the human Soul to experience an otherworldly ecstasy thrusts it to the depths of Hell or the revelries of Heaven. Both roads aim to an annihilation of the norm, the stagnant and the mundane, which numb the Soul and darken the spark of the Spirit.
Bio: Andreas Barekas is a seeker and an artist whose aim is to experience and transmit the ecstasy of the religious and the otherworldly. Whether through wings of dove or bat the "Other" has been his life's raison d'etre and aspiration.
With years of developing attraction to the enigma of Symbology and Hermeticism, Brandi Strand, as a mixed media collage artist, creates her works through personal photography, digital images, acrylics and a collection of analog pieces over the decades. The artist submerges herself into the current of inspiration until the process of transmuting the already existing images becomes automatic. Thus the end result is what she refers to as “Spiritual Pop."
Dillon Camp is a multimedia artist based in Dallas, TX. His digital art involves fashion, makeup, and pop culture as a basis for discussing and divulging in glamour as a lifestyle, performance through vanity, and politics through transgression. Camp’s piece for Altar Ego depicts a personal depiction of the tension between gay sexuality and Christianity / religiosity, especially in Texas. The juxtaposition of Christ-centric iconography, taboo sex, Mother Mary, queerness, and poetry mirrors an inner tension and mental unrest.
Colton White is a fake pop star, 26 years young from Dallas, Texas, with a BFA in New Media Studio Arts from University of North Texas. Their work is primarily durational / interactive performance art that can also thrive within the realms of installation, photography and video. Exploring such themes as Queerness, Sexual Frustration, Intimacy and Persona. These themes are shown through a glittery lens of what White believes as “70’s glamour wanting to be grit”. Their work is confessional, not only for White but for the viewer as well; it is meant to allow someone else to experience their own realization, re-experience emotions, and understand more about themselves. Interested in creating reality from fantasy, using their body as a portal. By taking inspiration from everyday actions, this helps create a universal idea that seems familiar to the viewer. Believing that by using the self in the process they are breaking down the barrier and coming out of hiding into a place of vulnerability, inviting the viewer to participate. Creating a moment where interaction allows everyone to become a performer.
Artist Statement: to be the spring during winter, giving warmth, blooming out of death. wanting to come alive again, to feel unified. Preserved in this moment, fixated on that moment but knowing life does move on. A need to break this glass wall and to become together with life to be seen in the physical and not the digital. By manifesting beauty in all cycles of life, a deep desire of connection. This is my hope
Alex Axon is a multi media artist based in Dallas, Texas. Her work synthesizes themes from archetypes found in mythology, fairy tales, and the occult translated into vignettes of complex human experiences, conveyed in a way that feels familiar to everyone. Her body of work is a blend of visual poetry and night terrors. She is the founder and director of the Dallas based art collective, Avant to Leave This Planet.
Venus Loves Cash is an homage to our dreams and wishes that never came to fruition.
Leigh Violet is a multimedia artist based in Dallas, TX. Her visual work consistently deals with living out the consequences of immediate chaotic impulses and the fervor that comes with attempting to control them. Her music video works attempt to inhabit an illusory “space between dimensions”. Her prints have been exhibited at art events of ill repute throughout DFW. Her music video work can be found online, the most recent of which via the notorious media portal Night Flight.--