Photo by Lisa Steichmann
Artists Stefanie Cohen (she/her) and Corey Gearhart (he/him) -- working formerly under the collective alias “Upended Teacups”-- have been merging, embracing, disrupting, fragmenting and mending our backgrounds, educations, and decades of training in performance art, theatre, dance, somatics, sculpture, writing, drawing, and so on, since 2010. Since then we have presented our performance works and site-specific installations — exploring the inner lives and fantasy worlds of sometimes overlooked objects and activities. We teach workshops in somatic movement and devised performance in studios, festivals, and academic institutions; and have curated performance through our space, Light Box in Detroit.
SELECTED PAST PROJECTS
EVERYTHING I WANT IS SMALL: THE MEETING PLACE
Site-specific performance installation across a pond and through the woods, in search of one another. The recognition of the one we love, from a distance. By the gait. Passing messages. Sealing bonds. We performed the piece continuously for five hours each day on July 29th and 30th, 2011.
The work was featured in an event entitled SiTE:LAB Blandford Nature Area in Grand Rapids, MI.
BECAUSE EVERYTHING TAKES SO LONG
Spread Art, Detroit, MI October 16, 2015
Objects moving at speeds greater than Mach1 are traveling at supersonic speeds
The time it takes to eat a jam donut without using your hands
The central or most sensitive part of someone or something
Dying and being born
Moments she didn't want
The relative values of Scrabble tiles
This right now
Now you see it. Now you don’t
We wanted to swiftly make a performance about the quick. We ultimately created a piece about moments, the speeds of light and sound, and a little bit of poetry.
Photo by Lisa Steichmann
Light Box, Detroit, MI, September, 2018
Links Hall, Chicago, IL, December, 2017
"The Call" asks: How do we navigate our spiritual landscape, where is God to be found, and how does geography affect our spiritual condition? The performance — the culmination of a seven-year investigation — excerpts and weaves together movement, action, text, and sculpture inspired by the works of John Coltrane, Feminist theology, William James, Adam Rudolph, and personal responses to the question “What is a spiritual experience?
Photo by William Amayo Torres
HOW TO PRAY
Rapid Pulse Summer Tour, Spread Art, Detroit, June, 2018
Methodical movements unfold over the course of four hours in a durational gallery installation.
Corey’s bare feet slide and skim through a plastic bin filled with turquoise dishwashing liquid. His head rests and rolls against a gold foil covered beach ball. Occasionally he stretches his arms upward maneuvering the orb up the wall.
Stefanie’s feet burrow into a pile of earth in its own plastic bin. Painstakingly, with a fine, long-handled brush, she paints each leaf and twig of a potted holly plant from a jar of sky blue paint.
The title is unpunctuated. Is it an imperative, a suggestion or a question?
MIXED-MEDIA MIXTAPE FOR THE ANCESTORS OF OUR PAST AND FUTURE
Corey embroiders The Book of Revelation on a dress for his grandmother. We make an accompanying sound sculpture.
Stefanie flaps her wings furiously, channelling the righteous rage of her foremothers.
When in doubt, we make a dance.
A meditation on being seen.
Gertrude Stein and Octavio Paz meet 21st century astronomy.
The video work will go on to have another life
in a gallery exhibition/installation.
Playing in the spaces between ourselves and our screens; through a glass...both darkly and bright. Wondering about how much of us is seen, or another way to reveal. Are we simply black holes, swallowing light and information?
If so, bring your teddy bear.
In fact, we invite audience to bring to their viewing items to hold or touch, from time to time, that are:
fluffy and light
cold and smooth
soft and warm
*The original performance was commissioned for the "9 Hour Interludes" online exhibition 10/21-24, sponsored by Studio Angelica, Siena Heights University.