victoria bradford styrbicki

6351 Saint Croix Trail N #142
Stillwater, MN 55082

Email: victoria@ahouseunbuilt.com
Website: https://ahouseunbuilt.com
Phone: 337 794 8222

selected exhibitions

“Relay of Voices” (2019)

Run time: 120 days, 2,300 miles
MINNESOTA: Park Rapids, Itasca State Park, Bemidji, Cass Lake, Bena, Deer River, Grand Rapids, Jacobson, Palisade, Long Lake Conservation Center, Aitkin, Crosby, Brainerd, Little Falls, Rice, St. Cloud, Monticello, Elk River, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Winona; WISCONSIN: Prescott, Bay City, Pepin, Alma, Trempealeau, La Crosse; IOWA: Lansing, Harpers Ferry, Guttenberg, North Buena Vista/Balltown, Dubuque, Bellevue, Sabula, Clinton, Davenport (Quad Cities), Muscatine, Oakville, Burlington; ILLINOIS: Port Byron, Moline/Rock Island (Quad Cities), Nauvoo, Warsaw, Quincy, East St. Louis, Prairie du Rocher, Chester, Anna, Thebes, Cairo; MISSOURI: Hannibal, Louisiana, Elsberry, Winfield, St. Charles, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau; KENTUCKY: Wickliffe, Columbus, Hickman; TENNESSEE: Tiptonville, Ridgely, Ripley, Fort Pillow Historic State Park, Covington, Randolph, Memphis; ARKANSAS: West Memphis, Anthonyville, Hughes/Horshoe Lake, Marianna, Helena-West Helena, Eudora; MISSISSIPPI: Clarksdale, Deeson, Rosedale, Scott, Greenville, Vicksburg, Port Gibson, Church Hill, Natchez; LOUISIANA: Lake Providence, Tallulah/Mound, Vidalia, Black Hawk, Morganza, New Roads, St. Francisville, North Baton Rouge, South Baton Rouge, St. Gabriel, Convent, Reserve, Norco, Kenner, New Orleans, Violet, Belle Chasse, Carlisle, Point a La Hache, West Point a La Hache, Port Sulphur, Buras, Boothville, Venice
Choreographer
“Relay of Voices” was a durational performance involving the participation of nearly a thousand residents of the Mississippi River region, sharing their voices and lives with two artist-athletes traversing the 2,300 mile length of the river at the human scale, on foot. Over the course of 120 days, the artists treated their bodies like archives, storing the memories and experiences of these encounters, also capturing sights, sounds and conversations with GPS-enabled body cameras as documents and future raw material. Relay used a practice of radical listening to create space for each other and allows us to look back at where we are (from) with new eyes.

“When Fear Hits the Body” (2018)

Run time: 1.5 hours, one performances
Commissioned and performed as part of ELEVATE CHICAGO DANCE
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Choreographer, Designer
“When Fear Hits the Body” was intended to share the range of emotions experienced by the all white company of dancers who traveled to Clarksdale, a largely Black American community located in the Mississippi Delta region, known for its struggles with poverty and racism. Through a guttural range of movement, traversing the space in close proximity with the audience, the dancers asked audience members to think and move through their own fears and impossibilities felt in the body.

“Declivity” (2018)

Run time: 3 hours, two performances
Commissioned and performed as part of SHareOUT
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
Choreographer, Designer, Visual Artist
A site-responsive, durational performance and installation based on listening to the labor of the Mississippi River, the might of its crosscurrents, and the story of labor told by the water, the land, and the people who work and live with it. Performed as a 180 minute relay cycle beginning on the back lawn of the museum, going around the museum building, and using the front steps, five dancer-athletes “walk the bottoms” of the river, “get caught in the current,” “meander,” “wait,” “maneuver,” “levee,” “breech,” and remind us of their paths as they keep going.

“Do Something Else” (2018)

Run time: 2 hours, one performance
Commissioned and performed as part of Do Something Else by Brent FogtChicago Artists’ Coalition, Chicago, IL
Choreographer, Designer, Performer
In “Do Something Else,” I choreographed a partner-based, durational relay in response to Brent Fogt’s installation of off-kilter sculptures created from furniture and other found objects. Playing off the ambulatory implications of Fogt’s sculptures, six dancers carried the dance outside the gallery, around the city block that surrounds the gallery then back through the gallery space itself, and back out again.

“Neighborhood Dances” (2017)

Run time: 2 month public engagement + 4-hour single performance
Commissioned and performed as part of Merce Cunningham: Common Time
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer
“Neighborhood Dances” (2017) was the culmination of three years of developing and sharing the public practice of “neighborhood dancing” through daily dance-making, archival choreography, workshops and training, studio explorations of visual and movement material, and various other subsequent exhibitions—visual and performance-based. This final Neighborhood Dances exhibition was composed of 50+ crowdsourced dances and a related, crowd-sourced performance installation made up of 4 site-specific dances.

“Neighborhood Dances” (2017)

Exhibited as part of Obsession, Improvisation, Collaboration
Governors State University, University Park, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer
“Neighborhood Dances” (2017) showcased 500 photo compositions chronicling my neighborhood dancing practice as well as a video composition featuring all of my solo neighborhood dances as a horizontal scrolling loop. Obsession, Improvisation, Collaboration was an exhibition exploring the connections between the creation of Jazz music and studio art making practices, particularly obsession, improvisation, and collaboration.

“Duet” (2016)

Run time: 1 hour, one performance
Performed as part of DCASE Theatre and Dance Residency
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer
“Duet” was a hybrid performance of movement, music, video, and lecture centered around the concept of “duet” or call and response in bird song. Duet was the result of a six month residency at the Chicago Cultural Center sponsored by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

“Hiding Lost Things” (2016)

Run time: 30 minutes, one performance
Performed as part of DCASE Theatre and Dance Residency
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Choreographer, Performer
“Hiding Lost Things” was a collaborative endeavor—a duet between media and persons. The work cultivated movement vocabulary from my daily public practice, Neighborhood Dances, and sound vocabulary from collaborator Todd Mattei’s ongoing music compositions.

“Neighborhood Dances” (2016)

Run time: 1 hour, several performances + installation
Performed and exhibited as part of RE|Marking Festival
Zania Gallery, Cleveland, OH
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer
I brought my “Neighborhood Dances” project to Cleveland as part of the RE|Marking Festival, a body based, feminist community arts event. Installed at Zania Gallery were selections from my “Neighborhood Dances” visual collection—large and small prints, as well as a video composite of the dances. I also performed a danced lecture related to the journey of the project in the gallery space several times over the course of the festival day.

“Threading the Table” (2016)

Run time: 1 month
Performed and exhibited as part of the PLACE Micro-Residency
Public and private spaces, Lake Charles, LA
Curator, Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer
“Threading the Table,” a social practice piece centered on embroidery and conversation, hovered between two sets of locations, a public post office and private homes. A collaborative effort with Chicago-based Amber Ginsburg, the project invited members of the local community to contribute in stitching the shared experience of gathering for a meal, conjuring imagery of the dinner table in shades of gray thread. 

“DINNER DANCE” (2016)

Run time: 4 hours + installation
Commissioned by and performed as a one night engagement
McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer
“DINNER DANCE” at the McColl Center was a collaborative performance project made with Chicago artist Hannah Barco. 40 guests engaged in a multi-course meal that was choreographed with actions, labors, and engagements that framed the activity of dinner as a dance. Each “table” of eight was devised in response to and installed in each of the existing resident’s studios at the Center.

“Running with Scissors” (2015)

Run time: 3 hours + installation
Commissioned and performed as part of Walking Sculpture 1967-2015 
DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA
Choreographer, Performer
“Running with Scissors” was a collaborative tableau installation, durational performance, and staged performance created with and performed by myself, Hannah Barco and Jessica Cornish. Carrying forward the concerns of two works by Hannah Barco included in the exhibition “Walking Sculpture 1967-2015,” this piece took on an overtly playful tone while exploring the rather existential gesture of carrying things.

“Underneath is a Landscape” (2014)

Run time: 2 months
Performed and exhibited as part of the PLACE Micro-Residency
Vacant Social Security Building, Lake Charles, LA
Curator, Visual Artist
During this month-long residency and subsequent month-long “opening,” a vacant office building formerly housing the Social Security Administration and before that a local bank was converted into a 12,000 square foot installation. By working with resident artists Jessica Cornish (Chicago) and Tracy LeMieux (Lake Charles), the “place” was excavated and reimagined in light of stories revealed through historical markings, patterns of use, architecture, and vacancy.

“Neighborhood Dances” (2015)

Run time: 90 minutes + installation
Performed and exhibited as part of Chicago Artists Month: City as Studio
Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer 
Participants from a week-long “Neighborhood Dances”workshop formed the company of dancers for this evening-length, immersive performance and installation. After spending a week activating architecture and environments in Noble Square and other areas of Chicago through public dances, the dancers performed recomposed live actions and memories of their public works in direct conversation with the new gallery audience. The performance also featured a video installation and a live audio installation by Ryan Packard.

“Ghost Skirts” (2015)

Run time: 90 minutes + installation
Performed and exhibited as part of Chicago Artists Month
High Concept Labs, Chicago, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer
“Ghost Skirts” seized upon the iconic hoop skirt dance from the Skirts archive, multiplying the image of one dancer ensconced by the skirt by ten with a live public performance at the Museum of Science and Industry. The documentation of this event was then exploded into an evening-length performance and installation with the ten “ghost skirt” dancers, new choreography, and video and multimedia installations.

“Skirts” (2014)

Run time: 1 hour
Ben Mount Theater, Lake Charles, LA
Choreographer, Designer, Performer
“Skirts” used live performance and dance for camera to examine humor, feminine constraint, anachronism and beauty. Research for the project focused on women’s clothing and how their physical activity was shaped by these garments. Resulting video archive and processed movement vocabulary was choreographed by myself and Jessica Cornish into a live performance for stage with accompanying sound score by Lia Kohl.

“I’d Rather Dance with You than Talk with You” (2013)

Run time: 90 minutes
Performed as part of Open House Chicago: Uptown Five
Preston Bradley Church, Chicago, IL
Choreographer, Designer, Performer
A site/situation-adaptive performance engaging the small gestures and quiet movements of our bodies. The six performers work through multiple variations of an improvisational structure, rooted in texts by Italo Calvino and Peggy Phelan, modulating the volume of the gestures through various structures and vocabulary and immersing the dance in the space of the audience.

“DINNER DANCE” (2013)

Run time: 12 hours
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer 
In collaboration with Hannah Barco, the Dinner Dance project took over the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, replete with 50 newly recruited performers. The entourage revisited the building’s atriums, galleries, and stairwells as spaces for household activities, as stages to be activated with the intimacy of the domestic. The 12 hour durational, participatory performance culminated in the project’s token 6 hour experimental dinner party staged in the dining hall and throughout the various museum spaces.

“DINNER DANCE” (2013)

Run time: 6 hours
Commissioned and performed as part of Chicago Artists Month: Traylor Park Projects
Institute of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (IPRAC) 14 foot trailer truck, Chicago, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer
A durational performance lasting 6 hours in which the 6 audience members also become the performers. Staged as a 6-course meal, this piece was site-adaptive and responsive to its participants, iterative in nature and explored in various settings from a 14-foot trailer truck to private homes to gallery and museum spaces. The labors and engagements surrounding the kitchen and dinner table readily came to bear as the hours progressed, revealing themselves as the dance.

“DINNER DANCE” (2013)

Run time: 6 hours
Commissioned by Jeanie and Tom Cottingham
Home of Jeanie and Tom Cottingham, Charlotte, NC
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer

“Running Begins Elsewhere” (2013)

Exhibited as part of Twelve Variations
Chicago Artists’ Coalition, Chicago, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer
Developed as an installation of over 400 stickie notes, composed of movement vocabulary and arranged in a grid outlining a training program for running. The work of choreographic notation resulted from a month-long practice attempting to execute the drills on “Proper Running Technique” contained in a 1965 Championship Football Manual.

“I’d Rather Dance with You than Talk with You” (2013)

Run time: 90 minutes
Performed as part of Embody
Design Cloud Gallery, Chicago, IL
Choreographer, Designer, Performer

“DINNER DANCE” (2013)

Run time: 3 weeks
Created and performed as part of Live/Work
Chicago Artists’ Coalition, Chicago, IL
Visual Artist, Choreographer, Performer

fellowships & awards

Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award (2017)
$15,000, 1 year, Relay of Voices.

Chicago Artists’ Month Featured Artist (2016)
$1,000, 1-month, Neighborhood Dances

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artist Award (2014)
$3,000, 1 year, Skirts

grants

Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Foundation (2019)
$5,000, Relay of Voices

Mississippi River Parkway Commission (2019)
$4,000, Relay of Voices

Empire of the Seed (2019)
$2,000, Relay of Voices

Pelican Foundation (2019)
$1,000, Relay of Voices

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Foundation (2019)
$500, Relay of Voices

Baton Rouge Area Foundation (2018)
$2,500, Relay of Voices

American Press Foundation (2018)
$1,000, Relay of Voices

Bradford Family Foundation (2018)
$40,500, Relay of Voices

The MDV Foundation (2018)
$2,500, Relay of Voices

Joe W. & Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation (2018)
$2,500, Relay of Voices

3ARTS 3AP (2018)
$5,171, Relay of Voices

residencies

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Theatre and Dance Residency (2016)
6 months, “Duet,” “Hiding Lost Things”

Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery Micro-Residency
1 week, Neighborhood Dances (workshop), Neighborhood Dances (performance & installation)

Chicago Artists’ Coalition HATCH Residency (2013)
1 year, “Dinner Dance,” “Running Begins Elsewhere”

education

Master of Fine Arts (2012)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Studio/Performance

Bachelor of Fine Arts (2002)
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Studio Art/Sculpture
Magna Cum Laude

Non-Degree (2004-2006)
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Comparative Literature
Board of Regents Fellowship

teaching/speaking

“Movement from Life” (2017)
Presented as part of Yvonne Rainer: Embodiment Abstracted
Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
1 day workshop

“Building Blocks: Dancing the City: Moving through Non-Traditional Spaces” (2015)
Presented as part of the Chicago Architectural Biennial 
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL 
Panel presentation and discussion

“Neighborhood Dances” (2015) 
Presented as part of Chicago Artists Month: City as Studio
Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago, IL 
Week-long workshop

“Neighborhood Dances” (2015) 
Presented as part of Crossing Boundaries
University of Chicago/Harold Washington College, Chicago, IL
3 week workshop

“Gestural Movement” (2013)
Presented as part of the Visual Arts Certificate Program 
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1 day workshop

“Dinner dance” (2013)
Presented as part of Performing Tableware
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Visiting artist lecture

“Method in Action: Contemporary applications of performance as pedagogy in theater, dance and beyond” (2013)
Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference, Orlando, FL 
Panel presentation

“Movement For The Camera” (2012)
Presented as part of CORE Studio
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1 day visiting artist workshop

selected press

Robin Miller, “Relay of Voices project will be running through southeast Louisiana next week in search of stories,” The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), October 9, 2019.
https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/entertainment_life/article_6b6156ca-e893-11e9-8775-4f8ffc2a998a.html

Julia Baker, “Shoppin’ on the River: Fall Night Market this Weekend,” Memphis Flyer, September 19, 2019.
https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/shoppin-on-the-river-fall-night-market-this-weekend/Content?oid=21422758

Lindsey Bell, “Couple journeys along Mississippi River for Relay of Voices,” The Camden Chronicle, September 18, 2019.
http://www.magicvalleypublishing.com/2019/09/18/couple-journeys-along-mississippi-river-for-relay-of-voices/

Bobby Radford, “Storytelling expedition makes way down Mississippi, stops in Ste. Gen,” Daily Journal (Park Hills, MO), September 5, 2019.
https://dailyjournalonline.com/news/local/storytelling-expedition-makes-way-down-mississippi-stops-in-ste-gen/article_ef6ef517-90fc-5240-8990-910bda969007.html

Jesse Davis, “Relay of Voices,” Memphis: The City Magazine, August 28, 2019.
https://memphismagazine.com/the-memo/relay-of-voices/

David Namanny, “Relay of Voices,” Bellevue Herald-Leader, August 21, 2019.
https://www.bellevueheraldleader.com/news/relay-of-voices/article_01bfc7da-c2bc-11e9-a9c4-1b9aa23a8ee2.html

Kate Payne, “Artistic Team Traveling the Length of the Mississippi Makes Stops in Iowa,” Iowa Public Radio, August 16, 2019.
https://www.iowapublicradio.org/post/artistic-team-traveling-length-mississippi-makes-stops-iowa

Andrea Flores, “Couple running, biking along Mississippi River for ‘Relay of Voices,’” WQAD-TV (Moline, IL), August 16, 2019.
https://wqad.com/2019/08/16/couple-running-biking-along-mississippi-river-for-relay-of-voices/

Jennifer DeWitt, Andy Abeyta, “Relay of Voices an artistic research project, to make stops across Quad-City region,” August 14, 2019.
https://qctimes.com/news/local/relay-of-voices-an-artistic-research-project-to-make-stops/article_107e1ec8-7ce9-5ed2-8c1e-b6748fdbbe54.html

Britta Greene, “Looking for stories along the Mississippi, she’s found love,” MPR News, July 29, 2019.
https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/07/29/relay-voices-mississippi-love

Zane Douglas, “Woman traveling the length of the Mississippi to make Prescott stop this month,” Pierce County Herald, July 16, 2019.
https://www.piercecountyherald.com/community/people/4637343-woman-travelling-length-mississippi-make-prescott-stop-month

Kraig Becker, “Adventure Quickies: Reassessing R-Values, Celebrating 75 Years of Smoky Bear, and Other Stories — The Adventure Blog,” adventureblog.net, July 12, 2019.
https://adventureblog.net/2019/07/adventure-quickies-reassessing-r-values-celebrating-75-years-of-smoky-bear-and-other-stories.html

Annalise Braught, “A Relay on the river: Relay of Voices group stops in Bemidji to learn about the Mississippi,” Bemidji Pioneer, July 10, 2019.
https://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/3904735-A-Relay-on-the-river-Relay-of-Voices-group-stops-in-Bemidji-to-learn-about-the-Mississippi

Kraig Becker, “Artist Plans to Travel the Length of the Mississippi River to Connect Communities,” adventureblog.net, May 30, 2019.
https://adventureblog.net/2019/05/artist-plans-to-travel-the-length-of-the-mississippi-river-to-connect-communities.html

Theresa Schmidt, “Artist Victoria Bradford ‘running home’ to discuss Relay of Voices: The Great River Run,” KPLC-TV (Lake Charles, LA), October 31, 2018.
http://www.kplctv.com/2018/10/31/artist-victoria-bradford-running-home-discuss-relay-voices-great-river-run/

Baiqi Chen, Asha Veal Brisebois, “Victoria Bradford and Xinqi Tao, Neighborhood Dances, Chicago and Shanghai,” EMERGE, Fall 2016/Spring2017.
http://sites.saic.edu/emerge/fall2016/neighborhood-dances/

Josh Usmani, “Body-Based Womanist Artists and Activists Will Host Creative Event in Detroit Shoreway,” SCENE, April 27, 2016.
http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2016/04/27/body-based-womanist-artists-and-activists-will-host-creative-event-in-detroit-shoreway

“Best ongoing improvisational dance project,” Best of Chicago, New City, November 5, 2015.
http://best.newcity.com/2015/11/05/best-ongoing-improvisational-dance-project/

Michael Workman, “Preview: Ghost Skirts/Victoria Bradford, Jessica Cornish & Lia Kohl,” New City, November 11, 2015.
http://www.newcitystage.com/2015/11/11/preview-ghost-skirtsvictoria-bradford/#more-36025

April McCallum, “Meet The Choreographer Bringing The Avant-Garde To The Masses, Victoria Bradford,” The Culture Trip, November 2, 2015.
http://www.theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/illinois/articles/meet-the-choreographer-bringing-the-avant-garde-to-the-masses-victoria-bradford/ 

Mary Deyoe, “Chicago Gallery News on Chicago Artists Month,” Chicago Gallery News, October 16, 2015.
http://www.chicagogallerynews.com/news/2015/10/chicago-artists-month-2015-the-city-as-studio

Brad Goins, “Neighborhood Dances is ‘Up Front’ with Brad Goins,” Lagniappe, April 30, 2015.
http://bestofswla.com/2015/04/30/neighborhood-dances/

Brad Goins, “Place No. 1,” Lagniappe, December 18, 2014.
http://bestofswla.com/2014/12/18/place-1/

John Guidroz, “‘Place’ open throughout November,” American Press, November 10, 2014.
http://www.americanpress.com/-Place–art-exhibits

professional experience

Executive & Artistic Director, A House Unbuilt 
Stillwater, MN/Lake Charles, LA/Chicago, IL
2012 – present

Project Designer, AC Atelier
Chicago, IL
2016 – 2018

Project Director, Free Swim
Lake Charles, LA
2014 – 2016

Program Assistant, Graham Foundation 
Chicago, IL
2015 – 2016

Program Director, Chicago Dancemakers Forum 
Chicago, IL
2013 – 2016

Contributing Editor, Chicago Artists Resource/Chicago Artists Coalition
Chicago, IL
2013 – 2015 

references

Hannah Barco
Assistant Director of Exhibitions, Sullivan Galleries,
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (919) 475-3436, Email: hreed1@artic.edu

Robin Deacon
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Performance,
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 394-9104, Email: rdeaco@saic.edu

Joseph Ravens
Director, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago, IL 60642
Phone: (773) 485-6284, Email: joseph@dfbrl8r.org