Residency Period: October 2013
The Shaft is directed and curated by artists Maiza Hixson and Lauren Ruth as a collaborative work of art founded in 2011 as an unauthorized, rent-free gallery in the elevator of a former Philadelphia factory and art warehouse. Through performative interventions in undesignated “gallery” spaces, The Shaft re-defines the conventions of social ritual and curatorial/artistic practice by precariously occupying border-less, creative territories.
During their one-month residency at Cannonball, The Shaft will host public engagements and document audience participation for its video news program ShaftVision. Events hosted by Cannonball will include a Romantic Dinner for Thirty, in which guests will be treated to an intimate, curated evening of slow, safe, and exotic matchmaking and menu options. The second event, Total Wedding Package will feature a non-traditional commitment ceremony including a “fast-fiancés” mixer, pre-marital counseling, mad-lib vow writing, customized wedding music, and a ride around the block in the newly-wed vehicle, followed by a honeymoon after party. Total Wedding Package has been previously presented at the Koban Project space in Baltimore, MD and in a freight elevator at the Brooklyn Museum as part of the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure’s experimental museum tour.
Maiza Hixson is an artist and the Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA). Hixson has extensive exhibition and curatorial experience, having worked for the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia as well as serving as associate curator of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. She has organized numerous solo exhibitions on artists including Marilyn Minter and Tom Marioni and curated such group exhibitions as American Idyll: Contemporary Art, Karaoke; Oh Boy! Men and Masculinity; CUREAT: Curate + Create; andImperfect City: A Utopian Community and Exhibition. Hixson’s 2013-2014 exhibition program, Radical Participation: A Series of Four Interactive Exhibitions was funded by the Warhol Foundation and implemented at the DCCA. In 2012, Hixson’s video Men Are Much Harder was featured in the People’s Biennial, which travelled to the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, the Southeast Center for the Contemporary Arts, the Cantor-Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Dahl Center for the Arts. Hixson recently completed the Independent Curators International’s intensive training program in New York City. She is also a Lecturer at University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Lauren Ruth is an artist who works in a variety of media including sculpture, social practice, and performance. Ruth has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Corcoran College of Art & Design, the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA), the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Dartmouth College and Grizzly Grizzly Gallery, among others. She has performed at the Wassaic Project Summer Festival and the Receiver Time-Based Media Festival and has been an artist-in-residence at Ox-Bow and Philadelphia’s Recycled Artist-in-Residency. In 2013, Ruth presented on her socially engaged project “The Three Month Marathon” at the Open Engagement Conference at Portland State University. Ruth is Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she is currently implementing a new sculpture curriculum.