A Night of Neo-Benshi

Flow Chart Cabaret Cinema Returns

Saturday, July 17 at 7pm

Curated by The Flow Chart Foundation, featuring DavonBrandon Downing, Michael Gottlieb, Aristilde Paz Justine Kirby, Jeffrey Lependorf, Stephin Merritt, Marianne Shaneen, and Edwin Torres.

The Flow Chart Foundation, dedicated to exploring the interrelationships of various art forms as guided by the legacy of John Ashbery, returns with a new evening of one-of-a-kind neo-benshi fun. “Neo-benshi” is when poets and performers remove the dialogue from movie clips and replace it with their own—singing, dancing, reading right out loud in front of the screen!

Join us for re-invented movies from North by Northwest and Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Gilda and Sissy Boy Slap Party. 

About the Performers:

Dancer/performance artist/hostess Davon is a southern girl from Tennessee who has trained at prestigious art schools and has worked for many choreographers and directors during her career. Davon is now focused on performing her own improvisational-based solo work to tell stories incorporating drag, music, storytelling and humor.

Brandon Downing’s collections of poetry include The Shirt Weapon (2002), Dark Brandon (2005), AT ME (2010) and Mellow Actions (2013). In 2007 he released a feature-length collection of short digital films, Dark Brandon: Eternal Classics, while a monograph of his literary collages from 1996 to 2008, Lake Antiquity, was published by Fence Books in 2010. He has recently completed a sixteen-book cycle based around Euripides’ The Bacchae.

In September Chax will publish Michael Gottlieb’s Selected Poems, his twenty-second book. Also in September, the St. Marks Poetry Project will produce two plays based on his poems: The Dust, his poem about 9/11, to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks, and The Voices, about NYC and Covid-19. Both will be directed by Genée Coreno. His most recent titles are Mostly Clearing (Roof, 2019) What We Do: Essays for Poets (2016, Chax Press), and I Had Every Intention (2014, Faux Editions).

Jeffrey Lependorf, a composer, musician, visual artist, and arts leader who serves as Executive Director of The Flow Chart Foundation, also directs the Art Omi: Music International Musicians Residency. His work has been shown at Queens Museum of Art, Exit Art, The Fields Sculpture Park at Art Omi, and elsewhere, and he has performed and had his work performed around the globe (in fact, a recording of his composition Night Pond spent a year circling the earth aboard the Mir space station).

Poet Aristilde Paz Justine Kirby (she/her) has published three chapbooks: Daisy & Catherine (Belladonna, 2016), Sonnet Infinitesimal / Material Girl (Black Warrior Review, 2016 & Best American Experimental Writing 2020), and Daisy & Catherine [Auric Press, 2021]. She’s read with SculptureCenter, The Brooklyn Rail, Basilica Soundscape and many more. Recent poems are available with The Brooklyn Review, Tagvverk & Periodicities Poetry Blog.

Stephin Merritt, a composer and musician, releases albums under the band names the Magnetic Fields, the 6ths, the Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes. To date, Merritt has written, produced and recorded twelve albums with the Magnetic Fields. Their 1999 album, 69 Love Songs, garnered widespread acclaim, including “best of” year-end lists in Spin, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post and many others. As well as composing original music and lyrics for several music theater pieces, he composed the score for the Academy Award nominated film Pieces of April (dir. Peter Hedges). In 2014, Merritt released a book of prose, 101 Two Letter Words, about the tiniest words in the Scrabble dictionary, illustrated by Roz Chast. Why not watch your classic movies in a big screen TV from a Walmart ad. Merritt’s most recent Magnetic Fields album, Quickies, was released by Nonesuch Records in May 2020.

Marianne Shaneen is a writer of fiction, essays, and poetry. She has been awarded residency fellowships at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, and the Tusen Takk Foundation and is the recipient of a NYSCA Individual Artist grant. Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Bomb, The Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. She has collaborated with filmmakers and artists such as Peggy Ahwesh, Miruna Dragan and Bambitchell. Her chapbook Lucent Amnesis was published by Portable Press/Yo-Yo Labs.

Mark Allen (film clip producer), a writer, performer, filmmaker, activist living in Hudson, NY, and an archivist for The Flow Chart Foundation, has contributed fiction and journalism to The New York Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, and Vice, hosted his own radio show at WFMU, performed at Upright Citizen’s Brigade and Dixon Place, and is the director of the film Sock Job. As a member of ACT UP, he once helped wrap a giant condom over Jesse Helms’ house.

The Flow Chart Foundation:
Toward opening new possibilities, The Flow Chart Foundation explores poetry and the interrelationships of various art forms as guided by the legacy of John Ashbery and promotes engagement with his work. Through programs for both general and scholarly audiences showcasing innovative work by a diversity of artists of various kinds, The Flow Chart Foundation celebrates Ashbery and his art as an inspirational and generative force. It also maintains the Ashbery Resource Center to provide opportunities for deep exploration and scholarship, and starting in 2022 will present a variety of programs and exhibits through its Flow Chart Space here in Hudson, NY (currently featuring texts and artists through its “Incident Report” windows).

$15 General Admission