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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

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Concert Wed Sep 15 2010

Hell bent for (the mind of) black leather


Camilla Ha takes pride in making crowds uncomfortable. This should surprise nobody familiar with Ha's primary background, extensive experience in the Japanese performance art known as Butoh. The form emphasizes grotesque movements and exaggerated gestures that illustrate Andre Breton's motto, "Beauty will be convulsive, or it will not be at all." Most recently known for her one-woman sound/performance project Magic Is Kuntmaster (and before that as a member of My Name Is Rar-Rar, Panicsville, and Foamula), Ha channels a poised unease, a seeming contradiction that punches through the ennui permeating your average loft space performance.

This Saturday, Ha says farewell to Chicago in her own peculiar way, curating a multimedia cavalcade of performance, readings, interactive exhibits, and video art titled "The Cosmic Mind of Black Leather" this Saturday (September 18) at Reversible Eye Gallery (1106 N. California). The doors open at 8 p.m., but the exhibit itself will stick around until the 30th. Admission is free.

Magic is Kuntmaster rises above the usual attempts at experimental sound. Lots of people take abrasive electronics, meld them with steady, thumping beats, and sing/moan/wail over the top, but Ha recasts the experience through a total immersion of the room's atmosphere. Most acts play AT you; Magic is Kuntmaster pulls you in, slowly, persistently, calmly spinning a paralyzing web around each listener, shuffling to and fro behind her equipment like a banished wraith while secretly gluing the exits (metaphorically) shut. Her presence and her instant command over an audience is undeniable.

Along with her own sound work, which will be performed as a duo with fellow silence-displacer Jason Soliday, the night will feature readings by Gregory Jacobsen (known both for his exceptional visual art and his leadership of the band Lovely Little Girls) and Gabriel Wallace, a performance by Ryan Dunn, aka Instinct Control, and DJing by Alex Valentine and Rand Sevilla. Should you wish to stumble outside to regain your balance, you'll still be surrounded by sculptures by Ha and industrial designer Jami Primmer. No escape! The space itself "draws from Ha's immense collection of dream journals," will move visitors from passive consumers to active participants as they enter a box that "must be climbed in order to view its inner content." Videos will be projected and art absorbed. It's the kind of immersive art environment that made you want to move away from your hometown in the first place.

Admission is free, and doors open at 8 p.m. To tantalize your art receptors, here are a few choice Magic is Kuntmaster performances, the first one from a 2007 set at Enemy:

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
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Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
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Fake Shore Drive
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Theft Liable to Prosecution
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UR Chicago
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Park West
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Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
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Symphony Center
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Uncommon Ground
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