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ICED BODIES: Artist Talk with Seth Parker Woods and Spencer Topel

Artists Seth Parker Woods and Spencer Topel will discuss their upcoming performance at the Weisman, ICED BODIES, with University of Minnesota faculty member and poet Douglas Kearney. The talk is at Northrop’s Best Buy Theater. Reception to follow.

Free and open to the public. Register now → z.umn.edu/IcedBodiesArtistTalk

Update Jan. 7, 2022: Due to increasing concerns about COVID-19 community transmission, registration for this event will be limited to 50% capacity of the theater space, to allow for extra room between guests in attendance. The reception originally scheduled to follow the artist talk has also been canceled. In keeping with guidelines throughout the University of Minnesota system, face-coverings will be required for all guests and staff. Please note: The in-gallery performance at the Weisman originally scheduled for January 29 has been CANCELED because of concerns about COVID-19 transmission. We’re planning to bring this performance to the Weisman next year instead, as part of the 2023 Great Northern Festival.


An iconic performance art piece from the 1970s is reimagined for today with ICED BODIES. An ice cello dyed black and embedded with electronics is played by Seth Parker Woods and translated into sound by composer Spencer Topel, paying tribute to an avant-garde past while reflecting on the Black bodies lost to mental illness and violence in the African American community. Reception throughout the event in the Dolly Fiterman Riverview Gallery.


Headshot of Seth Parker WoodsCellist Seth Parker Woods has established a reputation as a versatile artist straddling several genres. In addition to solo performances, he has appeared with the Ictus Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L’Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH), Basel Sinfonietta (CH), Ensemble LPR, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Atlanta and Seattle Symphony’s. A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, Woods has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Louis Andriessen, Elliott Carter, Heinz Holliger, G. F. Haas, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, and Peter Eötvos to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey, and Rachael Yamagata to such visual artists as Ron Athey, Vanessa Beecroft, Jack Early, Adam Pendleton, and Aldo Tambellini.


Headshot of Spencer TopelSpencer Topel is an American artist combining sound, installation, and performance. His practice is often characterized as an exploration between sculpture and musical instruments, expressed in a variety of works ranging from site-specific installations to performance art pieces. At the heart of this inquiry is the notion that objects have their own unique voice, and the task of the artist is to reveal and amplify this quality.


Headshot of Douglas KearneyDouglas Kearney has published seven collections, including the National Book Award finalist, Sho (Wave Books, 2021);  the award-winning poetry collection Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016); libretti, Someone Took They Tongues. (Subito, 2016); and criticism, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015).) WIRE magazine calls Fodder, a live album featuring Kearney and frequent collaborator, Val Inc., “Brilliant.” A Whiting Writer’s and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly awardee with residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Kearney is a McKnight Presidential Fellow and associate professor of Creative Writing/English at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Altadena, CA, he lives in St. Paul with his family.


In partnership with Great Northern Festival

Presented by Northrop and Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota

This event is supported with funding from Student Services Fees and co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Office for Equity and Diversity.

Logo acknowledgements for the Great Northern Festival, Northrop, WAM, Student Services Fees, and Office for Equity and Diversity