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JOHN TOTH

Fabric Installations

Fabric Is A Structure For Behavior 

    Perhaps the earliest memories we have of fabric are from the embryonic membrane that first served as our protective shelter.  And immediately from the womb we were dressed in furs, blankets and clothes.

      Later, as a child, I crawled under the quilting frame of my grandmother’s Slavic sewing circle.  My back to the damp basement floor, I watched, under the quilting frame, as needles poked through the tightly stretched fabric, stitching remnants from our worn out shirts into brightly colored geometric patterns.  Sitting around the perimeter, the husbands occasionally rose to readjust the clamps holding the quilt to the frame, testing the tension, aware of the surface.  The lights above lit the fabric, coloring the shapes, as I watched below the patterns grew.

      I played under  fabric landscapes that covered furniture in storage, in the scary part of the attic. Within the quiet moments of hide-and-seek, lying under the fabric protection, I discovered a place that gave refuge and a structure for visual fantasy.

        In later years, I camped in dark green resin soaked cotton canvas tents and watched shadowy trees and blistering light bend on sharp angles across the woven  textured surface that promised, during rain, not to drip unless I touched it.

       As an artist I use fabric to mingle the mystery of materials from  brightly colored nylon and synthetic grids to metallic meshes and translucent Mylar’s, with light, film and projected video

 

Installation Art

Circ001e In A Circle

painted environment and fabric structure
for performance
In A Circle is a collaboration that will use the internet and other technologies to link groups of participants in many sites and cities. The core collaboration at this point is the linking of live performances in Buffalo and New York City via the internet I will create fabric installations in multiple sites that will define the structure and framework for performance and art. Artists in Buffalo include composers, poets, video artists, musicians and visual artists. Artists in New York City will provide choreography, dance , theater, video, opera, composers, musicians, visual arts, cyber arts. Teleconferencing and live internet connections will bring interactive possibilities between performers at different sites. ( a dancer in one city will duet and improvise with a dancer in another city or a visual artist and musician might interact with several dancers in other cities).
Circle 1f

In A Circle

# 1f , Audart / Art and technology Circus
installation for performance

Victoria Anderson

In A Circle

Victoria Anderson, Choreography

Sarah Carl / Below

In A Circle

Sarah Carl, Dancer, Actor

Performances with the East Buffalo Media Association
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"Mars" 1a

Media Study/Buffalo
EBMA performance

Don Metz, composer; Michael Basinski, poet

fabric, 8-units 18' x 18' x 9'

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"Bat" 1a

fabric, 96" x 96" x 96"

     In another  show at  The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y.,  I created a fabric sculpture installations in collaboration with   John Cage and LeJaren Hiller's  HPSCHD, with 40 slide projectors, 16 film projectors and 6 harpsichords.
John Cage / HPSCHD 2a

"HPSCHD" 4a

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Collaboration with John Cage and LeJaren Hiller

8 fabric units, 18' x 18' x 9'

HPSCHD4a.jpg

"HPSCHD" 2a

Collaboration with John Cage and LeJaren Hiller

fabric installtion with 40 slide projectors
and 16- 16mm film projectors

Elicot Square 2a

Elicot Square 2a

fabric installation in the Elicot Square Building

fabric 40 feet by 60 feet

Elicot Square 1a

Elicot Square 1a

fabric installation
2 fabric and wood units, 8 feet by 50 feet
white tricot and bent poplar

In 1989 I had the pleasant experience of meeting dance choreographer Ruby Shang.  Ruby saw slides of my stationary fabric installations and thought it would make a good collaboration to have to have her dancers move and manipulate my fabric structures within her dance composition.   "TALES OF EXILE" premeired in 1989 at the Lincoln Center "Out-Of-Doors Festival" in New York with Ruby Shang Dance Company and theater performance directed  by Gilbert T'sai with music composition by  Carman Moore.
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Tales of Exile


Collaboration with Ruby Shang and Dance Company,


at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival 1989

dancer manipulated fabric structures

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Tales of Exile


Gilbert Tsai, director

adapted from

"Invisible Cities" by Italo Calvino

tales02a.jpg

Tales of Exile


Carman Moore, composer

and the Sky Music Ensemble with
Leroy Jenkins, violin
Sam Rivers, saxophone

tales04a.jpg

Tales of Exile


Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival

Modern Dance

tales05a.jpg

Tales of Exile


dancer manipulated fabric sculptures by John Toth

tales06a.jpg

Tales of Exile


 

tales07a.jpg

Tales of Exile


 

tales08a.jpg

Tales of Exile


 

tales09a.jpg

Tales of Exile




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Net Web


fabric installation

Screen 1a Screen 1a

installation with bent poplar and white fabric.

Earth Day 1a

Earth Day

1a

performance fabric installation

Earth Day 2a

Earth Day

2a

fabric structures from "Tales of Exile"
at Earth Day Festival

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Earth Day

Volcano at Earth Day Festival

fabric, 72" x 24" cir.

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defining links:

Installation Art

Unlike traditional art works, installation art has no autonomous existence. It is usually created at the
exhibition site, and its essence is spectator participation. Installation art originated as a radical art
form presented only at alternative art spaces; its assimilation into mainstream museums and galleries
is a relatively recent phenomenon. The move of installation art from the margin to the center of the
art world has had far-reaching effects on the works created and on museum practice.

From Margin to Center: The Spaces of Installation Art
Author:Julie Reiss Publisher:MIT Press

Modern Dance