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Matty Davis and Ben Gould Present A VESSEL FOR CARRIAGE


Matty Davis and Ben Gould Present A VESSEL FOR CARRIAGE A Vessel for Carriage by Matty Davis and Ben Gould takes place on the deck of a Chicago River Cruise boat at dusk. This new project bridging performance, dance, and installation is specifically designed for an intimate audience, and is tuned to the boat, the moving water, and the distinctive bridges spanning the river artery that passes through the city. The artists have created the work as a response to evolving senses of the body-injury, trauma, healing, and growth. Both physically and sonically charged, the work radically explores control and response between the two performers, motored in part by the raw energy of Gould's Tourette Syndrome. Both audience and performers are awakened to real experiences of risk and trust in a setting that melds the built environment and the flow of the river over time.

Visually stunning, with a physical and vocal language that is uncannily harmonic... embodies and expands our notion of empathy. - Holly Shen, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Director of Visual Arts

A Vessel for Carriage is produced by performing arts curator Peter Taub, and is part of a larger project titled Carriage, which is the first collaboration between Matty Davis and Ben Gould. They are staging Carriage in specific sites in a number of cities, and Chicago is the only water-based setting. The other performances of Carriage are:

  • March 29, 2018 premiere in New York City at Queenslab, a new space founded by artist Jim Hodges

  • May 3 in San Francisco at Mendell Battery at the Marin Headlands

  • May 4 in Oakland at Creative Growth

  • May 6 in Los Angeles at Human Resources

  • June 9 in Detroit at Lightbox

  • September 21 in New York City at Queenslab

  • October 21 - 22 in Kansas City, MO at Open Spaces 2018, curated by Dan Cameron


The event takes place on June 17, 2018 at 7pm on board the Chicago's Fair Lady cruise boat, departing from Chicago's Riverwalk at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive (southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, lower level). The performance is approximately one hour long, with additional cruise time of up to two hours. A cash bar and free light appetizers are provided.

Tickets are limited to 70 persons and are available for $20 from


Matty Davis is an artist from Pittsburgh, PA, where his father's plane crashed and his grandfather worked for decades in the steel mills. Described by the New Yorker as "fearless," he has been noted for his combination of relentless, imaginative physicality and intimacy. Davis is invested in the body as a network of energy systems and architectures that can be activated and transformed through action, sparking visceral transformation and mining somatic memory. His multidisciplinary practice yields live performances, films, objects, drawings, and photographs. In 2012, he co-founded BOOMERANG, a performance project based in New York City, and has performed works by or with David Hallberg, Gudio vander Werve, Andy de Groat, and Tino Sehgal. His work has been presented by the Art Institute of Chicago, Steppenwolf Theater, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Judson Church, the 92nd St. Y, the Watermill Center, Dixon Place, Danspace Project, and the Arts Arena in Paris, and the Max Ernst Museum, among others. He was the recipient of a 2016 Visual Arts Fellowship from theEdward F. Albee Foundation, and has recently been an artist-in-residence at the Watermill Center, Queenslab, and Kickstarter's HQ in Brooklyn. Davis teaches at colleges and schools throughout the US, including New York University, Columbia College, Oberlin College, Muhlenberg College, Kenyon College, the Professional Performing Arts High School in New York, and the Philadelphia School.

Ben Gould is a multidisciplinary artist grounded in performance. After being diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, he transformed his studio practice with a new investment in the body, exploring limits, resistance, and the loss of control. His art is built upon collaboration, intimacy, and urgency - cultivated by a deep interest in how energy is directed, rerouted, transformed and transferred. His condition has become an engine for movement-based performance work that is in search of stabilization, and driven by an evolving practice of energetic restraint and release. Within a growing mythos, a space for fantasy and freedom is created for the corresponding videos, images, and objects that emerge from this process. Gould has performed site-specific works across the country, from varied geographies to institutional spaces. He has presented solo exhibitions at Plug Projects in Kansas City and Ballroom Projects in Chicago, and has collaborated with musicians, rock climbers, singers, and designers. He apprenticed with master craftsmen in California, was a 2015 Ox-Bow Fellow, a 2017 Kickstarter Artist in Residence, and Queenslab Space Grant recipient in 2018. He was born and raised in Grass Valley, California in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains next to a decommissioned gold mine and a river. In addition to Carriage workshops and performances, he has recently performed and shown new works in Kansas City, San Antonio, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Carriage has been developed through workshops at Judson Church, the Watermill Center, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Philadelphia School, and Queenslab. It was supported through a residency at the Kickstarter Headquarters in NYC, and has received funding support from a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

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