Apache violinist Laura Ortman presents her performance: ROCKS. From the rosined-out beast of her tough stained violin emerges deranged crumpled wings twirling in starlight and oil slickness and shininess; bearing heavy use of amplification and effects, she also incorporates over-rosining to add smoke, dust, wind and slow-motion grittiness in her scored / improvised compositions for amplified violin, Apache violin, whistles, tree branches, slides, megaphone, guitar picks, bells and tuning fork.
Ortman’s performance is a part of the Biennial’s weekly Performance and Reading Program: Isonomia in Toronto, a series which takes place within Adrian Blackwell’s two interrelated structures at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E and the Small Arms Inspection Building. Invited guests include poet CAConrad, artists Camilo Godoy and Lawrence Abu Hamdan, RISE Edutainment, Sister Co-Resister, and percussionist Marshall Trammell.
Image: Laura Ortman, photograph by Marne Lucas.
. Courtesy the artist.
A soloist and vibrant collaborator, Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache; lives in Brooklyn, NY, USA) works across recorded albums, live performances, and filmic and artistic soundtracks, and has collaborated with artists such as Tanya Lukin Linklater, Tony Conrad, Jock Soto, Raven Chacon, Nanobah Becker, Okkyung Lee, Martin Bisi, Caroline Monnet, Martha Colburn, and Loren Connors. An inquisitive and exquisite violinist, Ortman is versed in Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, and keyboards, often sings through a megaphone, and is a producer of capacious field recordings. She has performed at The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among countless established and DIY venues in the US, Canada, and Europe. In 2008 Ortman founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestral ensemble that performed a live soundtrack to Edward Curtis’s film In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914), the first silent feature film to star an all-Native American cast. Ortman is the recipient of the 2020 Jerome Camargo Residency, 2017 Jerome Foundation Fellowship, the 2016 Art Matters Grant, the 2016 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellowship, the 2015 IAIA’s Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Social Engagement Residency, 2014-15 Rauschenberg Residency and 2010 Artist-in-residence at Issue Project Room. She was also a participating artist in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.