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'Wastepaper Theatre Archive,' Exhibition Co-organized by Curatorial Practice Students at Simmons and Independent Curator Randi Hopkins, on View at Boston University

BOSTON (March 7, 2012) — The curatorial practices seminar at Simmons College invites the public to its collaborative exhibition project: "Wastepaper Theatre Archive," on view in the Boston University Art Gallery Annex, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, from March 20-31 2012. An opening reception will be held Tuesday, March 20, from 4-6 p.m. The public is also invited to a hands-on collage party and poetry project on Tuesday, March 27, from 4-6 p.m.

Wastepaper Theatre was an experimental theater troupe founded in 1973 by four Rhode Island-based poets, visual artists, and playwrights: Edwin Honig, James Schevill, Keith Waldrop, and Rosmarie Waldrop. The group drew its original visual inspiration from the collage sensibility of the DADA and Surrealist art movements, and its social and political impetus from the post-Vietnam and Watergate era in the U.S. The group continued to write and perform unusual plays in unexpected venues until the early 1990s.

"Wastepaper Theatre Archive" seeks to evoke the contextual elements of the original Wastepaper Theatre group. At the same time, it explores the broad challenges encountered in preserving and physically displaying something as ephemeral as performance art. By taking a throwaway name and acting outside traditional theater venues, the original Wastepaper performers urged viewers to think of their performances as casual, unpolished, and provocative. This exhibition presents evidence including audio-taped interviews, archival photographs, original collages, and photocopied scripts, along with other domestic elements to reference the original "living room" setting of the 1970s-era performances. It offers contemporary audiences a chance to become immersed in the Wastepaper Theatre's ideals, and creates an atmosphere that replicates the potential site of an actual performance. This allows us to invite our visitors to act not only as spectators but also to engage as performers and thinkers — to literally act out the material, or to sit quietly and immerse themselves in art and ideas sparked by the Wastepaper Theatre's activities.

"Wastepaper Theatre Archive" is presented at the BU Art Gallery Annex in conjunction with the exhibition "100 Years (version #4, Boston, 2012)," a visual history of performance art curated by Klaus Biesenback, Director of MoMA PS1, and RoseLee Goldberg, Director and Curator of Performance, and organized for the BU Art Gallery by Director and Chief Curator Kate McNamara. "100 Years" is on view at the BU Art Gallery through March 20.

Boston University Gallery Annex hours are 9 a.m. — 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information on the Wastepaper Theatre Archive at the BUAG Annex, please contact Marcia Lomedico at (617) 521-2268 or visit the exhibition webpage at http://www.tumblr.com/blog/wastepapertheatre.

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