Naked July: The Living Canvas, Nocturne
Photographer Pete Guither has specialized in photography of the body as canvas since the mid 1980s, using the texture of projected images, along with light and shadow, to capture the intricacies and expressiveness of the nude form. His award-winning work has been featured online and presented in various galleries and publications, as well as a United Nations presentation ("Furrows and Deltas: The Erogenous Zones of Mother Earth"). Currently serving as Assistant to the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University, Guither's extensive background includes theatre, dance, visual arts, arts technology, and music.
That is the essence of The Living Canvas
In 2001, the photography evolved into a concept that united the images in live performance, integrating richly textured movement and self-discovery with a once-immobile canvas. "The Living Canvas" (2001), using symphonic-like movements, performed at Illinois State University and for a seven week run at Strawdog Theatre in Chicago. In 2002, "The Living Canvas: An Odyssey" at Chicago Actors' Studio took the concept a different direction with a theatrical storyline (based loosely on "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"). "Ascent of the Living Canvas (2004) and "The Living Canvas 2005" followed a free-form theatrical vignette structure that ranged from serious social statement to abstract silliness, and incorporated digital projection and multiple levels to the work. "Unsex Me Here - a Living Canvas production" deconstructed the world of Macbeth in 2008. "Nocturne" (2009) explores the dark and playful children's fairy tales that haunt our dreamscape. Often controversial, Living Canvas productions always daringly explore themes of self-esteem, body acceptance and beauty, repression, and the breaking down of societal barriers regarding the human form, regardless of the structure of story of the work.
We don't mind that some audience members come to the show in order to "see naked people." Inevitably, they leave having experienced something much more profound.
Integral to each performance is an open discussion period after the show with the audience, often with opportunity for audience members to take the plunge onstage themselves, playing in projections.
Living Canvas performers (as well as those who "pose" for photography) are all collaborators in the artistic process. That is an essential part of making the canvas live.
National Pastime Theater
4139 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60613
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|