Kjell Theøry, Prologue 

Exhibition organized for the International Museum of Surgical Science, January 20, 2017 – April 9, 2017; Spring/Fall 2016 Artists in Residence. Featuring work by the performance art ensemble Anatomical Theaters of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r).


about the exhibition
Anatomical Theaters of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r) is a provisional collective exploring forensics, anatomy, and 21st century embodiment through performance, language and emerging technologies. Participants include Mark Jeffery (choreography), Judd Morrissey (text and technology), Justin Deschamps and Christopher Knowlton (collaborators/performers).

Over the course of their residency, ATOM-r developed “Kjell Theøry: Prologue,” a multi-iteration project which took the form of an exhibition at the International Museum of Surgical Science, live performance at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts and, and non-narrative film.

“Kjell Theøry: Prologue,” is best described as an Augmented Reality (AR) experience juxtaposing the historical narrative of gay computing pioneer Alan Turing’s forced chemical castration and subsequent gynecomastia (development of breasts) with algorithmic mutations of Guillaume Apollinaire’s 1917 play, Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Tirésias’ Breasts), a genderfluid spectacle for which the author invented the word surrealism. “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” explores content that blurs the boundaries the binaries of physical and virtual space, past and future, male and female genders, and human and machine.

ATOM-r invited a number of collaborators to develop the project during their residency, including: Grace DuVal (costumes); Elena Ailes, Claire Ashley, Bryan Saner, Laura Prieto-Velasco, Stephen Reynolds, and Oli Watt (objects); Leonardo Kaplan (performance); Mev Luna (research assistant); Joshua Patterson (sound); Josh Hoglund (lighting); Javier Lopez (graphic design); and Julia Pello (video).  and multi-venue production.

ATOM-r performs “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts

Anatomical Theaters of Mixed Reality (ATOM-r) in the International Museum of Surgical Science’s Hall of Murals during their artist residency.

ATOM-r performs “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts

Rehearsals for “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” in the International Museum of Surgical Science’s Thorek Library and Rare Manuscripts Collection

Rehearsals for “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” in the International Museum of Surgical Science’s Hall of Immortals

ATOM-r performs “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts

ATOM-r performs “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts

ATOM-r performs “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts

ATOM-r performs “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” at the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts

Detail of inflatable sculpture by Claire Ashley with screen printed eye-ball balloons by Oli Watt created for the exhibition

AR Interface running program by Judd Morrissey, secured in rope holster created by Elena Ailes for the exhibition

Sectional tables in “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” exhibition, originally created by Bryan Saner for ATOM-r’s performance “The Operature” (2013)

Installation shot of “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” exhibition

Installation shot of “Kjell Theøry: Prologue” exhibition

Detail of sectional tables by Bryan Saner, originally created for ATOM-r’s performance “The Operature” (2013), with daisy embellishments