Icons in Ash, Melancholic Relics

Red Room @ KGB Bar presents:

Icons in Ash, Melancholic Relics

April 11, 2017

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

at the KGB, 85 E 4th St, third floor, NYC

A evening of readings, music and spoken word performances in conjunction with the exhibition of Icons in Ash, Cremation Portraits at Ubu Gallery, NYC and the release of the new book: Heide Hatry, Icons in Ash.

The art of the human image arose millennia ago as a way to keep the dead among us. The pictorial object “the icon” often carried a charge as ritual or ceremonial artifact and as a thing with a certain power. Artist Heide Hatry has extended this tradition by creating realistic portraits made out of the actual ashes of the departed person, and she has created a collaborative artist’s book: Icons in Ash which we will celebrate tonight with a small exhibition, readings from the book by Siri Hustvedt, Lydia Millett, Claudia Steinberg, and Adele Tutter, and music and spoken word performances relating to death by Queen Esther, Jane Le Croy, Laura Lonski, Hot Glue & the Gun, Robert Brashear and Dusty Wright.

Bios of Performers:

Siri Hustvedt was born in Northfield, Minnesota. She has a PhD in English literature from Columbia University and is a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. She is the author of a book of poems, Reading to You; six novels, The Blindfold, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, What I Loved, The Sorrows of an American, The Summer Without Men, and The Blazing World; four collections of essays, A Plea for Eros, Mysteries of the Rectangle: Essays on Painting, Living, Thinking, Looking, and A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind; as well as a non-fiction work, The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. In 2012 she was awarded the Gabarron International Prize for Thought and Humanities. The Blazing World was long listed for Man Booker Prize and won the Los Angeles Book Prize for Fiction in 2014. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Lydia Millet is the author of eleven books of literary fiction, most recently Sweet Lamb of Heaven (2016), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in fiction. Her previous books include Mermaids in Paradise (2014), the novel Magnificence (2012), about loss and extinction, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle and Los Angeles Times book awards, a story collection called Love in Infant Monkeys (2010), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and the novel My Happy Life (2002), which won a PEN-USA fiction award. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012 and lives in the Arizona desert, where she also writes for The New York Times and works at the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity.

Claudia Steinberg is a New York based journalist born in Germany. She has been covering a wide range of subjects like art, travel, design, social issues, and fashion for German publications like Vogue, Die Zeit, Cicero, Kunstzeitung, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. She has been the U.S. correspondent for the German architecture and design magazine Architektur & Wohnen since 1999 and has also written for the home section of The New York Times, Surface, and Interior Design Magazine. In 2004 a book of essays on art and food appeared in collaboration with photographer Bärbel Miebach, followed by The Art of Living, published by Monacelli Press in 2009. In 2012 she wrote and co-directed a documentary on the New York Waterfront for the French/German television station Arte. She is currently working on a collection of oral histories about life in the Rockaways.

Adele Tutter, MD, PhD, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Her interdisciplinary scholarship, focusing on the relationship between loss and creativity, has earned the Ticho, CORST, and Menninger Prizes of the American Psychoanalytic Association, among other honors. Author of Dream House: An Intimate Portrait of the Philip Johnson Glass House (University of Virginia Press), editor of The Muse: Psychoanalytic Explorations of Creative Inspiration (Routledge), and coeditor of Grief and Its Transcendence: Memory, Identity, Creativity (Routledge), she is currently completing Mourning and Metamorphosis: Poussin’s Ovidian Vision. She is in private practice in Manhattan.

Heide Hatry is a New York based German artist, often described as neo-conceptualist, whose work transforms, transcends, or transgresses the customary relationship of artist to both audience and art. Among her fundamental preoccupations are identity, the nature of aesthetic experience and the meaning of beauty, the effects of knowledge upon perception, and the human exploitation of the natural world. She studied and taught art at various schools in Germany while simultaneously conducting an international business as an antiquarian bookseller. She has curated numerous exhibitions, has shown her own work at museums and galleries around the world, has edited more than two dozen books and art catalogs and before Icons in Ash has has published 3 other books: Skin, Heads and Tales, and Not a Rose which document her own art and amount to collaborative conceptual artist’s books involving some of the most interesting thinkers and authors in the world.

Grand Prize winner of the 2008 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, Queen Esther continues to perform internationally with her mentor harmelodic guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer in various projects, including his iconic free jazz group Odyssey, as she forges her own sonic path with her jazz collective and her Black Americana outfit The Blue Crowns. Released in 2015, her critically acclaimed album The Other Side – “…the most exciting Afro-Americana album of the year.” (Paste) – is garnering airplay worldwide. “…a brutal, original, explosive singer.” – Vanity Fair

Laura Lonski is a singer/songwriter in the NYC area. She has sung in many groups, most notably the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Canticum Novum chorus. In 2012, she composed the original score for 420: the Musical and now produces the show every year on April 20th. This year the show will perform at the Kraine Theater in East Village. Laura is currently recording her first EP to be released this summer.

Based out of New York City, indie duo Hot Glue & The Gun heat up the room with Song & Story as they shake the Spirit loose. Believing that art is not a spectator sport, Carrie Klein & Joel McGlynn work and play with transformation and collaboration in their song, performance and visual art. Since they began writing and performing together in 2014, they have continually sought to sink into the mysteries of human experience: birth, life, death, love, fear, masculine, feminine, poetry, harmony – – the list deepens the more we explore.

Jane LeCroy: NYC based poet, singer and performance artist who fronts the avant-pop band, The Icebergs, and the psychedelic experimental music project, Ω▽Ohmslice. She has toured with: the SF based all women’s poetry troupe, Sister Spit. Jane is a poet-in-the-schools through Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Her chapbook, Names, published by the art-book house Booklyn in the award winning ABC chapbook series, was purchased by the Library of Congress along with her braid! Three Rooms Press published, Signature Play, a multimedia book of lyrical poems, nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The Icebergs just released their debut album Eldorado

Robert Brashear is a pastor and singer-songwriter resumjng his career after 30 years. He performs solo and with his floating musical collective, the Home(Away) Band. In the last year he has performed all over the world and has collaborated with a wide variety of artists of different genres. He has performed in the One Day Festival of the Work Center of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards and will appear in September in the Copenhagen Transformation Festival 2017.

Dusty Wright is a singer-songwriter, content creator and curator from New York City. He is the co-founder and owner of the smart culture website CultureCatch.com, contributor to the Huffington Post, former DJ at David Lynch’s Transcendental Music Radio, and the former editor of Creemand Prince’s New Power Generation magazines. He’s also written and/or produced documentaries, indie films, webcasts, fiction, and podcasts. He’s released five solo albums and one with his folk-rock quartet GIANTfingers. His new album Caterwauling Towards the Light (2017) is dedicated to his deceased father Joseph and younger brother David. He is in pre-production on a VR (virtual reality) music video for his song “Fly” to bring awareness to suicide prevention and fighting depression. His music is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Bandcamp, etc.DustyWright.com

Start Date

April 11, 2017

End Date

April 11, 2017


07:00 PM - 09:00 PM


85 E 4th St

Event Type


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