Marfa Dialogues

Ballroom at the High Line: Atom Fables

Laleh Khorramian, Shahzad Ismaily

10 and 11 October 2011

Laleh Khorramian and Shahzad Ismaily’s Atom Fables
October 10 and 11, 2011 | 8:00 PM
14th Street passage of the High Line, New York, NY

Join the High Line and Ballroom Marfa on October 10 and 11, 2011 for Atom Fables, a new collaborative work by artist Laleh Khorramian and musician Shahzad Ismaily. Atom Fables features a performative work of experimental filmic sequences by Khorramian set to live soundtracks by Ismaily. Improvising side by side, projected images inform and activate sound, combining recorded electronic compositions with live instruments such as melodica, guitar, hand bells, and drums. In these short sequences, the element of ether is the central character shaping notions of “space,” seemingly untouched prehistoric landscapes devoid of exact location or scale, while minute transformations occur within the strange futuristic terrains.

Khorramian and Ismaily began collaborating four years ago. Ismaily has scored three of Khorramian’s recent animated films — Liuto Golis (which premiered at Ballroom Marfa in October 2010), Water Panics in the Sea (2011) and the upcoming movie in her Golis Galaxy sci-fi series. This will be their first live performance. Over two nights in October, they will explore the disparate worlds of Khorramian’s paintings through both sound and vision.

This High Line Program is presented by Friends of the High Line in partnership with Ballroom Marfa as part of the High Line’s fall season of free and low-cost public programming for visitors of all ages.

About Laleh Khorramian
Khorramian, who is based in Brooklyn, is an artist who melds animation, digital media, and found footage with traditional artistic media, such as collages, monotypes, and drawing. In a vacillating process between macro and micro views of painted landscapes and incidental spaces, Khorramian explores discarded material and chance outcomes as a creative strategy for storytelling.

About Shahzad Ismaily
Multi-instrumentalist Ismaily, also based in New York, has composed music for dance, theatre and the concert stage, as well as film, including the score for the critically acclaimed movie Frozen River, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. He performs with Marc Ribot, Bonnie Prince Billy, Laurie Anderson, Secret Chiefs 3, among others.

About the High Line and Friends of the High Line
The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming at the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the transformation of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure.


    Here are two short clips from Atom Fables on the night of 10 October 2011.

    [vimeo 30681432]
    [vimeo 30684832]

    This High Line Program is presented in partnership with Friends of the High Line. Performances on the High Line such as Atom Fables are generously supported by The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation. Special thanks to Tobin Levy.