Absurd, irreverent and strange, Seattle artists Matt Fontaine and Tamara Paris bring their High Kindergarten Performance Group to OtB. This underground collective presents Computer a surreal netherworld of high art and low comedy featuring coffee breaks, Lawrence Welk, swinging songs and very little about computers. Featuring Mike Pham, Rachel Hynes, SS Stansbury, Paula Phaneuf, Andy Loviska and Aaron Allshouse.
HKPG aims to disturb the jaded, annoy the dour, and delight the innocent while stimulating corners of the human imagination.
Matt Fontaine and Tamara Paris have been creating performance-based art together for five years, presenting their work in galleries, performance spaces and in the community. Some of their most recent projects include, Meathook: A Melodrama, Are We Scared?, Blasted and Spade Cooley’s Nightmare. In Seattle they have performed at Open Circle Theater, COCA, Richard Hugo House, and the VAIN Gallery. Their work has also toured to Boston, and festivals in Los Angeles and Toronto.
In 2004 they formed HKPG to expand their creative team from two to many, allowing them to make larger-scale pieces and enrich the collaborative process with a greater number of artistic and technical minds. Their rotating group of collaborators includes Mike Pham, Rachel Hynes, SS Stansbury, Patrick Broemeling, Andy Loviska, Paula Phaneuf, Lisa Sanphillipo, and Aaron Allshouse.
HKPG's inaugural show Spade Cooley's Nightmare (April 2005) was inspired by the horrifying tale of Donnell "Spade" Cooley. Cooley was a country-music legend of the 1930's and 40's whose slick image hid a burning abyss of alcohol-fueled paranoia. In 1952, he beat his wife Ella Mae to death in front of their daughter and was sentenced to prison. Shortly before he was due to be released, he was struck dead of a heart attack after playing a musical benefit for the Sheriff's department.
Cooley's life inspired in HKPG a litany of performance actions exploring celebrity, Hollywood, the Wild West, violence, Hell, and redemption. The performance structure was based on a church service, alternating straightforward readings and music in the first part and culminating with a transcendent Eucharistic ritual.