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Friday, June 17, 2005

Mills Gallery • Boston Center for the Arts

Sifting the Inner Belt
June 17 – July 31, 2005
Opening Reception: Friday, June 17, 6PM – 8PM
Organized by Hiroko Kikuchi & Jeremy Chi-Ming Liu, Jeremy Chan Peng Chu, Catherine D'lgnazio, Natalie Loveless, Kim Szeto, and William Ho

“Community doesn’t mean understanding everything about everybody and resolving all the differences; it means knowing how to work within differences as they change and evolve.”
- Lucy R. Lippard

Sifting the Inner Belt is the culmination of a year-long, site-specific social performance and research art project consisting of a series of performance interventions and performance-based research projects, which closely observe and examine, i.e. sift, the South End neighborhood with an emphasis on creating emotional, conceptual and physical bridges between the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) and the Berkeley Street Community Garden (BSCG).

“Inner Belt” refers to the ill-conceived and never completed highway project from 1948-1971 that would have created an inner beltway highway around downtown Boston and between the South End and Lower Roxbury. In the process of the failed project, hundreds of homes were destroyed, many families displaced, and yet, because the project was stopped, over one hundred gardens have sprung up. The foundations of these homes, the spirit of these families, and the legacy of the impact remain today.

Conceived by Hiroko Kikuchi and Jeremy Chi-Ming Liu in the summer of 2004, Sifting the Inner Belt was developed as a collaboration of artists, activists and community residents: Jeremy Chan Peng Chu, Catherine D’lgnazio, Natalie Loveless, Kim Szeto, and William Ho. It is based upon ideas of audience participation, communication, and political intention, and is constructed through a generative process involving dialogue and community outreach through specific efforts, including research and interactive performance art. The exhibition in the Mills Gallery includes site-specific installations, video projection, sound, photography, written documentation/books, and a display of final and in-progress research. A series of performance events will occur throughout the show in and around the BCA and the BSCG.

Sited within a block of the BSCG, the BCA has been acting as a catalyst and incubator for visual and performing arts for the past 35 years. Outreach and integration of multiple communities is one of the primary tenets of the BCA’s mission. The Mills Gallery provides a platform for artists, curators and organizations that need support and value collaboration. The BCA is pleased to be a partner in presenting Sifting the Inner Belt, which presents works of art that are autonomous from, yet relevant to, the community-at-large and the time we live in.

For more information on Sifting the Inner Belt please visit

About the organizers

Hiroko Kikuchi
A performance and public artist, originally from Tokyo, Japan, Kikuchi’s work explores the formative and communicative meaning of everyday activities as a mutual "language," influenced by the social environment, tradition, and aesthetics that all co-exist within confining behavioral structures. For the last 2 years, she has been working on creating a protocol to address social and cultural matters by re-structuring the concept and form of performance art.

Jeremy Chi-Ming Liu
Director of Community Programs at the Asian Community Develpment Corporation, Liu is a public artist, and activist.

Jeremy Chan Peng Chu
Singapore born, artist and photographer Chu explores cultural space production in-between the processes of change, and is interested in Chinese diasporal space and collaborative practice.

Kim Szeto
Student at Wheaton College (Norton, MA) pursuing a self designed major in Environmental Studies.

Natalie Loveless
Loveless is an artist, critic and theorist interested in dialogic space, performance practice, critical and cultural theory. Currently enrolled in Ph.D. Program at University of California at Santa Cruz.

William H. Ho
A resident of the South End, Ho is a community organizer and photographer interested in how urban spaces affect and interact with the public.

Catherine D’Ignazio
New media artist interested in collaboration, community and public space, D’Ignazio is the co-founder of the non-profit collective iKatun and the Senior Software Engineer at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.