Genre Bender

Artist/Writer Meets Performer/Puppeteer: Tessa Hulls and Kyle Loven

Photo by Megumi Shauna Arai

Genre Bender 2016 is just two weeks away! This year’s five pairs of adventurous artists have been busy dreaming, inventing, exploring and refining their hybrid creations for months. The performances are almost ready—among them the collaboration between writer/artist Tessa Hulls and performer/artist/puppeteer Kyle Loven.

Hulls and Loven didn’t know one another before we paired them together, but they’re each fearless about voyaging into the unknown and adept at grappling with big questions in engrossing, empathetic ways. So we were intrigued about what they might come up with.

Both Hulls and Loven bring an introspective lyricism and an earnest interest in humanity to their work, liberally sprinkled with a wry sense of humor. When they first met to discuss their collaboration for this year’s Genre Bender, they started with a Venn diagram that just kept overlapping. Last night at the Cloud Room, Hulls and Loven were decked out in matching houndstooth jackets as they talked about bonding over what Hulls called a “curmudgeonly distrust of/despair over technology and what it does to relationships.” At Genre Bender, they’ll jump from that theme into a piece blending ’50s camp with an apocalyptic flavor.

Hulls is a self-described “compulsive genre-hopper,” an artist whose work—from paintings and illustration to writing—is informed by her taste for solitude and adventure, the latter of which has taken her across all seven continents. Her latest solo exhibition, In the Eye of the Storm (on view at Ghost Gallery through March 6), is a series of gouache paintings and papercuts exploring “the idea of sanctuary and reprieve even within the heart of a collapse,” inspired by personal loss and the Alaskan wilderness she has called home for much of the last three years.

Loven’s performances combine puppetry, projections, sound, music and more—including, at the center of everything, humans. He’s traveled the world with these pieces, their detailed worlds exploring dark, fantastical themes with the precision of a choreographer and the scenic detail of a visual artist.

See exactly what these two brilliant minds have come up with when Genre Bender comes to the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5. Get your advance tickets here.

Stay tuned for more information on our other Genre Bender 2016 pairs!
Musician/producer Erik Blood + dancer/choreographer Markeith Wiley
Performance artist Alice Gosti + ritualist Timothy White Eagle
Actor/playwright/cellist Justin Huertas + composer/clarinetist/vocalist Beth Fleenor
Dancer/choreographer Jody Kuehner + actor/solo performer Keira McDonald