June 29 through August 19, 1984

WOO ROOTS My search for Woofy Bubbles (that elusive, interior, free spirit) … a new identity to free me from the formalities of my given name and allow me to escape the confines of humanity. This performance persona would more readily embrace the realms of myth, caricature, and cartoonlike realities, as well as ones that can be perceived in differing scales (winging between the macrocosm and the microcosm). Integrating ideas observed from the patterns in Nature’s living biological systems, the art performance also makes use of those historic roots of the Futurists (their machinelike gestures and robot animations) and injects the dream-fantasy states of the Surrealists.

The Japanese influences are certainly present; ritual involved in everyday life: inventive packaging of people and objects, layering of clothing revealing through slow unwrapping the inner contents with surprise — equal values placed on crafted utilitarian objects as on those of painting and sculpture. In Kabuki theater, the equal weight placed on dance, music, costume, set, martial arts, spoken word, and narration create for me one of the most modern of complete theater forms.

Definitions

W in “Woo” represents those perennial five questions: who, what, where, why, when
OO in “Woo” = the two seeing, searching eyes; and where there are two, eventually there will be more, implying a continuum through the multiplication of digits
WOO prefix, to make love to, to court, and to seek (which makes sense in developing a body of work designed for a sympathetic relationship with an audience). I believe in wooing; in charming people through the metamorphosing images of the Woo World Players
WOOF woof and weft are horizontal and vertical threads which, when woven together, form cloth
FY to make, to do, to cause to be, to imbue with, to become
BUBBLES a small globule (spherical body) of gas in a thin liquid membrane, anything lacking firmness of substance; an inflated speculation

Woofy Bubbles

Checklist

Mixed Media
All dimensions are given in inches.

1. HEAD, 1984
Acrylic on cotton duck, polyester thread, vinyl coated binding, brass snaps, 102 x 44

2. HEAD, 1984
Acrylic on cotton duck, polyester thread, vinyl coated binding, brass snaps, 102 x 44

3. WATERFALL AND WOOTWOOTH, 1984
Kapok, vinyl-coated cotton canvas, 102 x 44

4. UNTITLED, 1984
P.V.C. screen, vinyl-coated binding, polyethylene, lame, vinyl covered cotton canvas, kapok, 90 x 30 x 30

5. WHEEL, 1980
Vinyl-covered cotton canvas, kapok, 19 x 58

6. MEXXMAS, 1977
Hand-silkscreened cotton poplin, kapok, 14 x 10 x 84

7. STRING, 1984
Lame, kapok, 2-1/4 x 4 x 31

8. CIRCLE, 1984
Lame, kapok, 2-1/4 x 11, diameter

9. CLENCHED PAIR (yin-yang), 1984
Leather, kapok, 6 x 5-1/2 x 8

10. UNTITLED, 1984
Pink and olive leather, kapok, 11 x 15 x 18

11. HOLSTERED WOO, 1984
Kapok, leather, acrylic on muslin, 2-1/4 x 17 x 18

12. WOO FOOTPRINTS, 1984
Lame, kapok, 1/2 x 4 x 1-1/2

13. WOOTWOOTH, 1984
Leather, kapok, 40 x 42 x 42
Collection of Alexandra W.F. Manou

14. CURTAIN, 1984
P.V.C.-coated polyester mesh, vinyl-coated binding, brass snaps, 90 x 96

These works are available in the following sizes: TT- Tiny Toy, T-Toy, M- Miniature,
S-Standard, L-Large, LL-Larger, XL-Extra Large, B-Big, BB-Bigger

Paintings
All dimensions are given in inches.

1. WAVE SEAT, Essouira, Morocco, 1972
Ballpoint pen, watercolor/gouache on paper, 7 x 10
Collection of John and Ann Ollman

2. WOOFETTE PRINCESS (taking a hot waterfall), 1976
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 10 x 7
Collection of Saul Rosebud

3. PRINCESS AND GUARDIAN, 1979
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 16 x 12
Collection of Susan West

4. ROYAL HOSTAGE, 1980
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 14 x 20
Private collection

5. VAULTING DEMON, 1980
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 20 x 14
Collection of Peter Raub

6. PRINCESS AND GUARDIAN-DIPTYCH, 1981
Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 72 x 30 in., 72 x 20
Collection of Steven and Susan Krupnick

7. AUTUMN LANDSCAPE, 1981
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 14 x 20

8. HOVERING ENIGMA, 1981
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 20 x 14

9. UNTITLED, 1982
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 14 x 20

10. UNTITLED, 1982
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 20 x 14

11. UNTITLED, 1982
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 14 x 20

12. STAGED LANDSCAPE (With lowering curtain), 1982
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 18 x 24

13. CLOUD COVERED URBANSCAPE, 1982
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 14 x 20

14. POPE’S PROFILE (with wands), 1982
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 24 x 18

15. PINK LOOKER AND COMPANION, 1982
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 24 x 18

16. PROFILES IN CONVERSATION, 1982-84
Watercolor/gouache on paper, 24 x 36

17. PROFILES IN CONVERSATION-DIPTYCH,1982-84
Acrylic on Cotton duck; each measures 72 x 42-1/4

18. CATARACTS AND POOL (Staged Landscape)
Acrylic on cotton duck, 42-1/2 x 72

Woo Wearables
All dimensions are given in inches.

1. OVERCLOAK, 1984
Acrylic on muslin, cotton tape, 52 x 70

2. CLOAK, 1984
Acrylic on Muslin, blue cotton lining, gold silkscreen, 39 x 60

3. BIG SHIRT/DRESS, 1984
Acrylic on muslin, cotton tape, 28 x 44

4. JACKET, 1984
Acrylic on muslin, cotton tape, 28 x 44

5. TUNIC, 1984
Acrylic on muslin, cotton tape, 28-1/2 x 27

6. CLOAK, 1984
Acrylic on muslin/metallic blend, cotton tape, 32 x 55

7. CLOAK, 1984
Acrylic on muslin, cotton tape, 38 x 60

8. HAT, 1984
Acrylic on muslin, cotton tape, 25 x 11

9. CLOAK, 1984
Acrylic on muslin, cotton tape, 38 x 60

10. TOTE, 1984
Acrylic on canvas, vinyl coated binding, 35 x 14

11. CAFTAN, 1984
P.V.C., vinyl-coated binding, brass snaps, 80 x 68

12. SNAKE, 1983
Marabou boa, lame and kapok, 88 x 2-1/2

13. LARGE WOO, 1984
Leather, kapok, 30-1/2 x 14

Photographic Documentation
All photography by Thomas Moore

1. WOO WORLD PLAYERS PORTRAIT, 1980
Performers: Mari Zevin, Michael Biello, Sue Squires, Warren Muller, Christopher Hodge

2. ARTIST’S BATH, 1981
Portrait of Christopher Hodge AKA Woofy Bubbles

3. “IN SEARCH OF THE WOO”
Painted Bride Art Center, February 1984
Performers: Shellie Steier, Christopher Hodge

4. “IN SEARCH OF THE WOO”
Painted Bride Art Center, February 1984
Performers: Mark Chatman-Royce, Michael Biello

5. “SILVER C0AT,” April 1983
Performer: Woofy Bubbles

6. WOO WORLD IN COLORADO, July 1980
Performers: Warren Muller, Mari Zevin

7. NOGUCHI INSTALLATION
Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 1979
Performers: Warren Muller, Michael Biello

8. “WOOZOO”
Knodel Installation at the Philadelphia College of Art, April 1981
Performer: Michael Biello

9. “THE GARDEN OF WOO”
Painted Bride Art Center, November 1981
Performer: Woofy Bubbles

10. “IN SEARCH OF THE WOO”
Painted Bride Art Center, February 1984 Woo World
Players: Michael Biello, Mark Chatman-Royce, Debi Glennon, Tonio Guerra, Christopher Hodge, Ann Marie Mulgrew, Shellie Steier

On July 12,1984, at 6:00 p.m., Woofy Bubbles and the Woo World Players will perform “In Search of the Woo,” a biological farce, in the galleries of the Pennsylvania Academy. For the duration of the exhibition, visitors to the Morris Gallery can view the set and costumes from this performance, which premiered at the Painted Bride Art Center in February 1984. Written by Stuart Horn and John Musall, with music by Jeff Cain and Charles Cohen, “In Search of the Woo” describes in great detail the world of the woo.

Reminding us that we are looking at life in extreme enlargement, Musall identifies four major groups of woos:

Woophyta; Woo Twoo (the second opinion, horse of a different color);

Woophyta Imperfecti (extremely shy creatures and sensitive to the slightest noise);
Woozopus (omniverous).

Pooth, Cloud Pump, Trees, Stream are part of the stage set and are based in large
part on the Woo module.

The Voice-Over Narrative from “IN SEARCH OF THE WOO”
Endless are the forms that nature creates. From the broad plains of the to the wooded hills of Europe; from the misty isles of Japan to the steppes of Asia; from the steamy savannahs of Africa to the wastes of Australia — in virtually every corner of the globe, life teems abundant.

Often in places where we are least likely to look, new surprises await the scientist and amateur observer. For, under a verdant carpet of under rocks and under the surface of the waters of the world, there lie new realms of living things which coexist in symbiotic relation to the more familiar life processes of plants and animals: the bacteria, the algae, fungi, and the woos.

Woos comprise a very large, diverse, and extremely important group. Aproximately 80,000 different species are presently known and more are being discovered continuously. The study of woos, caged woozology, is a fascinating, ever-expanding area that will undoubtedly expand indefinitely.

Woos are found in essentially all habitats, although they are present in low numbers in frigid environments. Thus, very few ice or snow woos have been found. Conversely, some species are able to live and even reproduce at temperatures as high as 60 degrees C. These, woos actually increase the temperature of their habitat by releasing heat from respiration. Such woos responsible for the spontaneous combustion of stored agricultural. products such as kapok and cotton.

Woos are undoubtedly among the most widely distributed of all natural groups. Perhaps the only restriction to the multiplication of many woos is their requirement for organic nutrients. Perhaps the most descriptive single characteristic of woos which separates them from plants is their lack of chlorophyll. Because of this, woos must obtain an outside source of nourishment and are thus heterotropic. Two basic types of woos are recognized according to how they obtain their nutrients. Some woos live on nutrients obtained from living plants or animals and are therefore parasitic. Others are nourished by decomposing dead plants or animals and are said to be saprophytic. Some can obtain nourishment from either living or dead organic matter and are thus facultative parasites or saprophytes.

Most woos reproduce both sexually and asexually. Their methods of reproduction are often similar to those of some algae and fungi. Thus, most scientists postulate that the woos are probably ancestral to algae and fungi. Sexual reproduction may be isogamous, anisogamous, or woogamous. Asexual reproduction occurs by fragmentation and by the production of several different types of spores.

The rate of enlargement of woos in their final surge is phenomenal. Giant woos often appear overnight. The secret of this rapid growth is that it is not growth at all, in the sense in which we usually understand the term. Rather, it is an expansion of a completely formed woo as a result of the rapid flow of cellular materials from all the miles of intermeshed hyphae that are connected to it underground. It is more akin to the inflation of a balloon than the growth of a plant. The mechanism by which the cellular components are caused to flow into the woo is not fully understood. It appears to involve the action of microfilaments of the sort used in cytoplasmic streaming in plants and in muscular contractions of animals.

Woos are able to decompose organic substances with great efficiency, attacking and destroying such diverse products as leather, cloth, plastics, rubber, and food. In addition, many woos attack and destroy living organisms. Human beings, animals, and plants are subject to their attack.

Details of their origin may remain unknown forever. They are clearly an ancient lineage, but their fragile bodies have left few traces in the fossil record by which to trace their history.

John Musall, 1984

The Morris Gallery displays the work of outstanding contemporary artists with a connection to Philadelphia, determined by birth, schooling or residence. The exhibitions are chosen by a committee composed of area artists, museum personnel and collectors, and the curatorial staff of the Academy. Currently serving on the Morris Gallery Exhibition Committee are: Ofelia Garcia, Anne d’Harnoncourt, Jennie Q. Dietrich, Harold Jacobs, Janet Kardon, Jay Richardson Massey, Charles Mather III, John Moore, Jody Pinto, Mark Rosenthal, Acey Wolgin; and Academy staff Frank Goodyear, Kathy Foster, Linda Bantel, Betty Romanella and Judith Stein, Morris Gallery coordinator.
Copyright The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1984.

Melissa Maddonni Haims

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