Los Angeles-born and currently residing, conceptual-experimental artist Helga Fassonaki received her BA at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo State University in 2000 and her MFA at Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2005. Fassonaki’s art is informed by the Fluxus’ time-based actions; Free Jazz’s idea of creating and composing on stage; New Zealand’s ‘free noise’ musicians for their positing of limited means and ability as a virtue; and Akio Suzuki for embracing nature as his ultimate collaborator. Informed by such artists, Fassonaki continues to create work that attempts to direct our attention to the present moment and understand ourselves, our surrounding landscapes and our situations, simple or complex, by understanding the relation of one to the other.
Her recent project Khal investigates the idea of a ‘living score’ by initiating a passage of visual scores, performances, and conversations by participating female artists in public spaces across the globe. Iterations of Khal were exhibited at Glasshouse (Brooklyn, NY), LACA (Los Angeles, CA), Disjecta (Portland, OR), The Auricle Sonic Arts Gallery (Christchurch, NZ), Audacious 2015 (Christchurch, NZ), Audio Foundation Gallery (Auckland, NZ), Viewfinder and Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (Auckland, NZ). She is currently working on a Khal chapbook and cassette release with Drawing Room Records, a record label based in Brooklyn, New York. The chapbook will contain images, sketches, interviews, and artifacts collected and exchanged between the participants and Fassonaki, presented in an unbound format.
In her freeform duo, Metal Rouge, she collaborates with New Zealander Andrew Scott. Their Three for Malachi Ritscher album was included in the Public Collector’s exhibit in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and Experimental Sound Studio’s Audible gallery in Chicago. In her solo project yek koo, Fassonaki explores the body as a vehicle for the movement of sound.
Forging new performance dialogue in her Radio Concept Tour, Fassonaki explores the relationship between body, microphone and air movement, whilst using space and silence to acknowledge the ‘missing element’ – the physical contact between audience and performer. She is co-founder and director of Emerald Cocoon, a record label founded in 2008 devoted to releasing music from the ’empty quarter’ – an area where the aesthetics of punk meet the philosophies of free jazz. Last year she launched untune, an artist-run dwelling, social-curatorial project space, and intimate engaging platform.
Fassonaki’s work has been exhibited at Los Angeles Contemporary Archives (Los Angeles, CA), LACE galleries (Los Angeles, CA), Human Resources (Los Angeles, CA), UCLA’s New Wright gallery (Los Angeles, CA), EPMOA (Los Angeles, CA), Audio Foundation (Auckland, NZ), Blue Oyster gallery (Dunedin, NZ), Box Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), The Auricle Sonic Arts Gallery (Christchurch, NZ), Disjecta (Portland, OR), and Glasshouse (Brooklyn, NY) among others. She has performed at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (USA), Zebulon (USA), Hammer Museum’s, Made in LA (USA), Open Melody Festival at UC Irvine (USA), Ear&Eye Festival (NZ), On Land Festival (USA), Public Fiction (USA), Whitney Biennial 2012 (USA), Café Oto (UK), Roodkapje (Holland) and a multitude of other galleries and venues throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand