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EIU Tarble Arts Center

Earthward: A Site-Specific Performance by Ben Gould


Saturday, October 22, 2022, at Charleston Stone Co.  


Free. Eventbrite Registration required for entry 

Rain or shine.

At the Charleston Stone Company, amidst massive piles of crushed limestone pulled and processed from the adjoining quarry, Earthward is a new performance by Ben Gould that uses the site's geography as a compositional framework. The performance is built through a series of movements guided by the quarry's industrial processes, using the structure of Earth and the configuration of our anatomy as a map for descent. The artist's Tourette's spasms and choreographic structures are formed through an activation of the body's layers in deeper succession, as though passing through the Earth's strata. These two parallel excavations, of the body and the layers of the Earth, are the catalysts for the performance — traversing crust to skin, mantle to muscle, and core to bone.

Guests are invited to arrive at the Charleston Stone Company between 5:15–5:30 pm. Free lot parking will be available on-site. Please be aware that you must drive on gravel roads to reach the performance destination. You may also reserve free bus tickets as add-ons to your Eventbrite tickets that guarantee round-trip transportation from the Tarble to the quarry. The bus is scheduled to leave the Tarble at 5:15 pm. There will be a portable restroom facility on–site at the quarry.

At 5:30 pm, Director Jennifer Seas will give an introduction before a short walk from the parking lot to the performance area. Seating will be available at the quarry in the form of limestone boulders, stools, and blankets. You are invited to bring your own lawn chairs and blankets if you choose. Due to the limestone quarry's dusty (or muddy) nature, we ask that you please plan accordingly. Please dress to be still outside for an hour.

Any questions regarding accessibility can be directed to We are happy to make all reasonable accommodations.

Born in Grass Valley, California in 1993, Ben Gould was raised in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains in a Gold Rush-era town, between decommissioned mines and the Yuba River—the geography of which has greatly informed my commitment to site specific projects and reinforced the importance of place. He has performed works throughout the country—from varied landscapes to institutional spaces—leading to solo gallery exhibitions, performances at museums and cultural centers, and extensive collaborations across disciplines. He has held performances at unique sites such as salt flats in Death Valley, a limestone cave in Kansas City, a bunker in the Marin Headlands, a canal in Amsterdam, and a moving vessel on the Chicago River. Most recently, his work has been presented by KANAL Centre Pompidou, Liberal Arts Roxbury NY, Bozar, Mistral Amsterdam, and The Center for Craft in Asheville, NC. Gould received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2015, apprenticed with master craftsmen in California, and was a 2015 Ox-Bow Fellow. He was an artist-in-residence at Kickstarter’s Headquarters in 2017 and at Queenslab in New York City in 2018. He is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant recipient, a 2019 Haystack Open Studio Resident, a 2020 Lighton International Artists Exchange Program grant recipient, and a 2021 NYFA Fellow in Interdisciplinary Work.  




To Bear the Mark of Time



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Contact Information

Tarble Arts Center

2010 9th St.
Charleston, IL 61920

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