Mixed Me­dia

Pasatiempo - - CONTENT -

The Crow­ing Hens, an all-fe­male whistling group, put their lips to­gether and blow

Sev­eral old proverbs warn of the dan­gers of whistling women and crow­ing hens. In Scot­land, nei­ther will bring luck to the house they are in. In Amer­ica, they will come to no good end. In­deed, in a phrase of­ten at­trib­uted to the Bi­ble but not found there, such women and hens are not fit for God or men.

Su­san Sil­ton, known for ad­dress­ing gen­der and power is­sues in po­lit­i­cally driven multi-plat­form art­work, takes own­er­ship of the woman-fear­ing maxim with her all-fe­male whistling group The Crow­ing Hens. Ac­com­pa­nied by strings and per­cus­sion, five women whis­tle as an act of un­la­dy­like de­fi­ance. Whether it’s a feat of mu­si­cian­ship or of breath is a mat­ter of in­ter­pre­ta­tion. Among their reper­toire is the theme to the iconic Western The Mag­nif­i­cent Seven (1960), which starred al­most ev­ery hy­per­mas­cu­line heavy­weight ac­tor of the era, in­clud­ing Yul Bryn­ner and James Coburn. The group per­forms at SITE Santa Fe (1606 Paseo de Per­alta) on Satur­day, Nov. 7, at 6 p.m. as part of SITE’s 20th an­niver­sary se­ries of ex­hibits and events. Sil­ton also shows parts of The Whistling Project, a mul­ti­level, mul­ti­me­dia work that in­cludes per­for­mance, sculp­ture, and text in its ex­plo­ration of gen­dered vi­o­lence.

As part of The Crow­ing Hens per­for­mance, former Santa Fe poet lau­re­ate Va­lerie Martínez reads por­tions of her new chap­book, A Hun­dred Lit­tle Mouths, which was com­mis­sioned and pub­lished by Sil­ton for The Whistling Project. Call 505-989-1199 for reser­va­tions; there is no charge. — Jen­nifer Levin

Mem­bers of The Crow­ing Hens

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