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Upcoming: Steven Barroteran – February 2018

Imprinted – A one hour endurance performance

For this event Steven Berroteran will take a large blank vinyl canvas and with paint applied to his hands, imprint the canvas for the duration of the performance. Endurance, determination and suffering will ensue as the sound of heavy breathing and paint splatter covers the canvas as well as the artist.

About Steven

Steven Berroteran is a Nicaraguan-American born Artist based in the East Bay Area and received his MFA in Studio Art at Mills College. His work breaks the body down through physical endurance based performances, capturing the body in its most vulnerable and tense state, showing emotional distress and a stronger focus on how endurance plays a part in our daily lives.

www.stevenberroteran.com

Erika Gomez Henao – October 21, 2017

October 21st 2017, 7-9pm

“Selfie culture has changed the way we perceive our social interactions and ourselves, taking over as one of the most powerful means for self-expression and self-imagining. 

By performing and interacting with others at Four Elements Fitness adorned with selfie sticks, I am playing with centering myself in notions of grandeur, power and admiration, as well as inviting judgment, ‘selfie-shaming’ and self-shame. Navigating internal and external (social) spaces, the gym is an ideal setting for me to draw the connection between fitness, self-care, self-conjuring and empowerment while occupying the space in an almost invasive way to create a database of a curated reality.”

About Erika

Erika Gomez Henao was born in 1987 in Buenaventura, Colombia, and immigrated to the United States at the age of eighteen. She received a B.F.A from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2015 and currently lives and works in the Bay Area.

Gomez Henao works with different mediums like painting, installation, ceramics and performance to explore with humor and a bit of sarcasm the materialistic and sometimes irrational aspects of the self.

In a nation obsessed with shopping and material goods, Gomez Henao explores the boundaries of internal and external perceptions through contemporary issues of sexuality and consumerism. She uses herself as the subject of her performances and paintings to represent imaginary characters that are in questionable states of mind. She uses theatrical setups to document her performances and paints some stills from the video documentations.

Gomez Henao is a classically trained artist that gives a contemporary twist to her figurative paintings utilizing recognizable social media imagery. Provocative postures, a great deal of cosmetics and wigs represented with bright and bold

http://erikagomezhenao.com

Become a #FourElementsArtSeries Patron with an Annual Art Membership

Support on going shows and events as well as receive discounts on FOUR Elements Fitness services with the Arts Membership, only $75 per year.

Become an Art Member

Fee supports the artists, guest curators, the gym and the art series. But we don’t turn anyone away for lack of funds.

Raphael Noz – September 23, 2017

September 23rd, 7-8pm 2017

Codex Drawing Score Project by Raphael Noz 

Sound by Nicola Buffa

For this event, Raphael will lead visitors and participants in a dance derived from miracle stories. Written in a codex format mostly composed of pictures, the personal story of sacrifice and redemption will serve less as a verbal narrative and more as a springboard for movement. Participants are encouraged to hold a performance object and join in the movement forming a slowly moving constellation. By releasing energy through dance, the participatory performance will work the body’s own best memory device – physical movement.

Nicola Buffa (Source Field Sound) will accompany Raphael by creating the sound scape with a variety of alchemical crystal bowls and other instruments.

See photos and videos of the event here

About Raphael

“My work R deals with the ancient conflict of Europe and America, as played out in the drama of the fall of Mexico at the hands of the Spanish Conquistadors. This ancient history produced the Mexican ‘mestizo’ race of people who are not just indigenous and not just Spanish.

As an adult, I became very interested in my Mexican heritage, and began using the inspiration of its artistic expressions to explore my own themes.

I attended California College of the Arts in San Francisco, receiving a Masters Degree in Fine Arts in 2009. Having explored many new avenues including performance work during my time at CCA, my focus is shifting now to the printed word, and to constructions of shaped sheet metal.

I am finding inspiration in the mexican tradition of ‘hoja de lata’, or hammered tin, and am coming up with wall mounted shaped constructions of vessels and domestic objects.

Other recent inspirations for my work come from the finding of a very old letter by a friend of mine, which arrived at his house many many years after it was sent. I became fascinated by the idea of a message being lost somewhere only to find its place years later. I have been creating ‘antique’ letters using a very old typewriter and leaving them at galleries.”

raphaelnoz.wordpress.com

Become a #FourElementsArtSeries Patron with an Annual Art Membership

Support on going shows and events as well as receive discounts on FOUR Elements Fitness services with the Arts Membership, only $75 per year.

Become an Art Member

Fee supports the artists, guest curators, the gym and the art series. But we don’t turn anyone away for lack of funds.

Shaghayegh Cyrous and Siavash Jamshidi

July 29, 2017, 7-9p
Sliding Scale/Suggested Donation: $10 advance, $15 at the door, No one turned away for lack of funds

Each culture has a symbol that represents power. One of the traditional Iranian symbols for power is the cypress tree, signifying freedom and truth. Though standing upright, some say it bends its head in humility showing respect for Pahlivan – a person even stronger than the cypress.

For one night only, Shaghayegh presents a participatory installation exploring imagery and sound sourced from traditionally all male Iranian gyms called Zoorkhaneh (House of Power). Playing with gendered notions of strength, she invites people to create and share their own ideas of power.

See photos and videos of the event here

Facebook Event Page

Shaghayegh Cyrous is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary and Social practice artist. She was born in 1987 in Tehran, Iran and moved to San Francisco in 2011. She has widely exhibited and presented her work in solo and group settings in the United States, Iran, India, England, Sweden and Mexico. Cyrous’s works deal with communication and translation caused by worldwide cultural and political circumstances. Using interactive strategies such as participatory engagement projects, performances, video, installations and video chats to create poetic spaces and opportunity for communication and connections.

www.shcyrous.com

Siavash Jamshidi (born May 13th, 1985) is a Persian Musician, had his academic in Classical Music study in Iran, who is  under strong experimental and electronic influence of modern music industry.  In his early works include, Iranian Youth Performing Honorary, the first awarded performing artist in Shargh Tarana Lari Festival, Uzbekistan, and Expo Fest partnership in Japan, France and Belgium.

Become a #FourElementsArtSeries Patron with an Annual Art Membership

Support on going shows and events as well as receive discounts on FOUR Elements Fitness services with the Arts Membership, only $75 per year.

Become an Art Member

Fee supports the artists, guest curators, the gym and the art series. But we don’t turn anyone away for lack of funds.

The FOUR Elements Art Series

“The FOUR Elements Art Series is a new, vital platform for artists working in a range of media and at different stages of their careers to present their ideas. In addition to furthering their own artistic practices and experimentation, artists are also invited to respond directly to and activate the space through unique classes, events, actions, happenings, and events.

The mission of the Art Series is to incubate community exchange addressing issues around health and movement. A core component of this series is to recenter the voices of marginalized artists bringing critical insight and a more well-rounded dialogue into the public realm.

The Art Series is hosted by Four Elements Fitness, a WOC owned gym that offers a variety of services specifically for LGBTQ, POC, SW, and local groups working with at-risk individuals.”

FOUR Elements Art Series Director: Melissa Wyman

Melissa Wyman is an interdisciplinary artist and curator based in the SanFrancisco Bay Area. Investigating interpersonal exchanges and alternativemeans of negotiation has influenced both her art practice and curatorialendeavors. As a curator she focuses on non-traditional venues and spaces forparticipation and dialogue. She serves on the curatorial committee for the VardaArtist Residency Program in Sausalito, CA, as the Bay Area Coordinator andcurator for the Sedona Summer Colony in Sedona, Arizona and as one of the instigators and curators of the Art Series at Four Elements Fitness in Oakland,CA. Contact art@fourelementsfitness.com

Advisory Board/ Curatorial Committee

Shawn Tamaribuchi-Keiser

Sita Bhaumik

Weston Teruya

Melissa Wyman

Rolling For The People at CTRL+SHFT Gallery

The Four Elements Art Series and Rolling For The People teamed up with the CTRL+SHFT Collective to present a self-defense and ‘Wrestle-Coloring’ event and raise money for the ACLU.

**Update** We raised $2,000, that we delivered in person to the Northern California ACLU, through the grapple-athon open mat sessions (hosted by different BJJ gyms across the Bay Area) and this public event at CTRL+SHFT.    

Event date: January 14th, 2017 at 7-10pm  at CTRL+SHFT 1430 34th St, Oakland, CA 94608

We are calling on all community members to support inclusivity and human rights by learning self-defense and participating in ‘wrestle-coloring’!

This public event will help the Rolling For The People team reach their 36-hour Grapple-athon fundraising goal to raise money for the ACLU. Participants will learn effective, real-life self-defense and wrestling techniques as well as experience the joy of ‘wrestle-coloring’ with friends.

Suggested donation for the self-defense class and ‘wrestle-coloring’ experience is $10 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). Posters will also be available. All proceeds will go to the ACLU. *The Rolling For The People team chooses to donate the money raised to the ACLU, but this event is not affiliated with the ACLU in any way.

About The Rolling For The People Team:
Originating out of FOUR Elements Fitness with support from the FOUR Elements Art Series, The Rolling For The People Team is facilitated by grapplers Shawn Tamaribuchi-Keiser, Vonique Stricklen, Melissa Wyman and Dion Burns. The team now consists of a growing group of grapplers training out of different gyms across the Bay Area and beyond. Putting political affiliations aside, the mission of this team is to recognize the rights and contributions of people of different ethnicities, religions, gender identity and sexual orientation both on and off the mat.  www.rollingforthepeople.com

See more photos of Rolling For The People’s Bay Area Grapple-athon.

 

COLOR GUARD: AN EXHIBITION OF BASEBALL BATS AS LGBTIQ+ FLAGS by the Degenderettes

FOUR Elements Fitness in Oakland, California
December 10th from 7pm-10pm  ** Update: $1,000 was raised and donated to Trans Lifeline **

See photos here

The FOUR Elements Art Series presents COLOR GUARD: AN EXHIBITION OF BASEBALL BATS AS LGBTIQ+ FLAGS by the Degenderettes.

This is a new era of queer pride, and flags no longer cut it. Gay culture has had many symbols of identity and celebration but few for holding our hard-won space: since the rainbow flag of the 70s, a broad array of striped flags have propagated as popular symbols of LGBTQ+ identity, but while fabric is fabulous in the breeze and sunlight, it hasn’t protected us in the dark of night. As folks gained visibility they have suffered from it: murders of trans women of color has continued to rise these last few years in spite of perceived mainstream acceptance. In response to the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting the international feminist-genderqueer art club, The Degenderettes, assembled a color guard to perform at pride parades to show that LGBTQ+ culture is alive and well and will not be bullied. In place of traditional wooden rifles and sabers, the Degenderettes twirl the classic American symbol of home defense, baseball bats, because this is not a war between nations, it is a fight that has come to their door. As anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes spread across the country in the wake of the election, legitimate fear permeates every corner of queer existence, and so the Degenderettes have made these bats available for LGBTQ+ people to keep behind their own doors as symbols of resilience.

You can always order versions of these bats for your own use, either before or after the show, through degenderettes.com, shipping worldwide, which benefits Degenderettes activities directly.

If you buy a bat from this Four Elements exhibit, not only is there no shipping cost, but proceeds will be donated to Trans Lifeline crisis hotline.

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DEGENDERETTES:

The Degenderettes is a club started in 2014 by feminists and genderqueers in SF & Oakland with an array of urgent agendas: mutual protection of visible queers, sexual assault defense, preservation of women’s history, forming trans mentor relationships, challenging toxic masculinity, disseminating images of queer resilience, etc. It has since grown into an international network with chapters in a handful of major cities across North America, Europe and Australia. In addition to local chapter events, they have published an all-chapter comics zine, hosted an irreverent gallery show with a birth certificate shredder & a jacket soaked in menstrual blood, and printed thousands of tamper-resistant “all gender restroom” stickers that are now going up on multi-occupancy bathrooms around the world. In addition to the baseball bats they produce merit badges for people who stand up to the gender police. They are currently working on a safety app that will allow women & queers to collectively hold space instead of just getting home safe, and are networking resources for queer survival under the Trump administration. If that all sounds like a blast and you want to become a Degenderettes prospect, please locate your closest chapter to find a sponsor.

The FOUR Elements Art Series is a new, vital platform for artists working in a range of media and at different stages of their careers to present their ideas. In addition to furthering their own artistic practices and experimentation, artists are also invited to respond directly to and activate the space through unique classes, actions, happenings, and events.

COST:
This is a benefit for Trans Lifeline and suggested donation is $10+ but if you would like to give more or have limitations and can’t give, any amount will be accepted and no one turned away for lack of funds.

FOUR Elements Fitness will also be donating 50% of any regularly priced memberships purchased during this event to Trans Lifeline.

Please RSVP – space is limited.
Partial door Fees support the Four Elements Art Series – refreshments and the space (40%)

“PUMPING PATTERNS” with Melissa Wyman- Novemeber 5th

FOUR Elements Fitness in Oakland, California
November 5th from 5:30pm-8pm

See photos here 

Join us for the FOUR Elements Fitness Art Series inaugural event, ‘Pumping Patterns’ by Melissa Wyman.

Check the schedule of events below

What it is: A participatory event that explores collaborative and combative patterns (visual, physical, and mental) through specially constructed exercises and stimulating clothing in a gym atmosphere.

What this involves:
Melissa Wyman is creating a series of recordings (photographs, drawings and paintings) of people engaged in physical activities adapted from gym challenges, brain stimulation games and everyday movement, while wearing a variety of matching and clashing designs. She invites all of you to join her at Four Elements Fitness wearing clothes of patterned materials (dots, checkers, plaid, seersucker, paisley, floral, leopard, vermicular – you name it.) If you don’t have such attire, there will be some available on site.

Thinking about patterns: In much of her work, Melissa investigates alternative means of negotiation. She has become increasingly interested in how mental patterns manifest in physical ways and vice versa creating patterns of emotions, behaviors, expressions and beliefs. She views people as walking manifestations of their patterning, interacting with each other in complex ways. Thinking about how daily routines shape one’s existence, and how the connectivity of the brain can be stimulated like a muscle, expanding and contracting based on usage, she is developing visual, mental and physical exercises as an intervention into staid, stuck and stubborn patterns – with oneself and with others.

Schedule:

5:30 – 6pm – Meet the artist, learn about the project and find out more about the Four Elements Art Series

6pm-7pm – The Pumping Patterns body-brain exercise class
+ Join in this group exercise class to strengthen neural communication, brain and body balance, flexibility and rigor, and bridge the gap between the two brain hemispheres. (Intensity level: low to medium)

7pm – 8pm – Open mat: Grappling and ‘Collaborative Combative Pattern Drawing’
+ Experience merging and clashing patterns in action! Spectators are also welcome. (Intensity level: medium to high, or what you make it)

+ + Enjoy refreshments!

* You can choose which activities you do and no prior experience is needed. Participants can receive a limited edition printed photo of the event.

Melissa Wyman is an interdisciplinary artist who investigates interpersonal exchanges and alternative means of negotiation. Her work is often participatory and incorporates performance, video, installation, drawing, painting, fighting and social practice. She occasionally makes objects. www.melissawyman.info

The FOUR Elements Art Series is a new, vital platform for artists working in a range of media and at different stages of their careers to present their ideas. In addition to furthering their own artistic practices and experimentation, artists are also invited to respond directly to and activate the space through unique classes, actions, happenings, and events.

Please RSVP – space is limited.
FEF members: FREE
Non-members: Door fee $15
Paid in advance $10


Fees support the Four Elements Art Series – the artists, materials, refreshments and the space

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Train BJJ as a Family – Seminar with Judy Gomes


Photography by Lissette Barros - check out her sweet clothing line: http://getagripbjj.com/

FOUR Elements Fitness
October 9th, Sunday 4-6p
Instructor Judy Gomes

Looking for ways kids and parents can train together and ways to create a family training dynamic?

A big obstacle for parents is getting to the gym or finding time of their own train but there’s ways you can train with each other in and outside the gym!

No age requirements. Children 2 years and under FREE with adult registration.

*If you have LIMITED INCOME and want to attend, please contact us: info@fourelementsfitness.com

**** Family BJJ Early Bird Special Registration ****

2 family members ($45 – $10 OFF)

Add-on 1 person ($10- 50% OFF)

1 adult + a child 2 years of under ($35 – $10 OFF)

Train as a family…

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor Judy Gomes will lead this special once-off class (that could happen again). Kids get to roll around on the mat and learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques with their adults and other little ones – while the adults also get a chance to train with each other.

This is a safe and fun environment for kids being introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the first time and a perfect opportunity for those who’ve seen their parents train over the years to give it a try. This is also an opportunity for more experienced kids to give some pointers to the first-timers as well as how to train as a family in and outside of the gym.

Judy Gomes: Jiu jitsu is my religião Brown belt under Diogo Gomes/Rio Combat Team *BJJ*CrossFit*Yoga* & repeat NASM CPT, CrossFit L1 Trainer

Photography by Lissette Barros – check out her sweet BJJ clothing line.

March Member of the Month: Phoenix Song

We want to congratulate Phoenix Song, our March Member of the Month!

Phoenix has set an inspiring example of mindfulness in her physical practice. Thank you for adding your presence, enthusiasm and levity to the Four Elements Fitness community!

How did you develop your approach to your physical practice?
I’m a therapist/healer with a focus on supporting queer and trans survivors of sexual violence. I’m also a writer and performer. I’ve found an enormous amount of power in doing creative healing work, but I needed a way to ground that power more deeply within my body. I needed a way to physicalize that strength and healing. Finding FEF has been transformational in that process for me. Even as a beginner to this practice, I already feel a deep trust in my body that I had never experienced before. Our power is innately there within us- we just need to find our way back to it.!

How do you determine when it’s a good training day and when to take time off?
Honestly, if I’m free – it’s a good training day!

What do you love about your practice and what do you want to shift?
For me this work is really about re-integrating the psychological and the physical. I love tailoring my training specifically to the idea of being a warrior. There are so many amazing goals to strive for within training, but for me this idea that I can inhabit my body as a warrior- that as a queer, femme, survivor I am already a warrior- is key. I try to center myself in that mindset within my training and make choices from there. !

Where do you get your motivation to train?
I am motivated by the generations of femmes, queers, and survivors who have come before me- who have taken back their power and voice through their bodies. Training is one of many ways to do that, and for me is a way of reclaiming the space where I was taught and expected to be powerless and compliant. Through training I take my innate power back and integrate that into who I am in the world and the work that I do, for myself and for the generations who will come after.

What advice do you have for brand new people who want to begin training?
Make the practice your own- let yourself really discover and be centered in why training is important for your life. You get to bring your whole self to this practice- you do not have to prove anything, you do not have to push yourself past where you are ready to go, you do not have to do anything you don’t want to. It is your body, your strength, and your aliveness- let yourself really trust your own path to claiming that.

What is your favorite exercise?
I’ve got to go with two things here! My favorites by far are training with knives and kicking. I absolutely love the beautiful technique and dance of knives, and the grounded force and gut-power of kicks.