BareBones 2020 · OFFERINGS: Artists Respond to the Mourning, Grieving and Fires on Lake Street

Karly Gesine Bergmann

Mending a Sail

In the making of Mending a Sail, Karly Bergmann had mended an old boat sail with patches that visually interpret pieces of text from the essay “We Were Made For These Times,” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Her sail channels the text’s argument for hope as a practice and not just a wish. This kind of hope is necessary to fuel movements and change, and often must exist alongside grief.

photos: Paul Irmiter

Bergmann notes,

“This kind of hope is necessary to fuel movements and change, and often must exist alongside grief. Mending is a radical act, an act of hope. I believe that mending serves as an apt metaphor for the work that needs to be done on Lake Street, in our city, and in our world. When we mend something, we restore its usefulness by beautifying the object’s scars and preserving its history. Mending is also a practice of knowing when something cannot, or should not, be fixed and it is better to tear away the old and start anew.”

In the recent OFFERINGS live pop-ups, people visited Mending a Sail, which had been hung on a rubbled building wall. Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, 2020, Lake St. and Chicago Ave.

About the Artist

Karly Gesine Bergmann conducts experiments in the science of enchantment—often through puppetry, but always through handmade, object-based work. After studying Dramaturgy and Theatre Criticism at The Theatre School at DePaul University, she went on to be fostered in Chicago’s vibrant DIY scene, receive The Edes Prize for Emerging Artists, and moved to Rome, Italy. There, she studied shadow puppetry with masters at Teatro Gioco Vita. Her versatile shadow puppet designs have been seen on stage at Nashville Childrens’ Theatre (A Snowy Day), The Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles (The Mountain Digby, a world premiere), and The English Theatre of Rome (The Belle of Amherst). Karly was recently a 2019-2020 Puppet Lab fellow and is an alumna of The National Puppetry Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She is now based in Minneapolis, where she is watching her city emerge into a new beginning.