Last month I witnessed an evening of performance at Panoply Performance Lab in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Performancy Forum featured local artists: Huisi He, David Ian Griess, Sara Debevec, Jon Konkol and Emily Oliveira. Debevec embodied an anthropomorphized insect self. Griess looped home video in dedication to his grandmother. Konkol threw up condiments while yelling in German at his latex-blob children. He tiptoed barefoot thru active mousetraps while reciting self-affirmations on “making it“ in NYC. Lastly, Oliveira presented a complex, 3-part performance exploring female archetypes within Catholic doctrine.
Following Emily Oliveira’s performance, I spoke with fellow audience member and feminist artist powerhouse, Katya Grokhovsky about Oliveira’s piece. We mutually agreed on its success. The following day, a VERY heated online Facebook discussion began between several audience members about Oliveira’s work. Albeit somewhat difficult for me to negate individual names here - I have decided that since the online post/conversation was initiated with some anonymity (and has thus since been deleted) – I will keep individual names out of this post. But I will say, that the dissatisfaction and frustration toward Oliveira’s work stemmed mostly from male audience members. Several prominent performance art leaders within the Brooklyn community were polarized on the work. I thought to myself, WHOA! – I can’t believe I am reading such drastically different critiques on a work that I deemed so successful! Oliveira’s performance hit several nerves. So much so that a divide grew between Brooklyn’s intimate performance art community. Which, in my mind, really means something. Yes, critical dialog in performance art is much needed and the only thing missing in this discussion was the perspective of the artist. So... I reached out to Oliveira and offered an opportunity for her to discuss her intentions and respond to the FB critique. Since Performance Is Alive is devoted to sharing the words of the artist - I am delighted to share Emily Oliveira’s voice with you here. - QUINN DUKES
// Performed by: Preach R Sun w/ Whitney V. Hunter // Filmed and edited by: David Ian Griess
I am truly pleased to premiere the performance video, "I Have A Dream: The Invasion of The Boom-Bap." A video collaboration between Preach R. Sun and David Ian Griess. The original work was performed by Preach R. Sun with Whitney V. Hunter on the streets of Brooklyn, NY in May 2015. In an interview with Preach and David, we discuss their collaboration and the driving force of this work toward revolution. As we enter a holiday weekend symbolizing freedom, it is critical that we reflect on the disproportionate freedoms across the United States. We have a lot of work to do. In the words of Preach R. Sun, now is the time to "RISE UP." - Quinn Dukes