Talking hotels, coyotes morphing into seductive, queer bearded men, grandmothers drifting away on glaciers: just a few of the surreal scenes from HOLIDAYS IN / COYOTE, a play directed by Jess Chayes and written by Adam R. Burnett in collaboration with the cast and crew. The play was presented by The Tank as part of this year’s Exponential Festival - an extensive, annual nonprofit presenting performance throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan during the month of January. I ventured out to the city on a blistering cold evening to see the production during it’s week-long run (Jan 14th - 20th).
The evening begins with Nora Stephens introducing herself and her onstage compatriots (Cecilie Beck, Eli Tamondong and Naomi Elena Ramirez) by read-singing from a sheet. Stephens credits a previous work for bringing the collaborators’ together, earnestly looking up from page to audience. “Welcome to our show,” the performers’ harmonize warmly, arms extended in greeting while colorful, glittery outfits sparkle as they move about. They come together in the center of the room and hold flower-like positions. Silently - slowly - the flowers wilt. Within minutes they are in a heap on the floor and begin to transform and undulate as the human bodies roll backwards into the space.
Earlier this year, I had the great honor of participating in a residency coordinated by the Feminist Art Group and IV Soldiers Gallery in Rosekill, NY. During that residency, I collaborated, cooked, performed, cleaned, chopped fire wood, tended to a fire for 12 hours and shared the most profound moments and memories of my artistic career with members of the Feminist Art Group. Fellow participants, Lorene Bouboushian and Kaia Gilje presented a daring and physically challenging performance across an overgrown field at Rosekill. Contained within giant plastic water containers, Bouboushian and Gilje yelled towards eachother, using sound as the only directional tool. The scale and physical intensity of the piece was so wonderfully bizarre and unlike other performances that I had witnessed ... anywhere!
Bouboushian is presenting a new project this week entitled, extent of explosive lament at The Exponential Festival based in various locations across Brooklyn, NY. I can't wait to experience Bouboushian's latest performance dimensions and invite you to experience this work first hand. Full details below. - Quinn Dukes