"Sing out loud, in ESTHER’S HONOR!"
The final command from Ayana Evans during Panoply Performance Laboratory’s (Brooklyn, NY) closing festival, Metamorphosis (Nov 16-18) on Saturday, November 17th. Evans’ is holding her signature sparklers as neon blue & green wrist bracelets sway in the dark to the beat in nearly every hand and the room erupts in song,
“Your love is my love and my love is your love,” all faces turned towards Esther Neff.
We are two thirds of the way through performances on the second evening of the festival and so it’s time for tears, time for joy, seeing soft light in the dark, yes.
Co-founded by Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle, Panoply Performance Laboratory (or PPL) has served as a site of experimentation in performance art for nearly 7 years at it’s Meserole St. location in Bushwick. Before that, PPL's PERFORMANCY FORUM has been hosted by other sites, among them the infamous Grace Exhibition Space (which recently relocated from Brooklyn to Manhattan due to the rising price of rent). Metamorphosis marks the transition of a decade-worth of organizing and collaborative community work that has, both out of necessity and choice, resisted the gate-keeping capitalistic model of the art world, providing integral support to the performance scene in Brooklyn and beyond.
BROAD SENSE: Interviews and Event Recap
Marshall, North Carolina
By Quinn Dukes
Last October, six artists from across the United States were welcomed to the picturesque mountains of Marshall, North Carolina by curators and performance artists, Alice Vogler and Vela Oma for their multi-experiential event, Broad Sense.
I was delighted to receive an invitation to perform in Broad Sense despite the NYC stress cyclone I was managing at the time. I knew it would be a logistical challenge but the promise of nature, crisp air and performing with a group of artists that I have known and respected for years was irresistible. So, I fled NYC. Flight delays led to nearly missing my rental car pickup but I successfully retrieved my car and drove two hours to a magical place in the middle of nowhere. The next morning, I awoke to the sounds of event preparation and artist discussions of material, performance site location and politics. Collectively, the 6 of us (Sandy Huckleberry, Jeff Huckleberry, Joseph Raven, Phil Fryer (Moondrawn), Coorain Devin and yours truly) performed across multiple locations on the 7-acre property for 9 hours.
After Broad Sense concluded, I reached out to Vela, Alice and all participating artists to preserve the event's memory from multiple perspectives. Performance art documentation typically counts on visual documentation but in a campfire discussion, we realized that our collective memories write the history of performance. It was a beautiful weekend of local community exploring unknown paths in sporadic rain showers to discover durational outdoor actions. I am pleased to share the event through the words of the artists and thoughtful curators.
Performance Is Alive has partnered once again with Satellite Art Show to present Miami’s only non-stop performance art program during Miami Art Week. Alive At Satellite features live and video based performance art projects from over 20 artists across the globe. The 4-day performance program celebrates SATELLITE’s mission to honor the significant impact of performance art - an often underrepresented medium during contemporary art fairs.
This year performance artists will embrace the location shift from Miami Beach to the Ice Palace’s 33,000 sq ft parking lot in downtown Miami by exploring beyond the boundaries of a centralized performance zone. Performances are often interactive and durational, allowing the viewer to become sensorially immersed within their experience. Political protest and the quest to harness identity thru social conflict are recurring points of motivation for Alive at Satellite artists. We invite you to join us in protest, drink tea with us on the back of an artist and to witness your first (and perhaps your only) face ballet. In the true spirit of SATELLITE - no two moments will be the same.
One of Brooklyn's central performance art hubs, Panoply Performance Lab (aka PPL) concludes their 7+ years of programming at 104 Meserole Street this weekend. METAMORPHOSIS (or if you are looking at their tradition of hand-lettered show posters as seen above, METAMORHOSIS) is a 3-day performance, community potluck features performances from artists who developed their performance career with the support of the space.
Organizers note "Under the name PPL, the site has operated as a laboratory for the performance art communities of Brooklyn and beyond, home to hundreds of events, gatherings, meetings, exhibitions, think-tanking sessions, projects, and performances." As a PPL viewer and performer, I can attest to the tremendous and unyielding support offered by Esther Neff and Brian McCorkle in performance art, action art and a myriad of other live art forms. Their lab/incubator has fostered the growth of many emerging artists, collectives and think tanks. This weekend is sure to be full of community gratitude, compelling performances and a few tears.
Full schedule outlined below and on our live events listing page.
From all of us at Performance Is Alive, THANK YOU PPL!!! <3
Dispatch from the opening of AiOP in rainy Manhattan
Thursday, October 11th, 2018
By Alexandra Hammond
Today I quite literally took shelter from the remnants of global-warming-fueled Hurricane Michael in Westbeth Gallery, the indoor extension of BODY, this year’s manifestation of the Art in Odd Places festival. Most performances, which would have taken place outdoors at various locations from Avenue C to the Hudson River, were postponed due to intermittent warm downpours. As I leapt over the curbside reservoirs in the Meatpacking District, I contemplated the effects of the rising sea level on the newly-restored cobblestone streets of this high-gloss neighborhood and headed southwest to the gallery.
We are absolutely thrilled to see the countdown for Art in Odd Places nearing closer and closer. Soon BODY will come to life in so many tremendous forms. The festival curator, Katya Grokhovsky, recently announced an AIOP kick-off party at 14th Street's iconic Beauty Bar on Wednesday, September 26th. So mark your cal for a pre-festival bevie celebration. We've outlined a few must see moments for you below. Just add them to Google Cal, we've made it easy for you.
Also, the AIOP team has proudly released the schedule and project details for all 45 participants this year on their newly designed website body.artinoddplaces.org. In the words of Katya, "It's purple, it's pretty" and is an incredible celebration of female identifying and non binary artists. <3
So there you have it, get to event adding and we look forward to cheering with you September 26th @ Beauty Bar!
WHAT ARE YOUR PRE-PERFORMANCE RITUALS?
I write all of my performances in a notebook, and I'm typically still editing and refining what I've written the day of. I replace the notebook once or twice a year even if its not full, and I've gone through at least a dozen notebooks at this point. I used to write super detailed descriptions of my pieces, but these days I can get away with just putting down some bullet points and a basic score. I also spend the first half of the day of buying last minute props, editing my soundtrack if I’m using one, and forgetting to eat. When I’m at the space I’ll usually begin to move around the area I’m planning to perform in before the show starts. I’ll take big steps and swing my arms and try to just pick up on what the general feeling and energy of the room is. I’m not sure when I picked up this habit, but it helps put me in the moment and keeps me grounded, otherwise my thoughts tend to race a mile a minute. If I’m one of the last people performing that night, I’ll sometimes take a few moments to move around the space and get reacquainted with the feeling of it in between performances. Sometimes people will notice me doing this and will get weirded out, but I don’t mind that because it's just a necessary part of the process at this point.
I don't eat, don't drink and meditate.
For me, it’s not pre-show rituals that are important, but how I’m living my life on a daily basis. Am I honest and brave outside of art making? Am I doing things that connect me to something greater? If I am, my work will reflect that. If I’m not, my work will reflect that, too. So, my goal is to keep myself honest and brave outside of art making so that when I sit down to make work, the honest and brave thing will already be in motion.
Tonight, one of Brooklyn’s prominent performance art spaces, Grace Exhibition Space initiates their fall programming within the walls of their new home on Avenue C (and 11th St.) This move marks a historic transition for the nonprofit gallery space that has fostered the growth and community of Brooklyn-based performance artists and organizations since 2006. Co-Directors, Jill McDermid and Erik “Hoke” Hokanson continue charging forward with the promotion of and “glorification of performance art.”
The news of a Brooklyn space moving to Manhattan is quite rare, especially for a nonprofit organization focused on performance art. But one Bushwick rent increase demand after another led to a clear need for an address change. McDermid hopes to forge relationships between the Brooklyn performance community and the East Village through regular performance programming paired with exhibitions and workshops.
Tonight, Grace at 182 Avenue C features performance work from 5 artists hailing internationally and locally: Martin O'Brien, Miao Jiaxin, Jaguar Mary, Esther Neff and Oya Damla.
Location: 182 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009
Performances begin at 6pm. We look forward to this event kick off and hope to see you there!
From my experience, the time period prior to a live performance includes intentional times of reflection and often ritual. Pre-performance time is sacred. Non-performers can often feel alienated and confused when trying to engage. The truth is, most of us just need to do, our own thing. But what is... that thing? What are y/our pre-performance rituals? I thought this was a perfect topic for our first #PerformanceIsRevealing Series. Throughout this series, we will pose unique questions to current performance practitioners as a way to archive and share y/our practice.
My pre-performance rituals involve days of replaying the performance over and over and over again in my mind until I can actually reach a half-way point. I never see the end of the performance but you better believe I know the color of the room, the smell and my proximity to the audience. I also like to scour Home Depot or Art Supply stores for inspiration and never buy anything.
I am pleased to begin this post series with three artists well known to the Performance Is Alive community: Ernesto Pujol, Kara Rooney and Christopher Unpezverde Núñez. I hope you enjoy the series and consider revealing your process with us too.