"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.