Joelle Mercedes – I become the whale, I wail
Through personal and historical storytelling, sound manipulation, movement and song, “I become the whale, I wail” a new sound piece by multimedia artist Joelle Mercedes, seeks to reframe and create new mythologies around migration, loss, and origin that surround Quisqueya (the Dominican Republic) and its diaspora. Various instruments, ephemera, and a microphones aid in unpacking and challenging cultural secrets and constructing non-linear narratives around the Caribbean sea, carnival, and provisions. A sonic meditation on the Dominican term “black behind the ears”, a colloquialism referring to the hidden yet inescapable nature of the Dominican Republic’s black identity.
Patricia Nguyen – at the cusp of night
Patricia Nguyen is a Chicago-based artist, scholar, and educator. As a child of refugees, her work grapples with embodied memory, state violence, and healing. In her practice as a performance artist, she works creating durational performances and devised theater pieces weaving oral histories, poetry, and labor intensive movements together with natural and fabricated objects.
“at the cusp of night” explores myth and sites of refuge in the continued face of state violence from the Vietnam/American War to ICE detentions and deportations of Southeast Asian community members. This performance piece experiments with light, sound, video, and movement to conjure possibilities for home, healing, and justice.
ECLIPSING: the politics of night, the politics of light
A celestial body is eclipsed when another larger body passes, floats, or drifts into this celestial body’s source of illumination, submerging the smaller body in shadow; in darkness. An eclipse can also be defined as a reduction or loss of status, reputation or power. Those lacking power are cast into darkness. The concept of the eclipse exposes common associations with night and darkness, and may reveal the way dark and night spaces provide a place to challenge dominant and oppressive systems, structures and ways of seeing.
Artists within the Eclipsing series possess the ability to cross boundaries between mediums and mobilize darkness within their works, harnessing darkness’s metaphorical and metaphysical qualities. In dealing with darkness these artist, performers, musicians and healers dissect power. Power as it is defined and perpetrated by the systems that be, and a deeper power that may reside in the depths of a dark night sky or the pitch black pupil of an eye.
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