The Sphinx Returns SEASON OPENING EVENT:
Hosted by the Illustrious Blacks
Curated by Whitney V. Hunter
#6 on ARTFORUM's NY Fall Performance Preview by Claudia La Rocco "what's not to love about that?"
Live Performances by:
+ The Illustrious Blacks [NYC]
+ Lion Ayodele+++ [NYC]
+ Hector Canonge [NYC]
+ Annabel Guérédrat & Henri Tauliaut [Martinique]
Video installation by:
+ Andrew Braddock / David Ian Griess / Elizabeth Lamb
THE ILLUSTRIOUS BLACKS
Once upon a time in a galaxy not far away, there lived two kings. Each was the ruler of his own deliciously glorious planet. The first king, Manchildblack, was well known throughout the cosmos for his ethereal vocals, celestial sonics and earthy musical messages. The other king, Monstah Black, was a star in the solar system for his gravity defying performances, gender-bending fashions and spacey disposition. One magical night, an inexplicable ultra-magnetic pull forced the two planets to collide. A technicolored explosion occurred turning night into day with a feast of aural and visual delights. It was then that the universe was changed forever. Manchildblack and Monstah Black united and became The Illustrious Blacks.
With inspiration from extra terrestrials like Prince, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Boy George and George Clinton, The Illustrious Blacks have arrived with a mission to fuse futuristic funk, hypnotic house and cosmic pop into pulsating positivity for the planet. The Blacks are not only co-pilots on their artistic voyage, but are united in their fantastical journey through life.
Individually, Manchildblack and Monstah Black illuminate the galaxy with equal magnitude. Together, as The Illustrious Blacks, they have combined their powers and metamorphosed into supernovas, blazing through the Milky Way like a comet, with their own unique brand of cosmic freak nobility. // theillustriousblacks.tumblr.com
Lion Ayodele (born 1979) is a Sierra Leonian artist raised between Freetown and Washington, D.C. In 2001, after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, he received his B.A., and began to travel extensively - immersing himself in indigenous cultures across the globe. The NYC based multidisciplinary artist engages a variety of mediums such as: photography, performance, writing, painting, video installation and sculpture to create arresting and multi-hued narratives. Influenced by a 10 year civil war that destroyed Sierra Leone, Ayodele exposes new forms of creative expression motivated by the spirit of the individual. The growing influence of hip-hop, film, sci-fi, digital programming, and popular sports on youth culture as well as his innate propensity towards the mystic and quixotic encouraged the development of Ayodele's hybrid aesthetic he refers to as Electro- JuJu. His strategic interventions transform landscapes into imaginary worlds, compressing space and time, as the ancient past and distant future meld individual expressionism with broader socio-economic concerns. Ayodele's work reveals a mastery of illusion, a rich range of historical and mythological references, and an natural skill for blending antiquated and contemporary art forms. // instagram.com/lionayodele
Hector Canonge is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and cultural entrepreneur based in New York City. His work incorporates the use of new media technologies, cinematic narratives, Live Action Art, and social practice to explore and treat issues related to constructions of identity, gender roles, psychogeography, and the politics of migration. Challenging the white box settings of a gallery or a museum, or intervening directly in public spaces, his performances mediate movement, endurance, and ritualistic processes. Some of his actions and carefully choreographed performances involve collaborating with other artists and interacting with audiences. His work has been exhibited and presented in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. As cultural entrepreneur, Canonge started projects such as ARTerial Performance Lab (APLAB), an initiative to foster collaboration among performance artists from the Americas, PERFORMEANDO, a program that focuses on featuring Hispanic performance artists living in the USA, NEXUSURNEXUS a virtual platform for Live Action Art, and PERFORMAXIS, an international residency program in collaboration with galleries and art spaces in Latin America. Canonge is the co-founder of QMAD, Queens Media Arts Development, a non-profit arts organization in Queens, NYC. As curator, he has organized exhibitions at Queens Museum, Space 37 Gallery, Visual AIDS, and the monthly artists’ program A-LAB Forum at Crossing Art Gallery. He created the monthly independent film series CINEMAROSA, and organizes the annual Performance Art Festival, ITINERANT. His work has been reviewed by The New York Times, ART FORUM, Art in America, New York Daily News, Manhattan Times, Hispanic Magazine; by major networks ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS, UNIVISION, etc., and online by Art Experience NYC, Hyperallergic, Turbulence, Art Card Review, NYRemezcla, and New York Foundation for the Arts’ bulletin NYFA News. After living in Europe and Latin America for over two years, Canonge returned to the USA in early January 2015 to continue with his projects, exhibitions, and presentations in New York, Detroit, Boston, and in Miami to organize a program for artistic exchange with Latin American artists in cooperation with American and European organizations. // hectorcanonge.net
ANNABEL GUÉRÉDRAT + HENRI TUALIAUT
Annabel Guérédrat is a choreographer, dancer and performer from Martinique. She is certified in Literature and history and is an educator in the art of Somatic movement through the Body Mind Centering® method, which allowed Annabel to include in her performances very personal and sensitive gestures. In 2010, she opened a new cycle of performances around Black Feminism, concerning the social and politic body of black women in the Caribbean area. In 2015, preoccupied by the question of post-identity, she created "Valeska and you" around the figure of the witch, inspired by Valeska Gert. And a new project with the visual artist, Henri Tauliaut, appears : “A smell of success”. // artincidence.com
HENRI TAULIAUT "I live and work in Martinique. I define myself as an artist of Bio-Art and Digital Arts. For fifteen years I have been developing an approach around the thematic of living things and artificial ones. Presently the projects I am working on are: 1/ The Organic project 2/ D.E.V.A.H. – The project of installations for experimentation of plants, animals and humans 3/ Ecosystema 4/ The Courtship ritual project 5/ Porosity. The common denominator of these projects is the link that they have between art and science. Additionally, they all address the question of life, its complexity, its beauty, its extraordinary profusion and banality. Each project attempts to highlight an issue and is supposed to generate new information. While these projects have some autonomy between them, they contribute to each other to produce new works; this is what I call “Visual translations”.
Andrew Braddock / David Ian Griess / Elizabeth Lamb
The Sphinx Returns is a curated season of performance art and contemporary performance. The season investigates the artist as myth maker and performance art and contemporary performance as the mythologies of our time, setting the course for a history of the future.
The Sphinx Returns is a return to questioning, mythology, and new ideas, asking how do we encourage and gain new ways of seeing and understanding. The inclusion of short form actions, endurance, durational, performance for video, installations and sound work will offer insight into artistic practice as a means towards a new mythology.
Allowing mystery to pervade the space of the now instigates active and real-time relationships between the artist and the public. The Sphinx Returns is the moment when the experience of being alive reveals itself through the act of being present.
+ Social Health Performance Club
+ Panoply Performance Lab presents PERFORMANCY FORUM's 5th Anniversary
+ Alexander Del Re & guest artists
+ Sherman Fleming (Exhibition, Performance and Art Talk)
The Sphinx Returns SEASON ARTISTS
Thomas Albrecht [NY], Lion Ayodele+++ [NYC], The Illustrious Blacks [NYC], John Bonafede [NYC], Andrew Braddock, David Ian Griess & Elizabeth Lamb [NYC], Hector Canonge [NYC], Jeannette Ehlers [Denmark], Annabel Gueredrat & Henri Tauliaut [Martinique], Ryan Hawk [MA/TX], Elan Jurado [NYC], Jon Konkol [NYC], Benjamin Lundberg [USA/Colombia], Tsedaye Makonnen [DC], Zave Martohardjono [NYC/Indonesia/Canada], Butch Merigoni [NY], Keren Moscovitch & Marianna Olinger [NYC], Sadaf Nava [NY], Vela Phelan [Boston, MA], Julia Santoli [NYC], Kledia Spiro [MA], Jeremy Toussaint Baptiste [NYC], Edgar Javier Ulloa [Juárez/USA], Ultras [NYC], Mette Loulou von Kohl [Palestine/USA], Ni’Ja Whitson [NYC], André Zachery & Lamont Hamilton [NYC & Chicago, IL]
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Grace, n. - simple elegance or refinement of movement
Grace Period - an extended period granted as a special favor
The Three Graces (Greek Mythology) - charm, grace, and beauty
Opened in 2006, Grace Exhibition Space is devoted exclusively to Performance Art. We offer an opportunity to experience visceral and challenging works by the current generation of international performance artists whether emerging, mid-career or established. Our events are presented on the floor, not on a stage, dissolving the boundary between artist and viewer. This is how performance art is meant to be experienced and our mission is the glorification of performance art.
Grace Exhibition Space presents over 30 curated live performance art exhibitions each year, showcasing new work by more than 400 performance artists from across the United States and the world since 2006.
Grace Exhibition Space for International Performance Art Space IRS tax-exempt 501(c)3 status in 2015.
Grace Exhibition Space follows the We Have a Voice Collectives Code of Conduct to Promote Safe(r) Workplaces in the Performing Arts For more information and resources, visit: www.wehavevoice.org