GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE, BROOKLYN
Sarah H. Paulson [USA]
"The Reed Bed"
Sarah H. Paulson [USA]
Sarah H. Paulson was born in New Orleans, LA. Since graduating with a BFA in Special Studies in Art from Syracuse University in 2002, she has lived and worked as a performance artist in Brooklyn, NY. Paulson is also a lifelong student of alchemical Taoist Medicine and practices acupuncture in Brooklyn, NY and Putney, VT.
Her art practice remains focused on the Performative. Paulson believes that performance has the capacity to bring the human being closest to what it means to be human.
By archiving personal experience through her often durational or endurance-based work, Paulson reaches the place where the universal is touched in the audience and the performers.
The artist and the performers are pushed to their limits. Humanness, with its breath and blood, beauty, hopelessness, and potential, is aspired to and celebrated.
Her solo work, as well as her collaborations with Holly Faurot (www.faurotpaulson.com), have been exhibited/performed at English Kills Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, NY; Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY; ACG (Alice Chilton Gallery), Brooklyn, NY; NurtureArt, Brooklyn, NY; The Chocolate Factory Theater, Brooklyn, NY; P.I.T. (Projects In Transit), Brooklyn, NY; the Harold Clurman Center for New Works in Movement and Dance Theatre at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, NY; NYCAMS (NY Center for Art & Media Studies), NY; Villa Feuerlösche, Prenning, Austria; and Open Art Gallery, Beijing, China; among others.
THE REED BED
Performers: Corey Bliss, Priscilla Cross, Quincy Davisson, Meg Dellenbaugh, Mackenzie Fitzgerald, Emily Lowe, Sarah H. Paulson, Laura Clarke Stelmok
Musicians: Travis Laplante, Daniel Pearce, Kurt Weisman
Paulson lies atop a pile of salt for the duration of the performance. For 12+ hours she is handed page after page torn out from a 100+-year-old ledger. With the help of Laura Stelmok, she holds each page over her neck and burns three holes into the paper with a moxa stick.
Another performer, Emily Lowe, meticulously looks after the large book that is slowly burned. Hour after hour, the book’s bulkiness is diminished as she removes each of the 700+ pages of names and numbers.
Meanwhile, the other performers move, gesture, rest, and are present to the burning ritual at the center of the space. They are sung to, individually and collectively, by the musicians and the smoke.
In unanticipated preparation for The Reed Bed, and for the duration of their relationship thus far, Paulson has collected the discarded saxophone reeds of Travis Laplante. Throughout the performance, hundreds of these used reeds are repeatedly arranged side-by-side in a perfect circle by performer Quincy Davisson. She periodically enters this circle and drinks water for the whole from a decanter. The reed circle is swept away and recreated, over and over again. It is restored by the very water that it provides.
The Reed Bed is a performance of longing. It is a cry for the return. It is a cry for lost words, lost language, and a place where forgetting and remembering happen simultaneously.
It is a place where the kiss is carried by the wind. It is a place where the breath is fueled by fire. It is a place where we are invited to reconsider our understanding of life and death. And above all, it is a tiny moment where performance might reveal its connection to that timeless place where water is eternal, for the first and, perhaps, the last time.
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182 AVENUE C NEW YORK, NY 10009
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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