A Special New Years Eve Gift From GES and Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow to the World!
Premiere of Unalterable Fate a new 2020 performance! Plus Am I pretty now? (2015)
New Years Eve Performance:
On a frozen lake the artist, Lyn-Kee-Chow performs as a bride appearing in a tattered wedding dress as if she has escaped her own betrothal. The wintery landscape becomes the site where a ceremony for one occurs followed by a four directional salute to the ancestors.
The artist orates a passage from the chapter, “Birth, Marriage and Death” in a book by N.B. Denny’s, Ph.D., F.R.G.S. titled, “The Folk-Lore of China: And it’s Affinities with that of the Aryan and Semitic Races” published in Hong Kong: “China-Mail”Office,1876.
"Am I pretty now?" 2015
Performance, 10 minutes.
(Digital C-print and video documentation available)
"Am I pretty now?" was created with fashion designer, Jósa Goodlife at an artists’ residency titled “Essential Departures” at Rosekill Farm (near Kingston, NY). Artists responded to the site with consideration of the female body’s contextual relationship to nature as a point of departure. Artists were invited to participate with a performance work on this theme while using the opportunity to develop practices through intensive exchange and dialogue within a stunning natural environment.
I swam in a lake naked, feeling vulnerable like nature, with the exception of my head, adorned with limbs of a tree. Wearing this elaborate headdress we made of natural materials, wooden branches and flowers I swam slowly. The natural environment inspired us to decorate a simple yet elaborate crown for my solo performance. The woods and the lake gave me a very simple and primal approach to the work with thoughts of life and cycles. Our relationship to Mother Nature and the relationship to life and death was what persisted in my mind.
These elements, the large body of water and my brown body gave me the agency to be a native woman of the past, one not in need of covering up myself. The vast subliminal landscape and my body within that space intended to be a short narrative of survival. Here, I was from a foreign place washed ashore, easily camouflaged into this nature. I arrive by treading this body of water. The headdress, perhaps tribal in its own right may remind one of the headwear by Surma and Mursi tribes of East Africa's Omo Valley, yet its reminiscent of a Victorian silhouette. I wear what may seem like a traditional accessory of my own tribe. I carried what was important. Was this my identity? Or have we created a rare form of hybrid beauty trying to fit in?
I swam from one end of the lake to the other in circles. The longer I swam the more tension was built up in the calm and quiet lakefront. At moments my body just floated pushing what looked like natural debris. As the performance came to a close I swam to the edge of the lake where I stepped onto the wooden deck and dressed into my nature patterned Kimono. I then lead the audience up the hill.
This work is published in Emergency Index Vol. 5, pg 194 by Ugly Duckling Press 2016
Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow is a 1.5 generation Jamaican-American interdisciplinary artist living and working in Queens, NY. Her work often explores performance and installation art drawing from the nostalgia of her homeland, Caribbean folklore, fantasy, feminism, globalism, spirituality, environmentalism, and migration.
She holds a BFA with honors from New World School of the Arts, University of Florida and an MFA from Hunter College, CUNY. Lyn-Kee-Chow’s exhibitions of note include “Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora”, Royal West Academy of England, Bristol, UK (2016), a special project commission at “Jamaica Biennial”, The National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, JA (2017), “Live Action 12” in Gothenburg, Sweden (2017), Guangzhou Live 5: International Performance Art Festival, China (2014).
Lyn-Kee-Chow’s work has garnered a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award in Interdisciplinary Art (2012), Rema Hort Mann Artist in Community Engagement Award (2017), Franklin Furnace Fund (2017-18), Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practice (2018), and Queens Art Fund (2019). She is also a faculty member at School of Visual Arts, NY.
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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.
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