The BRIC OPEN is an annual arts and ideas festival borne out of BRIC’s core values of creativity, inclusion, and community, bringing people together to radically imagine a more equitable future. This year’s festival theme, Borders, illuminates the way real and imagined borders intersect, and celebrates our capacity to create connection across boundaries. Friday of the festival includes a concert from Blitz the Ambassador / Lido Pimienta / The Chamanas, an Immigration Action Fair, a mobile art project from Alicia Grullón, and more.
BRIC OPEN: Borders - Friday
Blitz the Ambassador / Lido Pimienta / The Chamanas
7:30PM (6PM Doors) │ BRIC House Ballroom
This eclectic triple bill celebrates musical artists who defy conventional notions of nationality and genre, whose innovative sounds and perspectives represent a more global culture made possible by those of us who occupy the spaces between borders.
International hip-hop artist and filmmaker Blitz the Ambassador blends classic hip hop break beats with West African highlife and global rhythms of the diaspora, gaining him fans from his native Ghana and around the world. His latest release, Diasporadical, explores themes of immigration, spirituality, nostalgia, and love, all reinforced in an accompanying 15-minute short film called Diasporadical Trilogia, which will also be screened as part of BRIC OPEN: Borders - Friday.
Colombian-Canadian winner of the 2017 Polaris Music Prize Lido Pimienta jumps back and forth from electronic beats, analog synths, and Afro-Colombian rhythms to out-of-this-world chanting. The release of her first album, Color LP, opened the gate for several collaborations with artists in Canada and around the world, making her one of the most prolific songwriters and lyricists, and improvisation virtuosos of her generation.
With members from Ciudad Juarez and El Paso and their Fronterizo indie pop fusion, The Chamanas highlight the distinctness of border culture. The group has been invited to perform their border music all over the United States and Latin America, and have collaborated with artists as varied as Portugal. The Man, Enjambre, and Beach House.
Juanli Carrión: Memelismos: Memories from the Other Side
4-7PM | BRIC House Hallway
Memelismos is a collaborative, community-specific project that uses sculpture to address popular memory and personal meanings embedded in everyday objects. For this iteration, we invite you to donate objects that represent a border you have crossed. The border may be geographic, political, emotional, social or linked to your identity, and the object may remind you of the other side. How was it to live there? Why did you leave and what did you leave behind? What were you seeking? Was it hard to cross? How are those memories in your object and are you willing to let it go?
When you donate the object at BRIC, you will be asked to tell a short story about it and what it represents. The artist, Juanli Carrión, will then wrap them in plastic of different colors, transforming them into abstract sculptures and disconnecting them from specific memories. In fall 2018, you can return to BRIC to organize the sculptures in an exhibition in the Project Room and re-encounter your and others' memories, physically present but visually abstracted. The installation becomes a collective, community activity that inspires interaction and conversation around memory and what happens when we cross borders.
Borders We Carry - Walking Tour
6PM | Meet Outside Main Entrance
Join Kamau Ware, founder of the Black Gotham Experience, on a walking tour that explores the borders we carry within our minds and bodies. Ware will lead participants on a 90-minute journey through Downtown Brooklyn, traversing the neighborhood while reflecting together on the intangible boundaries that define our movements through private, public, and urban spaces.
Space is limited and registration is required to attend the Borders We Carry walking tours. RSVP HERE. Please contact LDiaz@bricartsmedia.org if your plans change and you are unable to attend, or if you would like to join the waitlist for a sold out tour.
Immigration Action Fair
6-9PM │ BRIC House Ballroom
Join several local immigrant rights organizations to take immediate and creative actions to push for justice for Brooklyn's diverse immigrant communities. Organizations include Black Alliance for Just Immigration, New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York, and the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA).
6-9PM │ BRIC House Stoop
Alicia Grullón: Empanar!
6:30-8:30PM │ BRIC House Lobby
Empanar! is a mobile art project from performance artist Alicia Grullón that responds to immigrant street food culture, serving up empanadas and knowledge.
Multi-Day Program & Exhibitions
Bordering the Imaginary: Art from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas
10AM-10PM | Gallery at BRIC House
Bordering the Imaginary investigates the complicated relationship between the Dominican Republic and Haiti—two nations that share a single island. The exhibition features work in a wide array of media by 19 Dominican and Haitian artists, based in both their native countries and in the United States. The artists draw on their experiences of difference, movement, and immigration to create a collective visual narrative that exposes inequalities and stereotypes of race, gender, and sexuality, which have plagued the island since the 15th century. Their work also displays the vitality of the visual arts in their communities. Through the exhibition, exhibition catalogue, and public programs, Bordering the Imaginary will reveal the complexities of a historically shifting transnational border space and the formation of distinct but intertwined nations.
Erika Harrsch: Under the Same Sky...We Dream
10AM–10PM | BRIC House Artist Studio
This immersive multimedia installation by Erika Harrsch, in collaboration with internationally acclaimed Mexican singer Magos Herrera, is an homage to the children who cross borders to start a new life with or without their parents, and to parents who dream of a better life for their kids. The piece reflects on the right to move freely across borders, the consequences of migration, the dehumanizing experience of detention, and the DREAM Act legislation of the United States that was never adopted. Participants are invited to rest in the room as an act of reflection and solidarity with the Dreamers, over 20,000 of whom live in Brooklyn.
10AM–10PM | BRIC House Swing Space
In a fractured world, human beings too often see themselves and their tribes in isolation and competition. Portals, a global public art initiative, is about harnessing the incredible technology we have at our fingertips to forge connections between communities that might otherwise never meet. Portals are gold spaces equipped with immersive audiovisual technology. When you enter a Portal, you come face-to-face with someone in a Portal somewhere else on Earth live and full-body, as if in the same room. As walls are going up across the world and borders are hardening, the BRIC_Portal carves wormholes throughout the planet, connecting individuals to create unexpected dialogues that engage questions of borders in many ways. BRIC_Portal is presented by Shared_Studios™.
Katie Shima: What time is it there?
10AM-10PM | BRIC House Hallway
Katie Shima’s intricately constructed wall relief sculptures weave together digital and traditional techniques as a means to explore how societies shape their environments by building in, over, and through the landscape. What time is it there? is comprised of natural materials such as stained wood and fiber, the installation will appear as if an archipelago of disparate locales.
In an effort to make the BRIC OPEN Festival truly accessible, all events are FREE with RSVP, but if you have the means, and you value artistic and cultural work, please consider making a donation to support the continued health of this programming at BRIC. Donate here!
NOTE: Seating for BRIC OPEN: Borders events is on a first come, first served basis, whether you have RSVP’d or not.
BRIC House is Brooklyn’s cultural living room: a 40,000 square foot multi-disciplinary arts and media complex in the former Strand Theatre, where emerging and established artists can create work that deepens their practice and engages the diverse communities of the borough.
BRIC is committed to welcoming people of all abilities. The main floor of BRIC House has an accessible entrance on Rockwell Place, in addition to an accessible, all-gender bathroom. The BRIC Media Center, located on the 2nd floor, is accessible via elevator. The Gallery level is accessible via a wheelchair lift. Portable FM assistive listening devices are available for programs on the Stoop and in the Ballroom upon request. To make a specific access request, or to let us know other ways we can provide you with a welcoming experience, please contact Nia I'man Smith at nsmith@BRICartsmedia.org or 718.683.5986.
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BRIC OPEN: Borders - Opening NightApr 26, 2018 • 6:00 PM
BRIC OPEN: Borders - SaturdayApr 28, 2018 • 10:00 AM