This public program is taking place in conjunction with artist Mary Mattingly's exhibition What Happens After, at BRIC House.
Benji Hart will perform World After This One (work in progress), which uses three distinct Black art forms—the queer street style of vogue, the Afro-Boricua dance and drumming tradition of bomba, and gospel music—to examine how Black people have always used the tools of the present to construct portals to impossible futures. Blurring the lines between the secular and sacred, celebration and mourning, the past and the yet-to-pass, World After This One imagines Black liberation not as a metaphor, but a possibility.
NIC Kay will perform Untitled, a site responsive performance in relation to their ongoing project GET WELL SOON!, this work is a continuation of their exercises in getting well soon, a project/meditation based on the loose and often used phrase indicating a hope of recovery. These exercises have been articulated as movement, installation, games, endurance, ritual, poetry, and collective action.
The act of collaboratively changing the form of an object with a violent and complex history, can be a powerful one. Can it become ritual? Healing? Through the transformation of a massive military vehicle used in the Gulf and Afghan wars, nine performance artists created instead a bridge for communication and a stage for re-visioning a future for public spaces in an increasingly militarized world.
Participants of the redesign included: Rosie Bruno, Nicole Cheng, Emily Bluck Chow, Angela-Renee Coakley, Fred Fleisher, Yunchi Huang, Maria Hupfield, Sto Len, Paul Middendorf, David Hamilton Thomson, Shelley Senter, and Renae Reynolds.
Benji Hart is a Black, queer, femme artist and educator from Amherst, MA, currently living in Chicago. They have taught voguing to trans and queer youth at Black & Pink’s National Convening, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Broadway Youth Center. Their original solo piece Dancer As Insurgent—which explores vogue as a form of radical resistance—has been performed for the Elements of Vogue exhibit opening at CA2M, INCITE!‘s conference Color of Violence 4, and the Jane Addams Hull House. They are the recipient of the Rauschenberg Residency, Chicago Women and Femmes to Celebrate, and the 3Arts Award in the Teaching Arts.
NIC Kay is trans disciplinary artist working with and through performance. Their work has been presented in Europe and the United States. NIC attended Professional Performing Artist School and NYU Hemispheric Institute EMERGENYC. NIC has been a Chances Dances, Marc Aguhar Memorial Grant, and a Movement Research Van Lier Fellow awardee. Their work lil BLK was presented in American Realness. NIC was a performance artist in residence at the Museum of Art Design in the Sonic Arcade exhibition until February 2018 and is currently at Pioneer Works, NY.
The Stoop at BRIC House is a public cultural gathering space featuring free, drop-in programming, and offering a place to sit, observe, and participate in multi-disciplinary work.