GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE, BROOKLYN
The Sphinx Returns
Curated by Whitney V. Hunter
Live performances by:
+ Thomas Albrecht
+ John Bonafede
+ Tsedaye Makonnen
+ Julia Santoli
+ Ni’Ja Whitson
+ Jeremy Toussaint Baptiste (sound)
Video installation by:
+ Ryan Hawk
THOMAS ALBRECHT [NY]
Thomas Albrecht’s performance projects have explored ritual and language in public spaces, galleries, and museums, prodding cultural beliefs and individual doubts. Current interests involve duration and elements of Absurdist Theatre, laying bare contingency in human constructions and slippage between truth and fiction. Albrecht has performed throughout the United States and in Europe, notably at Grace Exhibition Space, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Dimanche Rouge Paris, and during festivals such as the Brooklyn International Performing Arts Festival and Month of Performance Art Berlin. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale University where he served as the Menil Scholar in residence, and his MFA from the University of Washington. He serves as Associate Professor in the Art Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
JOHN BONAFEDE [NYC]
John Bonafede attended Syracuse University for painting and graduated from SVA in NYC. He studied painting at LLOTJA in Barcelona, Spain as well as Tangkha painting at Tibet House NYC. While studying printmaking, Bonafede discovered the new medium of chemography, which he often uses to make streetprints.The performance- driven video art, searches for new ways to make line, form, and composition by using time, the body and other fleeting materials. Bonafede holds an interest in themes of transience, systems theory, and Buddhism.
TSEDAYE MAKONNEN [DC]
Tsedaye Makonnen is an Ethiopian-American visual and performance artist-activist. Even though she uses different mediums to convey the cacophony and harmony within cultural and identity cross-pollination, performance just might be her favorite conduit. Its infinite possibilities have enabled her to explore varying genres in one instance that include colorism, birth, gender, labels, the male gaze, the black body and more. She is evidently drawn to creation including death, reincarnation and blood in tow. There is no separation between her work & life, seamlessly weaving together artistry, motherhood and birthwork.
JULIA SANTOLI [NYC]
Julia Santoli is a multi-media artist based in New York. Her work synthesizes image, gesture, and sound while navigating memory and presence—how past experience manifests in the present as ruins, and how these traces transform through mediation to/from the body within the ghost-nature of sound. Her explorations take the form of vocal performance and body-generated audio feedback, sonic installation, video, and prints. She completed her BFA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of Visual Arts, and has presented performative and visual work in art & experimental music contexts throughout New York.
NI’JA WHITSON [NYC]
Ni’Ja Whitson is a 2015 Bogliasco Fellow, a 2015 BAX Artist in Residence, and member of Creative Capital’s inaugural group of “On Our Radar” awardees. Referred to as “majestic” and “powerful” by the New York Times and “multi-talented” by Gibney Dance, Whitson’s challenging work has received awards and recognitions across disciplines. Whitson has been a student and practitioner of indigenous African ritual and resistance forms for over ten years, creating work that reflects the sacred in street, conceptual, and indigenous performance. They engage a nexus of postmodern and African Diasporic performance practices, through the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and spirit. Working internationally, creative and scholarly endeavors include collaborations with influential artists across genres such as Allison Knowles, La Pocha Nostra, April Berry, Darrell Jones, Merián Soto, and Marjani Forté. As a noted innovating practitioner of the Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic and accomplished improviser Whitson enjoys ongoing collaboration with award-winning artist Sharon Bridgforth, including currently as a touring company member of Bridgforth’s River See.
JEREMY TOUSSAINT BAPTISTE [NYC]
Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste is a performer, composer, and commercial independent contractor. His work, through the lens of precarious labor, complicates notions of industry, identity, and environment and the implications of the intersections of such phenomena. He frequently collaborates with performers and fine artists, often under the alias CROWNS. He has presented work at the Brooklyn Museum, Arts East New York, JACK, University Settlement, Harlem Stage, as well as on Dazed Digital and Complex.com.
RYAN HAWK [MA/TX]
Ryan Hawk is a visual artist focusing in performance, video, sculpture, and drawing. Hawk’s work has been shown in several venues throughout New York, Boston, exhibited at Chicago's Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival, Select Industries at Miami Basel 2012, as well as several other international performance art festivals. Most recently, he had a solo exhibition at the Art League Houston in Texas in collaboration with the curatorial organization SUPLEX, a solo exhibition at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum as part of the UMLAUF PRIZE in Austin, TX, and was awarded the prestigious (2016) Traveling Fellowship by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Ryan Hawk received his BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and is currently a MFA candidate in studio art at the University of Texas, Austin.
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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.
The Sphinx Returns listed as #6 on ARTFORUM's NY Fall Performance Preview by Claudia La Rocco. "What's not to love about that?"
+ 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]