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.
ABOUT GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE
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.
Being a Brooklyn loft, 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 is run by Jill McDermid & Erik Hokanson with Quinn Dukes. Jamie is our bartender and Leah runs the door.
"I have found Grace Space to be a breath of fresh air, and a new way to see and experience feelings you may have not faced in a long time. It’s a place to let yourself be exposed, amused, delighted, and terrified all at the same time, and I can say I haven’t experienced this combination of emotions at any gallery or theater I have ever stepped into, and that’s a wonderful thing. The space provides a refreshing perspective on an art scene that has been somewhat shackled and restrained for quite a bit of time now. Grace Exhibition Space is a brave pioneer as it puts Bushwick, as well as New York City, on the forefront of exploration and exposure into the minds and bodies of artists who are truly gifted, fearless, and unique." -Terri Ciccone. Bushwick Daily January, 2013
"On each night, and in each performance, the human body is redeemed from the mundane and made anew."- David Lagaccia, Williamsburg Greenpoint News+Art (June, 2012)