by Kristen Kosmas
I met Leon Finley at a Sarah Schulman reading at the Seattle Public Library in January. He was sitting in front of me, and I noticed that we were nodding emphatically— like, with our whole bodies— at all the same lines from the book (Conflict is Not Abuse), and at all the same points in the conversation between Schulman and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore that followed the reading. Naturally I wanted to meet this person who agreed whole-heartedly, and whole-bodily, with everything I agreed with, so I introduced myself to him after the event and we exchanged contact information. Then we actually contacted each other! And we met for coffee. And while we were having coffee, Leon showed me some pictures of his artwork, and I loved it immediately.
For a long time I had the idea that this...
by Natalie Singer-Velush
Psychologists have known for a long time that serious trauma, such as that imprinted through violence and in wartime, can create mental and physical illness that can be passed down genetically through generations. But how this happens is still being understood. Just this week new research was released that shows that certain molecules, altered by traumatic stress and in turn causing depression and other effects, are transferred via sperm.
I became interested in inherited trauma while researching and writing my own memoir, which explores a legacy of being interrogated and my Jewish ancestors’ experience being hunted. How much is remembered in the cells? I have wondered, feeling many times as though I am wandering a kind of wilderness of loneliness, where that came from?
Lars Jan, with his Early Morning Opera lab and the versatile and emotionally sharp performances of Andrew Schneider and Sonny Valicenti, is hunting this ambiguous inheritance of trauma, too. In his...
by Koushik Ghosh
Hope. Is that as important as breath to a child? Is Hope an elastic concept? Is Hope, qualified by reality, just hopeless? How does a child cope with life, when his/her father possesses a 'realistic amount of hope?'
In The Institute of Memory (TIMe), Lars Jan, recalls his father and remakes him. He invites us to a discovery and then to his invention. Lars Jan seems to say that that recalling parents, our parents who lived with caution, who lived, marked by dread, we memorize them, only to erase and rewrite them. Maybe we want to imbue them with a hope they never professed. Maybe we want to gift them with a different life, in death, a life they never knew when they were alive. Yes, children too can resurrect their dead parents, make them saints, sinners or wave the magic wand of deep generosity and endow them with an infinite grace that they may not have known in life.
It’s an infinitely touching and generous piece of work, that explores love...
A sneak peek at the program notes for this weekend's performance, Andriessen | Tenney | Rzewski: Coming Together, at 8 pm on Saturday, April 8th. Tickets available here!
When a group of people sit down to play music together, they can’t know what will happen next. It doesn’t matter how thoroughly they’ve prepared beforehand; the second a new performance commences, players swim directly into the undertow of the present, with all of its destabilizing uncertainty and rapidly forking paths. As the path behind recedes, entropy looms, and the only real question becomes “OK, what next?"
Some composers fight chaos tooth and nail, penning scores so thick with details and instruction they resemble battle plans. Others simply acknowledge...
by Imana Gunawan
A series of free-writes after witnessing Heather Kravas’ visions of beauty:
Bodies are beautiful, but I wonder which bodies and why. I’ve known that visions of beauty was a restaging/reconstruction/reimagining of another piece that had an all female-bodied cast. It also refers to other works and concepts to which Kravas has experienced. And now it’s an eight-male-bodied-plus-one-female-bodied-person cast. I wonder whether the cis-ness of the cast matters. I wonder if it was necessary to have penises dangling for this piece to be recognized as what it is.
I see forehead on bare ass, cheek on floor, shoulders on tummies. This knot of bodies was beautiful and harmonious, like a slowly moving relief carved on the side of a temple. I would imagine that’s what someone’s ancestors would carve on a temple...
Only two more chances to see Heather Kravas: visions of beauty! If you're interested in reading a brief introduction by Jenn Joy, author of The Choreographic (MIT Press, 2014), or learning more about Heather, the performers, and the crew, here's a downloadable PDF of this week's program.
This week we also included a short note about what the NEA means to OtB. It has a list of resources and links for you to learn more about this critical issue. Click here for the downloadable PDF.
by Natalie Singer-Velush
Tic tic tic tic toc tic tic tic
What does a caterpillar made of bodies look like? Knees to floor. Ass to air. Spine to stomach. Head to thigh, forehead to forearm, face to muscle, muscle to mouth, cheek to elbow, ball sack to ball of foot.
Caterpillar body: over / under / over / under /...
by Petra Zanki
When Heather said that much of her aesthetics comes from times when she hung at the concerts and in the gritty punk scene in nineties, she got me fully. There is a lot of irrational romanticism in that, but I don’t need much to connect, if the words and ideas, said and unsaid, are right.
Aside irrational romanticism, while thinking about what would be the common thread in Heather’s works, I thought instantly of visual hues of her performances. Seeing it as B/W monochromes, in the aesthetics of punk zines from one side, and minimalist monochromatic canvases on the other, Daniel Zezelj’s comics’ strokes, (as harsh as that, as honest as that), also came to mind.
Both as in a vision, less as in a thought, brightness - the blending of all colors, and dark - in absence of them all, come in flashes at once: the realization that everything that...