May 14, 2017
Join us at the cHURCH as Nia & Ness discuss their work together and their upcoming project inspired by Francesco Simeti’s Swell, currently on view at Open Source. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.
Nia & Ness are a dancer-poet duo whose work is informed by the complexities of their relationship, and aims at a deeper understanding of their co-reality through intense investigation of their individual identities. Along with being an artistic duo, they are also in a long-term, committed relationship. Nia & Ness use their bond, connection and intimacy to pull feelings and ideas out of each other that they, themselves, might not have been able to grab onto personally. This ability to see each other in ways that no one else can or will drives a large portion of their art, and allows the audience to come into their world and experience the depths of their lives with them. Nia & Ness use the similarities and differences within their identities and life experiences to create work that is filtered through their personal experiences to ultimately connect with their broader humanity.
Nia & Ness are a dancer-poet performance art duo based in Brooklyn, NY. The duo met in 2013 and founded their company in 2016. They performed at multiple venues in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; sharing their work that aims at a deeper understanding of their co-reality through intense investigation of their individual identities. They have also been highlighted in local newspapers; and recognized as by the Brooklyn-based art group, THE CREATORS COLLECTIVE’s as one of their top 5 artists of 2016.
Along with the couple’s work together, Nia is a proud BFA dance graduate from Temple University. Immediately after graduation she began dancing in Germany and France with DAGADA dance company; and Ness, a Journalism graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, freelances as a writer for the California-based magazine Việt Tide.
Join us for POST HUMAN ANIMAL INSTINCT / I wanna melt your gender hairs at the cHURCH OF MONIKA as KC Crow Maddux discusses their work. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.
Using drawing and layered transparent photographs of their own transgender body, KC diagrams symbolic constellations relating to gender, desire, and sexuality. Photographs are layered and suspended over paintings done on those walls. The transparent nature of the clear film creates an analogue composite effect that creates the appearance of a cohesive, solid image while in reality it is made of multiple hanging individual fragments. Gender is a real thing, it is a construction and also a lived reality; an amalgam of puppetry and embodiment, nonsense.
KC Crow Maddux is a Brooklyn based trans artist who explores themes relating death, sexuality, and gender. After finishing the Kansas City Art Institute, they showed locally and in Chicago for several years, receiving an Urban Culture Project studio residency, multiple nominations for the Charlotte Street Grant, and exhibited at the Renaissance Society, in Chicago. After earning a M.F.A. at the University of Texas, they moved to Brooklyn in 2013. Their work has been written about in Review magazine, The Kansas City Star, Pitch Weekly, Austin Chronicle, Hyperallergic, and Art New City (sometimes as Kacy Maddux). In the past year they have shown at the International Cultural Center of Krakow and venues in Austin and Brooklyn.
March 12, 2017
Join us at the cHURCH OF MONIKA as Karen Stevenson discusses the her work with the WITNESS Media Lab and their new project, “Capturing Hate.” This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.
The hard won legal victories that the LGBTQ community has achieved in the U.S. has triggered a backlash. There have been over 100 proposed anti-LGBTQ state laws since the passage of marriage equality in June 2015, many of them specifically targeting transgender people. Anti-LGBTQ violence, particularly against transgender people of color, has been called an “epidemic” by anti-violence groups, and, a majority of U.S. states can legally exclude transgender communities from public accommodation, employment, housing and healthcare.
Meeting the needs and understanding the issues facing transgender and gender nonconforming people is understudied because general population surveys that currently determine policy, social services and funding do not include questions about gender identity beyond the male and female binary.
And, being uncounted means being overlooked.
The WITNESS Media Lab incubates emerging technologies and practices dedicated to unleashing the potential of eyewitness video as a powerful tool to report, monitor, and advocate for human rights. The Media Lab’s newest project, “Capturing Hate,” studied viewer engagement with eyewitness videos that show acts of transphobic violence that were filmed, shared, and engaged with as entertainment. The videos and viewer engagement with them tell a powerful and disturbing story of the abusive and often life threatening environments that transgender and gender nonconforming people navigate daily. This project explores the untapped potential of eyewitness video as a way to fill that gap. By collecting and analyzing viewer engagement with eyewitness videos, they have found an innovative way of unmasking patterns of discrimination and abuse.
Karen Stevenson leads the WITNESS Media Lab, a program dedicated to developing solutions to ensure that eyewitness video can serve as an effective tool for justice. She has a Master’s degree in Journalism from Indiana University and has been a consultant, experience designer, and technology project manager for Fortune 10 media companies, arts organizations and non-profit advocacy groups.
Karen launched Brooklyn’s first 24×7 community cable channel, creating the borough’s only live, daily news show, several Emmy-nominated programs, and a community Town Hall series. She served as Senior Director of Digital Media at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts where she oversaw the installation of the award-winning campus digital signage system and designed the content systems that manage it. She co-founded a non-profit media institute that has trained journalists and media entrepreneurs in the U.S., Poland, Albania, Turkey, and the Pacific Islands. She’s been a digital media consultant to the American Chambers of Commerce to the European Union and was selected to be the Digital Media keynote speaker at their Annual Plenary Meetings in Warsaw and Istanbul.
February 12, 2017
Join us at the cHURCH OF MONIKA for Cornucopia, a discussion with the curators and artists of The Middle Passage, a performance art narrative in site-specific camera obscura at Open Source.
The Middle Passage is a performance art series curated by George Del Barrio and Kate Ladenheim that uses a focused camera obscura with multiple projections to create surface-mapped stages upside-down and backwards on the gallery walls. The project aims to transform our shared spaces into a spectacle that allows the physics of the universe to bend in support of the artists. Artists of color are presenting new work within an illuminated blackout that requires patience and observation for the viewer to fully discover. Within the blacked-out gallery, the artists fill the space with their light, bringing site-specific to a darkened space as a subtle act of activism. Every day the theater will fade as the light dies, offering a metaphor for resilience.
The Vanderbilt Republic is a creative agency based in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The agency was formed to catalyze the impact of creative expression in all modes. VR sees artists as leaders, activists and agents for positive change. Through their work with the creative diaspora, VR offers boutique solutions in: creative production, design, direction, artist representation and landscape projection design. George Del Barrio is VR’s founder and creative director.
The People Movers is a dance and production collaborative under the direction of Kate Ladenheim. It is the mission of The People Movers to create complex works that reveal the inherently performative qualities of our world through thoughtful and technical movement, and to support the arts community as a whole by organizing relevant and engaging productions. In short, The People Movers make performances, and make performances happen.
January 15, 2016
Join us for the cHURCH OF MONIKA as Heidi Langeneckert and Nancy Shimmel host a community meeting to affirm shared values of tolerance, social and economic justice, and love for each other. Bagels and coffee will be served.
In the aftermath of November 8th, it has never been more important for us to come together—to stand against hate and injustice and to defend our democracy. In collaboration with MoveOn and People’s Action, Heidi and Nancy will present an event as part of a critical national day of action just days before the inauguration—on Sunday, January 15. Community meetings are being organized across the country to talk about what resistance looks like on the local level and sketch out a plan to keep our communities safe, fight for our values, and resist the new administration every step of the way—including by organizing opposition to injustice.
Working together works. Let’s join forces to create effective resistance to dangerous politics of fear and hate.
November 6, 2016
Join us for the cHURCH OF MONIKA as we participate in Terzo Paradiso by creating our own symbol of The Third Paradise. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.
In 2003, Michelangelo Pistoletto wrote The Third Paradise (Terzo Paradiso) manifesto and drew its symbol. The basic idea of the Third Paradise is the overcoming of the current worldwide existing conflict between the two polarities of nature and artifice. The Third Paradise is symbolically represented by a reconfiguration of the mathematical infinity sign. In the symbol of the Third Paradise three circles are drawn: the two opposite circles signify nature and artifice; the middle one is the conjunction of the two and represents the generative womb of a new humanity.
The Third Paradise is the passage to a new level of planetary civilization, essential to ensure the survival of the human race. To this purpose we first of all need to re-form the principles and the ethical behaviours guiding our common life. The Third Paradise is the great myth that leads everyone to take personal responsibility in the global vision.
Monika Wuhrer, our own executive director, is an ambassador of the Third Paradise and will lead the event.
October 16, 2016
Join us at the cHURCH as sound artist and conceptual songwriter Sara Bouchard presents new work exploring the translation of landscape into song. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.
Created at Residency 108 in rural upstate NY, Sara’s new work employ the human voice in counterpoint with the landscape through sound installation and participatory performance. Bouchard’s work reveals a relationship to the landscape that is startlingly intimate, simultaneously playful and somber in tone and steeped in the culture of American folk histories, migration stories and traditions of worship.
Sara Bouchard is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the intersection of sound, story and environment. Born in California, Bouchard received her B.A. from Yale University in 2003 and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited and performed across NYC, including at The Center for Book Arts, The American Folk Art Museum, Dumbo Arts Center, Proteus Gowanus and Open Source, as well as in the Berlin Underground. Her piece Weather Box was published by Fuse Works Multiples & Editions in 2014. She is known for her work with Americana string band Union Street Preservation Society and currently performs as Sara Bouchard & the Salt Parade.
September 11, 2016
This September, artist Songül Boyraz will host the cHURCH OF MONIKA and discuss her recent project Game Over.
In Yenibosna, a district in Boyraz’s hometown of Istanbul, the artist has observed the Syrian and Kurdish refugee children who play within an abandoned dilapidated vacant lot. Game Over explores the home that children have created within the midst of desolation. In this child-made utopia, wooden planks become a floor, grass and fig leaves a soft carpet. Salvaged chairs and car tires are converted into furniture through several hours of design, allowing the children to create some semblance of normalcy and positivity. Bread from a nearby factory transforms a barren, makeshift table into a banquet upon where the children eat together. Here, in a self-made paradise, the children spend the day playing and laughing. In Game Over, Boyraz focuses on this oasis for children amid the suffering and poverty.
Songül Boyraz, an artist born in Turkey, currently lives and works in Austria. She completed her MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. She has participated in residencies at the MAK Center Artists- and Architects-In-Residence Program (Los Angeles, CA) and the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) (Brooklyn, NY). Her work has been presented in exhibitions in spaces such as Kund Gallery (Turkey), Gallery Viertlneun (Austria), Galerie Konzett (Austria), Royal Botanic Garden (Scotland), Museum of Contemporary Art (Croatia), ISCP (USA) and Haus der Kunst (Switzerland) among many others.
August 14, 2016
Join us at the cHURCH as Stacie Evans discusses her writing and her current project, Adventures in Racism. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.
Stacie Evans lives in Brooklyn, in a real “neighborhood neighborhood” where people ring the bell to borrow sugar or eggs and then leave fresh-baked cookies or a bottle of fancy olive oil or wine as a thank you. She is a four-time alum of VONA Voices, the only multi-genre workshop for writers of color, a frequent reader at Big Words, Etc., and just participated in the New York City Poetry Festival, overcoming her abject terror of calling herself a poet in public. Stacie writes essays, stories, angry rants … and poems. She also writes and draws Adventures in Racism, a comic. Adventures started small – a 4-page vent about a conversation too many people of color have far too often (“Oh, you speak so well!”) – and is evolving into a larger work.
July 17, 2016
Join us at the cHURCH as members of the play:ground team discuss their work and perspective on adventure playgrounds. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.
play:groundNYC is an adventure playground on Governor’s Island in New York City that provides a space for young people to explore the world, a safe space for building, imagining and risk taking. play:groundNYC is a space for and by young people to test themselves and develop a sense of ownership and belonging which fosters long term responsibility to their community and world. A player-determined space for exploration and experimentation, play:groundNYC is rooted in the concepts that immediate and local access to the natural world and self-directed play can have an everlasting positive effect on young people.
Francesco Simeti: Swell | Press Release | Volunteer with HomeGrown | Exhibit by the Brooklyn Urban Garden School April 22-May 27, 2017 Opening Reception: April 22, 7-9pm Volunteer with HomeGrown: April 29, 12-4pm Exhibit by the Brooklyn Urban Garden School at Gowanus Canal Conservancy: June 3, 4-6pm Francesco Simeti presents Swell, a theatrical installation at […]
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