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OPTIMISTIC:nihilism at Grace Exhibition Space, New York


Fri, March 20, 2020 at 7:30 -11:30 pm

Photo: A lot of Money for One Small Sound Project performance by Tomasz Szrama during Live Action New York at Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn NY, 2010

OPTIMISTIC:nihilism* -Event curated by Jill McDermid

7:30-9 pm Lecture on Water by Andrew Faust 9-9:30 punk-rock percussion Adriana Magaña 9:30 Opening Ritual by artist and mugwort healer Jaguar Mary X 9:30-11:30 Performances: Thomas Szarma [Poland]

Mai Bach Ngoc Nguyen [Quebec, CA]

Arantxa Araujo [NYC/Mexico]

Wei Hua Hua [China]

ANDREW FAUST [NEW YORK] FOUNDER,CO-DIRECTOR - CENTER FOR BIOREGIONAL LIVING One of the premier Permaculture teachers and designers in North America with over two decades of experience in the field. His passionate and mind expanding talks and curriculum have motivated teachers, students since his decade long career as a H.S. teacher at Upattina's, a open community free school in Glenmoore, PA. View Faust's TED X lecture Andrew created his own Permaculture Ph'd project, in 1999, a fully off grid, Straw Bale educational center in Pocahontas County W.V. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape.Faust has been inspiring film makers with the message of Permaculture culminating in the film: Inhabit, and a life changing Permaculture Design Certification course, with over 500 graduates. Faust received a dual diploma in Design and Education from Permaculture Institute of North America in 2016. Andrew and Adriana Magaña with their daughter Juniper run the Center for Bioregional Living in Ellenville, NY., a hands-on educational campus for students and clients. Andrew Faust, a visionary permaculture and bioregional educator taps into the rich synergy between permaculture and biodynamic agriculture which he has been studying with a focus on orchards since he completed his permaculture design training in 1996. Some of our design clients include: Click to View ​Andrew is a certified Alternative School Teacher, focusing on Bioregional Education; he instructed at Upattina's Open Community High School from 1992-2001. Faust holds a B.A. in comparative religions from Guilford College. ADRIANA MAGAÑA [NEW YORK] PERCUSSION + DESIGNER/CO-DIRECTOR CENTER FOR BIOREGIONAL LIVING Adriana Magaña is a drummer and visionary making the world a better place. Known as Dreiky Caprice in the NYC underground music scene in the 90’s and 00’s she created temporary autonomous zones with her friends at her loft the Happy Birthday Hideout, and now makes her home upstate where she harvests rainwater and talks to plants. The future is here so let’s be brave and help each other! JAGUAR MARY X [KINGSTON, NY] RITUALMy work is about creating a liminal participatory space using ritual components (film, story-telling, glossolalia vocals and movement) in order to produce an alchemical unity between myself and witnesses in the audience. I am influenced by afro-futurist tropes, black feminist thought and speech act theory. I acknowledge my teachers in ritual practice: Kali Maie, White Star, Astrea Aurora, Jane Carleton, Vickie Dodd, Jonathan Goldman and Tom Kenyon. I acknowledge the teachers who influence my thought: All of the above plus, Malidoma Some, Audre Lorde, Tracie Morris, Fred Moten and others. TOMASZ SZARMA [POLAND/FINLAND] Supported by The Finnish Cultural Foundation and Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike)Tomasz flew from Finland to New York City the day before Trump cancelled flights from Europe. Tomasz went to Grace Exhibition Space with his New York Cousin Amelia Grabowska and filmed two performance pieces. He caught the last flight back to Finland. He's home safe and sound!

Tomasz Szrama (b. 1970 in Poland) graduated in 1998 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland. Currently he lives in Helsinki, Finland. Szrama shifts between multiple disciplines, including photography, video and other time-based works. Regardless of the medium, a dominant thread, common in his work is the use of his own body and methods of performance art, which he practices since 1995. Characteristic feature of his work is the use of spectators, active participation of the audience and improvisation. Such a strategy embeds his presentations into the tradition of understanding performance art as a process art, where the very moment of creation is essential. His work touches on themes of travel, trust in interpersonal relationships, and the ever present potential for personal failure. Szrama has been regularly performing internationally in various events and festivals in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. Further, over the past 15 years, he has been an active performance art event organiser. Between 2005 and 2013 he co-organised with Willem Wilhelmus Art Contact and New Art Contact, a series of performance art events that took place in various locations in Helsinki. In 2011 he co-organised Fake Finn Festival of Experimental Art, that took over HIAP Gallery Augusta for three days, showcasing the work of 21 artists. In 2013 Szrama co-organised Uprooted Fake Nations Festival, a three-day event that presented 16 international and local artists at HIAP Gallery Augusta. Further, he, together with performance artist Liina Kuittinen, organised a series of events titled Tonight in 2014–2015. In 2016 he curated the 18th edition of the International Art Festival Interakcje in Poland. Szrama has worked as a producer, designer, technical manager and has been responsible for organising live art events at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme. Recently teaches, gives lectures, and offers workshops. Szrama is a working grant recipient from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland for the year 2016 as well as the years 2018–2020 and from the Kone Foundation for 2017. MAI THI BACH NGOC NGUYEN [QUEBEC, CA/VIETNAM]"I think that we shouldn't escalate the situation, I think that for myself, I will be staying in Canada. We are obligated to go in isolation after any travel for 14 days... My performance was about disappearance and regards of the self invisibility of women. So I think that it would be the perfect occasion to work on it, and more than that, on live streamed." - Mai on Friday, March 13 Through the installation of various objects and forced improvisation, themes of identity and ethnic duality always come to punctuate and nourish the performances of Quebec-Vietnamese artist Mai Thi Bach-Ngoc Nguyen. It is through a constant claim of the medium of performance that the artist throws a physical invitation to create a non-destructive poetry where metaphors and soul pains fit in. It could be accurate to describe art as one of the few ways that the visual poet found to transcend the dichotomy of her daily life and never-ending questions. ARANTXA ARAUJO [NYC/MEXICO]ARANTXA ARAUJO is a Mexican multidisciplinary artist with a background in neuroscience based in NYC, interested in art as a vehicle to create awareness and social change using video, mapping, LEDs and performance. Her work has been shown in the Brooklyn Museum, University Settlement, Glasshouse Gallery, Queens Museum, Panoply Lab, Art in Odd Places in NYC; El Monumento a la Revolución, and El Vicio, in Mexico; RAW during Miami Art Week; The Semel and Huret&Spector Gallery in Boston; and SPACE Gallery and Bunker Projects in Pittsburgh; Nuit Blanche Festival in Saskatoon, Canada. Araujo was part of EMERGENYC (2017), ITP Camp (2018) and was awarded a full scholarship from Mexican Government Institution CONACYT. She holds an MA in Motor Learning and Control from Teachers College, Columbia University. WEIHUA HUA [CHINA/NYC] prayer Explanation: I don't think artists have any role to play in the face of this epidemic challenge, and between life and death. What I can do is to pray silently for those who died because of the epidemic, for the medical workers who rescued the wounded, for the scientists who work hard to overcome the virus day and night, and for the lives of the world. Artist: Weihua Hua Time: 2020.03.20 Location: New York Time: 30 minutes Process: Wearing a suit, standing in the dark, arms folded, praying prayerfully. 03.20.2020 ABOUT GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE 182 AVENUE C NEW YORK, NY 10009 GRACE: Grace, n. - simple elegance or refinement of movement Grace Period - an extended period granted as a special favor The Three Graces (Greek Mythology) - charm, grace, and beauty 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. 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 presents over 30 curated live performance art exhibitions each year, showcasing new work by more than 400 performance artists from across the United States and the world since 2006.

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