Communal Shrine

 

Following a year of grievances and uprisings, Performance Space’s Staff has organized a Communal Shrine intended as a place for collective mourning, remembrance, healing, and organizing.

We invite you to bring objects and offerings for wake and futurity in the hopes of engaging in life-affirming interactions. Whether a  picture, an art piece, a vow or a wish, a plant, an object of remembrance or release, a book, a letter, or a manifesto.

Knowledge of Wounds

Knowledge of Wounds is a ceremony, a digital fire, a calling to vibrate in good relations across Indigenous time and space. Curated and led by SJ Norman (Koori, Wiradjuri descent) and Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee Nation), Knowledge of Wounds will unfold as a series of digital events throughout 2021, foregrounding Indigenous methodologies and leadership to create new spaces for knowledge exchange between First Nations communities across the world.Knowledge of Wounds is one of the first programs of its kind to focus specifically on the intersections of Indigeneity, gender, sexuality, and the body. Centering Indigenous practices of care, sovereignty, and accessibility, the Knowledge of Wounds virtual platform will remain as an Indigenous led and held archive, handing back centuries of archival and epistemological authority from settlers to Indigenous communities.Honoring Indigenous time and space in the spirit of the Wiradjuri term Yindyamarra—which refers to the qualities of respect, going slow, honoring, and taking responsibility—the structures and principles for these virtual gatherings are being developed by the curators in early 2021, with individual events being announced throughout the year as the program evolves. Please sign up to the Knowledge of Wounds newsletter for regular updates. 

Following the first edition of Knowledge of Wounds—held in-person in January 2020 at Performance Space New York—organizers Norman and Pierce have expanded the program to become a global digital gathering which is collectively supported by five leading experimental arts organisations: Performance Space New York (NY), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PDX), The Momentary (AR), Ballroom Marfa (TX) and Performance Space Sydney (NSW, Australia).

Photo by Blair LeBlanc (cropped into heart)

Knowledge of Wounds

 
Tickets to Knowledge of Wounds (all performances, conversations, and workshops) are FREE for First Nations folx. If you would like to attend, please be sure to reserve your tickets to guarantee entry. Please note, limited tickets are available, and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
 
Knowledge of Wounds is our second annual iteration of a series of Indigenous-led readings, meetings, discussions and performances.
 
Ceremonial technologies often utilize the act of wounding- the deliberate breaching of the skin- as an initiatory pathway into specific knowledge. The wound itself might be regarded as a threshold. In many Native cultures, threshold spaces are regarded as sacred, and those who dwell there are honored as healers. 
 
The speakers and artists invited by Norman (Koori, Wiradjuri descent) and Pierce (Cherokee Nation) to lead this two day gathering are interested in illuminating the knowledges held within bodies and communities that have been shaped by displacement trauma, and considering especially the ways Native and diasporic peoples embody the tensions and gifts of liminality. This gathering seeks to examine the nature of borders as political, somatic and psychic structures, and elevate the knowledges of those who seek (or are compelled) to cross them. At a time when the aggravated imposition of national borders is producing violent consequences all over the world, how might we consider these questions within the broader, ongoing history of settler colonialism?  How might the specific medicine of border-crossers, of all kinds, be implemented in our shared survival and resistance?
 
Participating Artists: Amaru Márquez Ambía, Tohil Fidel Brito Bernal, Sebastián Calfuqueo, Donna Couteau, Joe Cross, Demian DinéYazhi’, devynn emory, Maria Regina Firmino-Castillo, Quentin Glabus, Elisa Harkins, Joan Henry, Kevin Holden, Emily Johnson, Holly Nordlum , Laura Ortman, Joshua.P, and more…
 
 
Schedule:
Click each event to find out more information.
 

12:00-12:45pm
Embodied practice
devynn emory (Lenape/Blackfoot) and Joshua.P (Kalkadoon)

Each day of programming for Knowledge of Wounds will commence with a gentle physical practice, and transition into evening with a session of active rest. These sessions will be gently held by two First Nations dancers and healers, devynn emory and Joshua.P, who will facilitate a space for participants to ground in co-corporeality. Centering the body as an ancestral vessel and leading with an ethic of care, the opening practice (which takes place when the sun is high) will invigorate and the evening practice (as the sun sets) will balance and restore. All sessions are low physical intensity and available to everyone.

1:00-1:30pm
Blessing
Joan Henry (Tsalagi elisi)

A ceremonial fire will burn in the Performance Space New York courtyard throughout Knowledge of Wounds and will be available to everyone as a space for gathering, reflection, and to offer and receive medicine. The lighting of the fire in the morning will be accompanied by a blessing, and the quenching of the fire, at the conclusion of each day, will be accompanied by an offering to the night. In this morning blessing, Tsalagi elisi (Cherokee grandmother) Joan Henry will preside.

2:30-3:30pm
Discussion
Emily Johnson (Yup’ik)

Expanding on the process of Kinstillatory Mapping, Kinstillatory Action builds our relations at the center of a radical and (possibly) joyful corporeal–and otherwise–present.

4:00-5:00pm
Performance
Sebastián Calfuqueo (Mapuche)

Bodies in Resistance begins with a performance, “Iñche ta kangechi” (“I Am the Other”), which compiles diverse forms of naming “sodomy” in mapudungun, the language of the Mapuche people, in colonial era texts. Calfuqueo calls into question the relationship between colonization and evangelization as practices of normalization and extermination of non-heterosexual identities that existed before the process of European colonization. The performance works with the body, resistance, sound, and the relationship between hair and the Mapuche cosmovision, exploring the tensions in colonial gender imaginaries constructed by the West. Following the performance, Calfuqueo will join Joseph M. Pierce in conversation about the context of contemporary art and resistance in Chile. 

5:30-6:00pm
Embodied practice
devynn emory (Lenape/Blackfoot) Joshua.P (Kalkadoon)

Each day of programming for Knowledge of Wounds will commence with a gentle physical practice, and transition into evening with a session of active rest. These sessions will be gently held by two First Nations dancers and healers, devynn emory and Joshua.P, who will facilitate a space for participants to ground in co-corporeality. Centering the body as an ancestral vessel and leading with an ethic of care, the opening practice (which takes place when the sun is high) will invigorate and the evening practice (as the sun sets) will balance and restore. All sessions are low physical intensity and available to everyone.

6:00-6:30pm
Knowledge Exchange 
Joe Cross (Caddo) and Donna Couteau (Sac and Fox)

8:30-10:30pm
Performance
Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache), Demian DinéYahzi’ (Diné) and Kevin Holden (Diné, Irish, German, and Norwegian), Elisa Harkins (Cherokee/Muscogee Creek)

Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache)
From the rosined-out beast of Ortman’s tough stained violin emerges deranged crumpled wings twirling in starlight and oil slickness and shininess; bearing heavy use of amplification and effects, she also incorporates over-rosining to add smoke, dust, wind and slow-motion grittiness in her scored / improvised compositions for amplified violin, Apache violin, whistles, tree branches, slides, guitar picks, bells and tuning fork.

Demian DinéYahzi’ (Diné) and Kevin Holden (Diné, Irish, German, and Norwegian)
SHATTER/// is an extractive performance that utilizes poetry, noise, and the act of destruction as conceptual tools to shatter racist stereotypes that have ruptured and diluted the complexities of Indigenous cultural identity. Transdisciplinary Indigenous Diné artist and poet Demian DinéYazhi’ will be joined by Intermedia composer and sound artist Kevin Holden (Diné, Irish, German, and Norwegian) to present a new extractive and noise based performance. SHATTER/// is an extractive ritual forsaking settler colonial romanticism and instead implanting a cosmic seedling to nurture Indigenous Queer political resurgence. It is a celebration of collective forgetting, erasing, and liberating.

Elissa Harkins (Cherokee/Muscogee Creek)
Wampum / ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᎦᎫᏗ is an ongoing project where Elisa Harkins sings in a combination of Cherokee, English and Muscogee Creek to electronic dance music, some of which is inspired by of sheet music of Indigenous music notated by Daniel Chazanoff during the 20th century. As an act of Indigenous Futurism, it combines disco and Indigenous language in an effort to alter the fate of these endangered languages through active use, preservation on pressed vinyl and radio play.

This is not ceremony; this is not performance.
It is an experiment.

the three stones/the three stars
at the beginning of this world:
the living fire
a dying world

copal, achiote, amate, bone
the red and the black:
our wounds/our knowledge
offered at the three stones

stones/stars
multiplicitous, dispersed
we take these with us:
errant (e)utopias, becoming in each place…

Bios
Tohil Fidel Brito is an Ixil Maya artist, from Naab’a’ (Nebaj), El Quiché (Tu Tx’ich), Iximulew (Guatemala), currently living on Cahuilla, Tongva, Luiseño, and Serrano ancestral land. He studied archaeology at the University of San Carlos, in Guatemala, and visual art in Guatemala, México, and Cuba. Tohil considers his transdisciplinary practice—which includes painting, printmaking, sculpture, epigraphy, performance, and gardening—an obstinate insistence on existence despite centuries of ongoing colonialism, war, and genocide. https://tohilfidelbrito.wordpress.com/

María Regina Firmino-Castillo’s research and practice revolves around decoloniality and embodied responses to the catastrophic. She is a member of the Critical Dance Studies faculty at the University of California-Riverside. Born in Guatemala, she claims once forgotten, and now remembered, ancestors who don’t always claim her back. As such, she is ever grateful for her chosen kin—in these lands, across the borders, and beyond the waters—with whom she is queerly enfolded, in this time/space, into rhizomorphic camaraderies and conspirations.

Amaru Márquez Ambía is young, Indigenous, and trans. He is a composer and violinist who hails from the prestigious Ambía family of traditional Quechua musicians from Apurimac, Perú. Currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, he is a student, a published author, and an aspiring video-game creator. He designs and performs the sound-scape of this iteration of ThreeStones.

12:00-12:45pm
Embodied practice
devynn Emory (Lenape/Blackfoot) Joshua.P (Kalkadoon)

Each day of programming for Knowledge of Wounds will commence with a gentle physical practice, and transition into evening with a session of active rest. These sessions will be held by two First Nations dancers and healers, devynn emory and Joshua.P, who will facilitate a space for participants to ground in co-corporeality. Centering the body as an ancestral vessel and leading with an ethic of care, the opening practice (which takes place when the sun is high) will invigorate and the evening practice (as the sun sets) will balance and restore through active rest. All sessions are low physical intensity and available to everyone.

1:00-1:30pm
Blessing

A ceremonial fire will burn in the Performance Space New York courtyard throughout Knowledge of Wounds and will be available to everyone as a space for gathering, reflection, and to offer and receive medicine. The lighting of the fire in the morning will be accompanied by a blessing, and the quenching of the fire, at the conclusion of each day, will be accompanied by an offering to the night.

2:30-4:00pm
Reading
Joshua Whitehead (Oji-Cree/Peguis)
 
2:30pm—Joshua Whitehead (Oji-Cree/Peguis)
Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree, Two-Spirit storyteller and academic from Peguis First Nation on Treaty 1 territory in Manitoba. He is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Indigenous literatures and cultures at the University of Calgary on Treaty 7 territory. He is the author of the novel Jonny Appleseed (2018) and his most recent book of poetry, Full-Metal Indigiqueer, was shortlisted for the 2017 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry. In 2016, his poem “mihkokwaniy” won Canada’s History Award for Aboriginal Arts and Stories (for writers aged 19–29), which included a residency at the Banff Centre. He has been published widely in Canadian literary magazines such as Prairie Fire, EVENT, Arc Poetry Magazine, CV2, Red Rising Magazine, and Geez Magazine’s Decolonization issue.

4:30-5:30pm
Screening and Discussion
Screening and Discussion
Lukás Avendaño (Zapotec) and María Regina Firmino-Castillo (ex-mestistx) and María Regina Firmino-Castillo

Lukás Avendaño
Lukás Avendaño is a performance artist, writer and anthropologist from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, and one of the most important voices of the Muxe community. Lukas’s embodiment and lived knowledge of Muxe identity–a non-binary gender specific to Zapotec culture–is the basis for much of his work. La utopía de la mariposa (The Butterfly’s Utopia) (Dir. Miguel J. Crespo, 2019) is a 30-minute documentary film addressing Lukas’s artistic life and practice, as well as his fight for justice on behalf of his brother, Bruno, who is one among 40,000 missing persons in Mexico. The screening will be followed by a discussion between Lukas and María Regina Firmino-Castillo.
María Regina Firmino-Castillo, PhD
María Regina Firmino-Castillo’s research and practice revolves around decoloniality and embodied responses to the catastrophic. She is a member of the Critical Dance Studies faculty at the University of California-Riverside. Born in Guatemala, she claims once forgotten, and now remembered, ancestors who don’t always claim her back. As such, she is ever grateful for her chosen kin—in these lands, across the borders, and beyond the waters—with whom she is queerly enfolded, in this time/space, into rhizomorphic camaraderies and conspirations. 

Please note: the film and talk will be in Spanish, with subtitles and simultaneous interpretation.

6:00-7:00pm
Discussion
Holly Mitiquq Nordlum (Inuit)

Holly Mitiquq Nordlum is an artist, tattooist and educator, and a leading practitioner in the movement to revive traditional Inuit tattooing. She will be speaking to artist and curator Melissa Shaginoff (Athna/Paiute) about the reclamation of this sacred technology of healing and empowerment amongst Native Alaskan people — and specifically, women — and the implications this has for the strength of the community as a whole.

Holly will also be performing tattooing sessions for the public at Performance Space New York throughout Knowledge of Wounds. While most of the designs Holly uses in her work are reserved for Inuit people, some designs are available to anyone. A separate charge applies.

Dinner
Chef Quentin Glabus (Frog Lake Cree First Nations of Alberta Canada) member of the I-Collective

9:30-10:00pm
Blessing
devynn emory (Lenape/Blackfoot) Joshua.P (Kalkadoon)

A ceremonial fire will burn in the Performance Space courtyard throughout Knowledge of Wounds and will be available to everyone as a space for gathering, reflection, and to offer and receive medicine. The lighting of the fire in the morning will be accompanied by a blessing, and the quenching of the fire, at the conclusion of each day, will be accompanied by an offering to the night.

Supported by the Barragga Bay Fund with additional support from Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and Mellon Foundation, and Global South Center, Pratt Institute; and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.

Photo: S.J Norman, Cicatrix I, 2019.

All rights reserved by Performance Space New York
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