Choir of the Slain (part X)— niv Acosta and Fannie Sosa | January 9, 11.
In our society, relaxation and rest is a luxury reserved for the privileged and rich. Recent studies have shown that the distribution of rest is determined by race, with people of color regularly getting less sleep than white people. niv Acosta and Fannie Sosa’s Black Power Naps is a direct response to the Sleep Gap, which the artists see as a continued form of state-sanctioned punishment born from the ongoing legacy of slavery. Reclaiming idleness and play as sources of power and strength, this installation takes over Performance Space’s large theater and invites people of color to break with constant fatigue by slowing down, resting, and interacting with soft, comfortable surfaces.
Our culture has required that people of color present themselves as extraordinary performers, athletes, or entertainers in order to exist in the public realm, Black Power Naps refuses institutionalized exhaustion and demands the redistribution of idleness, down time, and quality sleep.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Mertz Gilmore Foundation Late Stage Grant. Black Power Naps originally premiered in 2018 at Matadero Madrid.
Black Power Naps and Choir of the Slain (part X) has been commissioned by Performance Space New York with support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Corporate sponsorship for Black Power Naps and Choir of the Slain (part X) provided by Broadly, Buffy, and Red Bull Music Academy.
Photo: Xeno Rafaél (cropped into heart)