Fresh Performance Project

Sandra Vivas: Photo by  Stephi Leigh Davis
Sandra Vivas: Photo by Stephi Leigh Davis

Fresh Milk, in collaboration with New York-based Guyanese performance and video artist Damali Abrams, is excited to embark on the Fresh Performance Project, an experimental documentary highlighting contemporary performance artists in the Caribbean and New York City.

Abrams will engage in conversation with 12 performance artists, one Caribbean-based and one New York City-based artist per month, filming these discussions to create episodes or chapters which will be shared online. The first video will be aired at the end of April 2013, and will revolve around defining performance art.

This project aims to expand the cultural arena for both New York based and Caribbean based creatives, contributing to critical discourse around performance art by addressing topics such as gender and sexuality; power; love and romance; the role of the audience among other topics.

Given that performance art in the Caribbean is practiced by a growing number of practitioners, this project will foster a stronger creative community, offering support to performance artists who often work in isolation, while increasing production in this medium.

Archiving the conversations between the 12 participants increases awareness and documentation of the arts, and will hopefully lead to further opportunities and collaborative ventures.

One of the exceptional aspects of The Fresh Performance series is its reciprocal nature. Projects like this reverse the trend of Caribbean-based artists often wanting to find relevance for their work in a North American context; in this instance, the US based artists are also keen to see how their work resonates within the Caribbean environment, creating a give-and-take relationship that is crucial to the growth of both cultures. The project will build cultural bridges between the U.S. and the Caribbean, and generate understanding and community through the arts.

The Caribbean-based participating artists are Ewan Atkinson, Shanika Grimes, Michelle Isava, Olivia McGilchrist, Sandra Vivas and Alberta Whittle, and the NYC based artists are Zachary Fabri, Maria Hupfield, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Seyhan Musaoglu, Shani Peters and Nyugen Smith.

Damali Abrams is a New York City-based artist working primarily in video. She received her BA at New York University and her MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Abrams was a 2009-10 A.I.R. Gallery fellowship recipient. Her work has been shown in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Memphis, New Orleans, Denver, and Miami. In New York City, her work has been exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, A.I.R. Gallery, JCAL, Rush Arts Gallery and BRIC Rotunda Gallery, among others. Abrams is a member of the women’s artist collective tART and one of the NYC coordinators for The Feminist Art Project.


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