New York, USA
September 16, 2020
Artist Jeffrey Gibson has curated a series of performances by Indigenous artists to activate his project, Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House for the MONUMENTS NOW exhibition. After an inaugural performance by acclaimed violinist Laura Ortman on July 24, the series continued with a new original work by dancer Emily Johnson live-streamed to the Park’s Facebook & Zoom accounts.
Johnson’s site-specific dance work, The Ways We Love and The Ways We Love Better – Monumental Movement Toward Being Future Being(s), stages pathways for regeneration, renewal and transformation.
The performance begins with a gathering at the shore of the East River estuary with words from artist and activist Nataneh River, and then moves to ascend Gibson’s monument. The Ways We Love… incorporates storytelling, invocation, movement, and light to illuminate Indigenous presence and the histories held in the parkland, which is situated in Lenapehoking—homeland of the Lenapeyok people.
The evening culminated with the planting of tobacco, and the project continued with the planting of Sehsapsing corn seeds—a tribute to the future and a commitment to Lenape return.
The Ways We Love and The Ways We Love Better – Monumental Movement Toward Being Future Being(s)’ was created by Emily Johnson/Catalyst
Performed by Emily Johnson and Angel Acuña, Nia-Selassi Clark, Linda LaBeija, Denaysha Macklin, Annie Ming-Hao Wang, Angelica Mondol Viaña, Ashley Pierre-Louis, Katrina Reid, Kim Savarino, Sasha Smith, Stacy Lynn Smith, Paul Aster Stone-Tsao, Kim Velsey, Sugar Vendil.
Invocation by Natane River
Garments and Masks by Jeffrey Gibson
Sculpture by Jeffrey Gibson, Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House (2020). Plywood, posters, steel, LEDs, and performances, 44 x 44 x 21 ft.