The installation is inspired by the seminal text Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girlwhere Harriet Jacobs’s [Linda Brents] describes living in her grandmother’s garret before escaping to New York. For seven years Jacob’s hid in the negative space of a pent roof to escape her slaver. She designated the nine feet long, seven feet wide and three feet high non-space within the intended architectural design as place for her emancipation. With very little admission for either light or air over the years this micro-climate she radicalized as threshold to freedom simultaneously impacted Jocob’s physiological state. Dyson deconstructs the garret, to address spatial and geographic strategies of black resistance while pointing to the critical natural resources needed to support endurance and livability.
To further explore ideas of light, memory, ritual, the body, space, and materiality, Dyson will collaborate with multi-media artists Bahar Behbahani and Shani Ha. During a series of interactive engagements through video and performative sculpture, Ha and Behbahani will invite audiences to into the installation to explore sensory relationships to the materiality, touch, and light.
Shani Ha is on the edge of Art and Design. She creates versatile sculptures by twisting familiar objects to question intimacy and its relationship to others. Shani emphasizes or diminishes the shapes and materiality of these objects, which are usually related to private contexts. These pieces are the catalysts photographs, installations, and collaborative performances. Shani Ha is interested in social behavior in their relationship to comfort and conviviality. Her sculptures suggest potential functions and tend to become design pieces. They can be stimulated through performance, experimentation and appropriation, either spontaneously or with a scenario. These actions engage the viewer and performer directly and provoke co-presence and social interactions inside the piece. Shani was born in France but now lives and works in Brooklyn NY.
Performance Date: Sept 27th @ 3:00
Bahar Behbahani is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Brooklyn NY.Behbahani’s work addresses her long-term conceptual dialogue with memory and loss, representing her chronic displacement and longing. Through her lyrical videos Behbahani stages a contemporary cultural critique by layering and juxtaposing allusions to past and present socio-political circumstances with a language that she draws from her experience as a painter. More recently, Behbahani has been working on a multilayered investigation, a collection of collaborative works, which encompasses a group of videos and a participatory installation, centering the role of bread in our contemporary culture through stimulating abandoned memories.
Over the course of 2 hours, Behbahani takes the role of masseur, offering participants a 5-minute massage, while they are lying down to view a video. Shortenin’ Bread is a response to Torkwase Dyson’s sculptural installation, and examines the blurred line between consolation and discomfort. Shortenin’ Bread experiments with stimulating people’s memory through the process of being massaged while engaging their sense of sight and hearing, and together they experience the role of sensoria in reproducing forgotten memories.
Performance Date: Sept 20th @ 3:00