Threading mythology and autobiography, while drawing from the diverse lineages of queer, anticolonial, and care-based artistic practices, Boy mother / faceless bloom is a new interdisciplinary performance work by Juni One Set. Dance, music, poetry, ritual, and sculptural installation converge to tell a story of transformation, transgression, and the formation of new trancestral lines.
The piece has been co-created through an intensely collaborative process over the span of three and a half years by Juni One Set: Senga Nengudi, eddy kwon, and Degenerate Art Ensemble’s Haruko Crow Nishimura and Joshua Kohl. Intuitive play, loving conversations, and a deep sense of trust allowed for the generative convergence of diverse artistic practices and life experiences.
From the group’s statement: “Our work is intensely collaborative, rooted in the deepest respect and love we hold for one another. Through an intentional, transformational process, we build a world within which we can be free. Our bodies live in fear, in the shadows of beginning-less violence, in joy and in care. Through ritual and embodiment, we find openings for healing and growth and invite others to arrive. We are trying to tell a story we never want to end.”
April 6-7, 8:00PM
Location: CAC Black Box
co-creator, sculptural & costume design, movement: Senga Nengudi
co-creator, music, movement: eddy kwon
co-creator, movement, music: Haruko Crow Nishimura
co-creator, music, sound design, stage design: Joshua Kohl
Degenerate Art Ensemble Production Team
lighting design: Jessica Trundy
projection design: Leo Mayberry
video editing, cinematography: Leo Mayberry and Ian Luceroco
residency support: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, BASE Experimental Arts (Seattle)
Boy mother / faceless bloom is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati in partnership with Colorado College and NPN/VAN. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information, visit www.npnweb.org.
Juni One Set is Senga Nengudi (Colorado Springs), eddy kwon (Brooklyn), and Degenerate Art Ensemble’s Haruko Crow Nishimura & Joshua Kohl (Seattle).
SENGA NENGUDI was born in Chicago, raised and educated in Los Angeles and Pasadena with a year of post grad study in Tokyo, Japan, and residing in New York City in the early 70’s, Nengudi is currently living in Colorado. Interested in the visual arts, dance, body mechanics and matters of the spirit from an early age these elements still play themselves out in ever changing ways in her art. She has always used a variety of natural (sand, dirt, rocks, seed pods) and unconventional (panty hose, found objects, masking tape) materials to fashion her works, utilizing these materials as a jazz musician utilizes notes and sounds to improvise a composition. The thrust of her art is to share common experiences in abstractions that hit the senses and center, often welcoming the viewer to become a participant. Along with doing art, Nengudi is strongly committed to arts education. As a retired educator at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Visual Arts and Performing Arts Department, Nengudi is strongly committed to arts education. She continues to be involved with bringing arts programs emphasizing diversity to the communities in which she resides. Besides her individual efforts she has belonged to a variety of organizations with similar goals.
eddy kwon is an interdisciplinary artist based in Lenapehoking (Brooklyn, NY). Her practice connects composition, performance, improvisation, dance, and ceremony to explore transformation & transgression, ritual practice as a tool to queer ancestral lineage, and the use of mythology to connect, obscure, and reveal. As a composer-performer and improviser, she is inspired by Korean folk timbres & inflections, textures & movement from natural environments, and American experimentalism as shaped by the AACM. Her work as a choreographer and movement artist embodies an expressive release and reclamation of colonialism’s spiritual imprints, connecting to both Japanese Butoh and a lineage of queer/trans practitioners of Korean shamanic ritual. She is a United States Artists Fellow, Johnson Fellow at Americans for the Arts, Van Lier Fellow at Roulette Intermedium, and Andrew W. Mellon Artist-in-Residence at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. She collaborates with artists of diverse disciplines, including The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Du Yun, Tomeka Reid, and as part of the interdisciplinary artist collective Juni One Set with sculptor Senga Nengudi and Degenerate Art Ensemble co-directors Haruko Crow Nishimura and Joshua Kohl. She has performed throughout the Americas and Europe, including the Kennedy Center, Big Ears Festival, SESC Pompeia, Barbican Centre, and Jazzfest Berlin.
DEGENERATE ART ENSEMBLE makes work inspired by punk, comics, cinema, protest, nightmares, and fairy tales, driven by the power of live music and their own style of visceral movement theater and dance. The group pushes the boundaries of performance making and storytelling creating new mythologies by colliding fairytales with invented stories and reality.The group has shown their work throughout the US and Europe known for their large scale dance and theater projects, concerts, site-transforming spectacles and ongoing public experimentation. More at degenerateartensemble.com