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Andrew Kaplan

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Departures Magazine on Knockdown Center

By | Press

“The new guard is even leaving its mark farther east in Maspeth, Queens, with the sprawling arts space Knockdown Center… It’s a 20-minute walk from the nearest subway. The new bohemia is a place you often need to Uber to.”

Sunday Service: Rena Anakwe presents…. Sharon De La Cruz, Johann Diedrick, Delphine Fawundu, GENG, Pamela Liou

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April 8, 2018

In order to rise
From its own ashes
A phoenix
First
Must
Burn.

EARTHSEED: THE BOOKS OF THE LIVING
(Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower”, chapter 14)

Our April 8th Sunday Service provided us with an evening of live art and sound curated by Rena Anakwe. Anakwe is interested in the ways in which people manifest their healing. This quote from Octavia Butler’s ‘Parable of the Sower’ speaks of an event of destruction that must first occur before healing and resilience begins in our own lives. We all have our own life experiences, ancestral and present, that form our current healing practices in all forms. While the world spins out around us, the ways in which we ground ourselves, tell our stories and survive are what reconnect us to our humanity and the humanity of others. This Sunday Service offered a glimpse into the ways that five artists evoke their own healing and discovery through various forms of media, storytelling and ritual.

 

Sharon De La Cruz
Sharon Lee De La Cruz is an artist and activist from New York City. She earned a BFA from The Cooper Union, is a Fulbright scholar, and obtained her Masters at NYU’s ITP program (Interactive Telecommunications Program). Sharon’s work ranges from comics, to STEM education, to interactive sculptures. She works at the intersection of tech, art, and social justice. She currently lives in New Jersey and is the Assistant Director of The StudioLab, a creative tech lab, at Princeton University.

Johann Diedrick
Johann Diedrick makes installations, performances, and objects that let people play with sound. He shares his work through workshops, listening tours, and open-source software and hardware. He is a recipient of the Asian Cultural Council Fellows grant and has been featured in Wire Magazine and Musicworks Magazine. He has exhibited internationally in numerous group exhibitions, conferences and festivals, including the Soundscapes symposium at Yale University, the NIME conference in Daejeon and Seoul, Korea, and the Invisible Places conference in Viseu, Portugal. He studied at the ITP program at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU focusing on sound art. He was a researcher at the InterLab at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in Yamaguchi, Japan and worked as an interactive software developer at Qosmo in Tokyo, Japan. He is currently a senior developer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Delphine Fawundu
Adama Delphine Fawundu is photo-based visual artist and activist born in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and author of the book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. Ms. Fawundu is a New York Foundation of the Arts Photography Fellow.

Her multimedia fine art work uses photography, video and sculpture to interrogate identity with the African African Diaspora.

Her extensive New York City 90’s hip-hop archive includes photographs of artists such as Nas, The Notorious BIG, Big Daddy Kane, Jay Z, Lil’Wayne and Mobb Deep. Since 2008 she’s been documenting the urban music scene in several African cities including Nairobi, Lagos, Freetown, Accra, Bamako, Johannesburg, and Dakar. As an activist, Ms. Fawundu has used art a vehicle to mobilize her community to fight against gentrification through her project, “Tivoli: A Place We Call Home: A Community Faces Gentrification.” She’s collaborated with the Women’s Institute/GMHC create a traveling photographic series “touched: Women affected by HIV” to spread awareness around HIV. She has also organized and facilitated photography and social awareness workshops for women and youth in Nigeria, Colombia and Sierra Leone.

GENG
Geng is a New York City-borne and currently-residing sound artist and founder of PTP (formerly, Purple Tape Pedigree), a collective, plus imprint, acting as “purveyors of weaponized media.” With roots in the city’s underground hip hop and then experimental electronic/metal/punk communities since the mid-90’s, his sonic narrative typically spills forth a cocktail of these influences, with a focus on meditative confrontation of traumatic histories, sleep paralysis, aquaphobia, and the communication bridge between self-actualized identity and spirit. In a live setting, one may be challenged by disembodied vocals piercing through a collage of field recordings, ASMR tape loops, and walls of distorted dread from various hardware – once reviewed as a “brutal ritual … drawn from dystopian nightmares … this is metal machine music meant for catharsis, not escapism” by Washington City Paper.

Pamela Liou
Pamela Liou is an artist and technologist living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work examines tensions between craft, emerging platforms, and pursuit of self-actualization. Through digitally fabricated machines, analog video, and virtual environments Pamela’s work offers alternative modalities for recoupling and reacquainting the individual with a sense of creative efficacy.

Pamela is a former resident at Eyebeam, Museum of Arts and Design, and DBRS Labs. She currently teaches hardware and environment design at Parsons School of Design in the Design and Technology department.

About the Curator

Rena Anakwe is an interdisciplinary artist and performer, working primarily with sound, visuals, and scent. Exploring intersections between traditional healing practices, spirituality and performance she creates works focused on sensory-based, experiential interactions using technology. A member of the artistic collective NON Worldwide, she is based in Brooklyn, New York by way of Nigeria and Canada.

About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.

Sunday Service is programmed by Stephanie Acosta and Alexis Wilkinson, Knockdown Center’s Director of Exhibitions and Live Art.

***

Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

Sunday Service: Jess Pretty Presents…Trinity Dawn Bobo, Taylor Crichton, DJ JCLEF, Amanda Krische, Evelyn Sanchez

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March 4, 2018

To kick off the spring season of Sunday Service, curator Jess Pretty invited artists to respond to the notion of critical desire and the exploration of radical thriving as a methodology for taking up spaces we claim to reside in.

About the Curator
jess pretty is on a quest for pleasure that transcends time and the spaces she claims to reside in. on her quest for pleasure she makes dances, performs and collaborates with with other artists (larissa velez-jackson, will rawls, leslie cuyjet, dianne mcintyre, cynthia oliver, jennifer monson and niall jones) and teaches dance art based in new york city where she moved after receiving an mfa in dance and queer studies from the university of illinois at urbana champaign. her free time is filled curating methodologies for living past survival through being as unapologetically black as possible.

About the Artists
Trinity Dawn Bobo is a New York based performer, dance maker, and visual artist. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Columbia College Chicago in Spring 2016. She’s worked with Christina Noel and The Creature, This Is Not A Theater Company, Anna Martine Whitehead, Peter Carpenter, Darrell Jones, and Lisa Gonzales. As a creator, Trinity values the practice of improvisation and is interested in the sensually-potent nature of vulnerability in energy. As a queer person, Trinity is also interested in queering all of the spaces and elevating the voices of under-represented people. trinitybobo.com/

Taylor Crichton is a Brooklyn-based photographer, poet, and arts administrator. Her photography has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, and Dance Magazine, among other publications, and her words have been featured in literary magazines, including Otto and The Mosaic. In addition to the arts, she is generally enthusiastic about climbing mountains, drinking hot toddies, and supporting the Oxford comma. taylorcrichtonphotography.com.

DJ JCLEF is a club DJ specializing in queer events. A music geek, with a background in classical and jazz theory, he takes his audience on a musical journey through time and space. He has thrown parties in Philadelphia, Boston, Albany and Burlington VT and presently works all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. As a gay trans man, his passion is uplifting his community and creating safe spaces. He works closely with many drag and burlesque performers as well as throwing parties and private events. jclef.com/

Amanda Krische has performed in such venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Place des Arts, the YoungArts Foundation Backyard Ball, New York Live Arts, Danspace and the Joyce Theater. She is a graduate of LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and graduated summa cum laude from Purchase College, SUNY with a BFA in Dance. Supplementary training includes Springboard Danse Montreal, a semester abroad at Amsterdam Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten, and many workshops in Tel Aviv, Israel. While at Purchase College, SUNY she began her research of dance making under the mentorship of Doug Varone. Her choreography has been shown in such venues as LaGuardia High School, the Dance Theater Lab at Purchase College, SUNY, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Gallim Dance, the Actors Arts Fund, and Ailey Citigroup Theater. Amanda is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Bert Terborgh Award, a 2012 YoungArts Winner, and a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

Evelyn Sanchez Sun moon child, she/her/they/them, Evelyn Sanchez is a complicated happy child just making it up. She started activating space while playing soccer and is now creating the confidence to make and share her own work. Evelyn also likes to play with the Abby Z and the New Utility company AND Jill Sigman’s thinkdance. Evelyn shows gratitude to the lineage of Warrior (womb)yn they come from by continuing to live in laughter (a privilege few get to practice).

About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.

About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.

***

Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

KDC Episodes: 40 Volume

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Artist Isaac Pool speaks about 40 Volume, on view at Knockdown Center January 13 – February 25, 2018, with performances January 13th and February 24th.

40 Volume, Isaac Pool’s first solo exhibition in New York, is an installation and sitcom-length play starring three sock-encrusted vases and a head of fennel. In 40 Volume‘s performances, the vessels depart from their place in the adjacent gallery and chat together through filters of personal mythology and melodramatic pop lyrics to find sisterhood. The exhibition includes paintings and sculptures: each character from the play holds a space marked by surfaces of dollar store glitz and janky, poetic objects. The paintings are assemblages of sculptural elements, a mass of accumulated and arranged material that is anchored to the wall; whereas the sculptures, with their humorous constructions, are suggestions for pertinent lifestyle choices. As a study in aspirational whiteness and its discontents, 40 Volume matches its protagonists’ delusions with a tenderness as charming as it is suspect.

40 Volume’s play is performed by Alisa Besher, Zachary Delamater, Scears Lee, Martha Moszczynski, Alejandra Venancio, and Isaac Pool. A version of 40 Volume was originally published in Volume 3 of Haunt Journal (2016). Isaac Pool: 40 Volume was organized by Samuel Draxler.

Videography by Mehmet Salih Yildirim

Sunday Service: Camilo Godoy Presents…Ella Boureau, Miguel Angel Guzmán, Eduardo Restrepo-Castaño, Mike Funk, Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, Xavier Valcárcel

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December 1, 2017

For December’s Sunday Service, curator Camilo Godoy presented “We have to live differently,” bringing together artists to explore ideas of “difference.”

The title is borrowed from Alice Walker’s poem “Calling All Grand Mothers.” This program projects a video piece by artist Eduardo Restrepo standing with their gender-nonconforming self in front of a cathedral, writer Ella Boureau reads excerpts from her lesbian erotica, poets Jorge Sánchez and Xavier Valcárcel read about homosexual encounters, love, lust, and Latinidad, dancer Miguel Angel Guzmán improvises various movement phrases throughout the space to interrogate how the body moves, and artist Jordan Demetrius Lloyd performs a scored improvisation solo about blackness, sensuality and the audience’s gaze. This program confronts questions of gender, sexual, and racial difference to insist that we live differently.

About the Artists
Ella Boureau is an NYC based playwright, director, essayist, and short-story writer, as well as the Awards Coordinator for Lambda Literary Foundation. She founded and ran the online magazine and reading series In the Flesh for several years. Her writing has been featured in Guernica, Tin House, Slice Magazine, and Full Stop, and her first play, Helps to Hate You a Little: A Lovestory debuted at Cloud City in November 2016.

Miguel Angel Guzmán is an independent dancer and actor residing in New York City. He has lived and performed in Mexico, Tel Aviv and Berlin, and continues to travel extensively to make work alongside artists from various disciplines. His most recent collaborations include work with choreographer Coco Karol as well as with musicians Lady Rizo and Amanda Palmer. He will been seen next in Romanian choreographer Alexandra Pirici’s commissioned piece at the New Museum of Contemporary Art at the beginning of February 2018.

eduardo restrepo-castaño generates surreal narratives through a practice that draws from academic research and lived experience, to delve into sites where social constructions around nature, gender difference, and the diasporic condition overlap. Co-founder of curatorial platform Sweety’s, as well as participant at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, restrepo-castaño has exhibited in spaces such as SOMA (Mexico,) Musée de l’Élysés (Switzerland,) and Bruce High Quality Foundation (New York,).

Mike Funk is a writer who draws. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and makes comics, music and time for his cat.

Jordan Demetrius Lloyd is a NYC based artist living in West Harlem. Originally from Albany, NY he is a graduate of The College at Brockport. He has collaborated with and performed for Karl Rogers/Red Dirt Dance, Netta Yerushalmy, Tammy Carrasco/Wild Beast Dance, Brendan Drake and David Dorfman Dance.

Xavier Valcárcel is a Puerto Rican writer and editor. In 2009, he founded in San Juan, along with Puerto Rican poet and translator Nicole Delgado, the editorial project Atarraya Cartonera, the first Cartonera project in the Caribbean. He has published seven poetry books to date and his work has been translated to English, German and Portuguese.

About the Curator
Camilo Godoy is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is concerned with the construction of political meanings and histories. His work engages with conceptual and choreographic strategies to negotiate questions that confront the politics of citizenship, imperialism and sexuality. Godoy analyzes and challenges past and present historical moments to imagine different subversive ways of being. He was born in Bogotá, Colombia and is based in New York, United States. He is a graduate of The New School with a BFA from Parsons School of Design, 2012; and a BA from Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, 2013. Godoy is currently a resident at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) and was a 2015-2017 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence; 2014 Keyholder Resident, Lower East Side Printshop; 2014 Hemispheric New York Emerging Performers Program Fellow, The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, NYU; and 2012 Fellow, Queer Art Mentorship. His work has been presented at venues such as Center for Performance Research, New York; Judson Church, New York; La Mama Galleria, New York; Donaufestival, Krems; and Mousonturm, Frankfurt, among others.

About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.

***

Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

Sunday Service: J.Soto Presents…Miatta Kawinzi, IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt, ray ferreira, Keijaun Thomas

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November 5, 2017

For November’s Sunday Service, curator J.Soto invited Miatta Kawinzi, IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt, ray ferreira, Keijaun Thomas: the artists are performers, dancers, video makers, object makers. They are connected through their individual approaches to their material and expressiveness of embodied existences, and through the sinuous tendons of queer, black, and and POC communities. Using their work as they use tools to build, frame, practice, and to repeat; to create approaches that are textual, aware, speak-out-wards and in preservation.

Edging upon the deep areas in-between documentation, performance, and gesture the work is alive. These are approaches, unlanded, yet, this is what I hope we are working towards in community, in fortification. In fortification of our own communities.

Don’t Fall Back
A program dedicated to remaining in the moment, aware, and offering no apologies.

How is Queer (self)love a form of resistance? What shapes and objects does that take on and what images does it conjure?

What can be the practice of Queer, Transgender and Gender-nonconforming community care across POC communities, now?

How will we combat Queer, Transgender and Gender-nonconforming POC histories and perspectives being invisibilized?

Dedicated to creating existences that are not polite; that are not apologetic and care for eachother.

###

About the Curator
J.Soto is a queer brown transgender interdisciplinary artist, writer, and arts organizer. He has curated and performed work for The National Queer Arts Festival (San Francisco), Links Hall (Chicago), as well as Vox Populi (Philadelphia) among others nationally. His collaborative writing project, “Ya Presente Ayer” can be found in Support Networks, Chicago Social Practice History Series (University of Chicago Press). His organizing projects include the Latinx Artists Retreat (LXAR), which he recently launched with a group of Latinx artists and administrators and the Latinx Artist Visibility Award (LAVA) for Ox-Bow School of Art in partnership with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is also a recent Fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI). His recent writing can be found in Original Plumbing and Apogee Journal: Queer History, Queer Now Folio. He is currently Programs Coordinator for Equity & Inclusion Initiatives at Movement Research and Production & Access Coordinator at Eyebeam.

About the Artists

Miatta Kawinzi
Miatta Kawinzi is a multi-disciplinary artist. She explores the figure, the inner & outer landscape, and culture as sites of re-imagination & possibility. She works with images, objects, sound, space, the body, and language. She was born in 1987 in Nashville, TN to a Liberian mother and Kenyan father. Based in NYC, she received a BA in Interdisciplinary Art & Cultural Theory from Hampshire College in 2010 and an MFA in Studio Art from Hunter College in 2016. She has been awarded artist residencies at the Bag Factory (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), Beta-Local (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Greatmore Studios (Cape Town, South Africa), IAAB (Basel, Switzerland), Flux Factory (NYC), and the SOMA Summer program (Mexico City, Mexico). She has received additional awards from the NY Community Trust Foundation, Hampshire College, Hunter College, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant in 2017. Recent exhibition sites of her work include the Studio Museum in Harlem (NY), Aljira Center for Contemporary Art (NJ), and the FNB Joburg Art Fair (SA).

IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt
The artists IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt explore the continuous catching and falling of one another’s bodies. With this idea, that takes many aesthetic forms, aim to define arrival as reciprocity. This work of jumping, catching, holding, climbing, falling and/or dropping, and dragging one another on repeat, is juxtaposed with task based labor driven work.
Hunt and Castellanos have performed at Highways Performance Space Los Angeles, CA the AHA Festival Santa Fe, NM, Gibney Dance, Dixon Place Grace Exhibition Space, Panoply Performance Lab and at Dance Space, NY in collaboration with the Feminist Art Group.

ray ferreira
w h e n a m i blaqlatinx from occupied Lenape lands called New York, N Y: the illegitimate EEUU. An o t the r Corona, Queens a spacetimemattering a materialdiscusive (dis) continuity: [the Caribbean, the Greater Antilles, Hispañola, the Dominican Republic —> Corona, Queens] : history.
ray ferreira b.1991 w h e n a m i a performer of sorts aka multidisciplinary artist aka polymath. She stays playin : the dance between materialitylanguage through her body w h e n a m i where histories are made and remade. She plays with iridescence, text, rhythms (aka systems), to cruise a quantum poetics. Englishes, Spanishes, and other body languages spiral, dance, and twirl to create a banj criticality: that turnup w/the grls; that swerve past white cishet patriarchy. wh e n ami
She can be located museum educating at the Studio Museum in Harlem, as well as floating through other museum education departments. In addition, she lead teaches at the Octavia Project, and freelances for various artists. w h e nam i Other intersections of space|time|matter residencies at the Institute for Electronic Arts and EmergeNYC, performances at the Segue reading series, Dixon Place, and La MaMa, slightly different performances at the Queens Museum of Art, and differently different in Femmescapes: Vol 2. whenami She has performed two durational performances to obtain an expensive pieces of paper: a BA in Studio Art from SUNY Geneseo, and an MFA in Combined Media from CUNY Hunter College.

Keijaun Thomas
Keijaun Thomas creates live performance and multimedia installations that oscillate between movement and materials that function as tools, objects and structures, as well as a visual language that can be read, observed, and repeated within spatial, temporal, and sensorial environments. Her work investigates the histories, symbols, and images that construct notions of Black identity within black personhood. Thomas is reimagining, reworking, and reconstructing notions of visibility, hyper-visibility, passing, trespassing, eroticized, and marginalized representations of blackness in relation to disposable labor, domestic service, and notions of thingness amongst materials. Thomas earned their Masters degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Thomas has shown work nationally and internationally in Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Portland, ME; Chicago, IL; Saugatuck, MI; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Miami, FL; and Taipei, Taiwan; Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; Istanbul, Turkey; Beirut, Lebanon; Saskatchewan and Vancouver, Canada; and the United Kingdom.

About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.

***

Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

Sunday Service: Alexis Convento Presents… Carlo Antonio Villanueva, Eli Tamondong, Goldie Poblador, Jana Lynne Umipig, Sugar Vendil

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September 10, 2017

For the fall season premier of Sunday Service, curator Alexis Convento invited Filipinx artists both from the homeland and the diaspora come together to reclaim, to decolonize, to (re)trace our roots.

“To decolonize is to tell and write one’s own story, that in the telling and writing others may be encouraged to tell their own.” —Leny Mendoza Strobel, “Coming Full Circle”

Artists:
Carlo Antonio Villanueva
Eli Tamondong
Goldie Poblador
Sugar Vendil
Jana Lynne Umipig

About the Curator
Alexis Convento is a Filipina-American producer, administrator and manager working within contemporary performance, and is founder and curator of the CURRENT SESSIONS, a platform for emerging and established movement-based artists. Her creative direction has led to sold out houses, close artist relationships, and the cultivation of new audiences with an enduring interest in connecting the performing arts, culture, and community. Additional curation includes La MaMa Moves!, Center for Performance Research’s Fall Movement, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and Gowanus Art + Production’s FIRST LOOK, among others. Alexis holds a BFA in Dance from Fordham University with the Ailey School. Alexis’ work seeks to activate new conversations between genres which strengthen the relationship between art production and community, doing so through her own practice as well as her commercial efforts. She welcomes inquiries from individuals and organizations whose work also seeks to connect art, culture and the public.

About the Artists

Christina Poblador, sometimes known as “Goldie”, was born in the Philippines and received her MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is an artist, a scientist, a feminist, and an alchemist. Her work channels narratives from Philippine culture and is inspired by nature and personal history. She brings a new awareness to what is and what can be the possibilities of ecofeminism, sensuality and the politics of immigration and race in a global world. work.goldieland.com

Carlo Antonio Villanueva is a Filipino-American dance artist from New Jersey, now living and working in New York. He often works with friend and collaborator Miriam Gabriel to make performances, and is also a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. mimiandcarlo.com

Sugar Vendil is a New York-based pianist and multidisciplinary artist lauded for “leading the unlikely intersection of classical music and new fashion” (The New York Times). A second generation Filipino-American, Vendil grew up in El Sobrante, CA, a suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her artistic practice is strongly focused on rigorous discipline as a musician and multidisciplinary performance that integrates music, movement, and fashion, and unconventional approaches to the piano. Vendil was a 2017 Summer Labs Artist in Residence at National Sawdust and a 2016 Fellow in the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making. Other residencies include Earthdance (E|MERGE Multidisciplinary Residency), the A-Z West Wagon Station Encampment, and Arts Letters & Numbers. She is the founder of The Nouveau Classical Project (NCP), a music ensemble that collaborates with artists such as visual artists, dancers, and fashion designers for its performances. sugarvendil.com

Eli Tamondong is a hybrid artist practicing and performing under the moniker Projectile Imagery. They have been curated by Dance New Amsterdam, Dixon Place, Movement Research at Judson, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Chez Bushwick, Gibney Dance, New York Live Arts, New Dance Alliance; published in SLAG Mag and Polychrome Ink; and posted on Instagram (@projectileimagery). They have been a member of the Dance/NYC Junior Committee (2014-2017), a Chez Bushwick Artist-in-Residence (2014), and a New York Live Arts Fresh Tracks Artist (2015-16). Eli is studying Massage Therapy at the Swedish Institute. projectileimagery.me

Jana Lynne (JL) Umipig is a creator – a multidisciplinary artist who uses her talents and skills to create transformative artistic experiences. Her training is rooted in classical and physical theatre work, with formal training from New York University, The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at The University of California, Irvine and The Accademia Dell’ Arte in Arrezzo, Italy. Much of her career has been heavily rooted in collaborative based, applied and experimental theatre that focuses on human rights advocacy, art therapy/ healing connected to the development of her work around “For the Movement Theatre” and “Theatre as Spiritual Practice.” In particular, she seeks to elevate the narratives of Pilipina wom*n- as a reflection of her own life’s journey toward decolonizing, re-indigenizing and humanizing self. She draws her inspiration from being raised by strong wom*n in her family and by countless circles of sisterhodo that have lifted her throughout her lifetime including mentors and comrades from- The Center for Babaylan Studies, Damayan, Af3irm (Gabriela Network), Gabriela NYC, The El Puente Global Justice Institute, and Kababayan at UC Irvine. janalynnecreativeproductions.com

About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.

Video by James Tate

***

Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

Sunday Service: Jonathan Gonzalez Presents… Sepo Seecharan Prins and Marlene Mulele Seecharan, NIC Kay, Justin Allen, Rena Anakwe

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October 1, 2017

On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals (1628) documents William Harvey’s watershed findings on the two-way circulatory system; one way pumping blood to the extremities and another back to the heart to be reinvigorated with oxygen. During this dissection, Harvey also encountered an ominous black fluid like ’thick earth’ termed colloquially as ‘black bile’ in the arteries. As one of the four body humors, coleric/black bile was said to hold the properties of mysticism, hysteria, and evil – but as Harvey’s findings revealed…the black stuff in the body was blood all along.

For this Sunday Service, five artists are invited to commune with the Ready Room as a living site for a circulatory exchange.

Artist Bios
NIC Kay is from the Bronx. Currently occupying several liminal spaces. They are a person who makes performances and creates/organizes performative spaces. They are obsessed with the act and process of moving the change of place, production of space, position, and the clarity/meaning gleaned from shifting of perspective. NIC’s current transdisciplinary projects explore movement as a place of reclamation of the body, history and spirituality.

Rena Anakwe, is an interdisciplinary artist and performer, working primarily with sound, visuals, scent and space. A member of the artistic collective NON Worldwide, she is based in Brooklyn, New York by way of Nigeria and Canada. Using storytelling as a medium, her work focuses on sensory-based, experiential interactions through art and technology. Rena is a graduate of: the Interactive Telecommunications Program (iTP) at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (MPS), The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University (MFA) and New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business (BS.) aspaceforsound.com

Justin Allen is a writer and performer from Northern Virginia. He has written for Mosaic Literary Magazine, Lambda Literary, ARTS.BLACK, and the Leslie-Lohman Museum’s journal The Archive, among others. He has read his work at the Whitney, The Poetry Project, and Artists Space, and recently completed a residency at the Center for Afrofuturist Studies in Iowa City, IA.

I was named Marlene Mulele Seecharan. I do not know how many times I have lived as a human. I know I have been a house in a past life. My goal with art as expression is to live in truth and to live in complete harmony with the rest of nature. I wish you the courage to live in pure consciousness.

Sepo Seecharan Prins is MAGIC

About the Curator
Jonathan Gonzalez is a choreographer and Bessie-nominated performer based in his native New York City. He has been a New York Live Arts Fresh Tracks Artist in collaboration with EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, BAX/Dancing While Black Fellow under the direction of Paloma McGregor, Diebold Award recipient for Distinction in Choreography & Performance, Rema Hort Mann Foundation nominee, as well as a POSSE Leadership and Bessie Schonberg Scholar; he is currently a BAX/SUBMERGE! artist. He has performed in the works of Ligia Lewis, Cynthia Oliver, Isabel Lewis, Alex Baczyinski-Jenkins, Phillip Howe, Ni’Ja Whitson, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Grisha Coleman, among others. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, and holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

About Sunday Service
Sunday Service is a curated series of short-form live performances across mediums. Taking place the first Sunday of each month in the Ready Room, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of in-progress works, performances, and presentations, anchored by a framing principle such as a question, proposition, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service encourages works in progress and interdisciplinary endeavors showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster experimentation and critical discourse amongst peers.

Video by James Tate

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Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.

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Bedford&Bowery on The Clock Is Taking A Nap

By | Press

“Using a color palette reminiscent of scoops of sherbet and making shapes that recall fruit, body parts, rainbows, and more, Amie Cunat’s mural for Knockdown Center breathes new life into New York City architecture. The mural takes inspiration from drawings of notable buildings like churches, layering each structure on so it recalls the squished reality of real estate in the city, but with an added dose of sugary surrealism. Every day the cityscape changes a little more, for better or for worse, and here you can see it from yet another perspective.”

– Cassidy Dawn Graves

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Queens Chronicle on Carl E. Hazlewood: TRAVELER

By | Press

“Sprawling at fifty-two feet long, Carl Hazlewood’s “Traveler” is a curiosity: A work that would demand your attention in any great room, the mural sits in a narrow hallway at the Knockdown Center in Maspeth. There it works differently, drawing the viewer in and out, causing passersby to pause, stay awhile and reflect. The entirety of the mural is impossible to take in from any single vantage point, and so the artist’s title is in part a reflection of this reality — to appreciate the work requires the viewer to move up and down the corridor; to become the traveler. In Hazlewood’s words, the piece “will have to be … discovered as one moves (or travels) parallel to the mural.””

– Neil Chiragdin

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