Due to rising concerns amid the COVID-19 virus, the Disease Thrower performance has been postponed. It is with a heavy heart that we announce this news, however, we hope that this measure will ensure the safety of our staff and guests. Please check the website for updates on the rescheduling of Maravilla’s performance. The wellbeing of our guests and staff is our top priority as we continuously monitor the situation.
Knockdown Center is pleased to present Disease Thrower, a newly commissioned performance by Guadalupe Maravilla, presented in partnership with The Chocolate Factory Theater. Maravilla’s practice, which spans sculpture, drawing, and performance, draws heavily on autobiography to address the larger context of the immigrant experience within increasingly repressive and abusive systems. Disease Thrower lives between an immersive mini-opera and an invented healing ritual, and addresses the artist’s experience as an unaccompanied child immigrant escaping El Salvador to the United States, the subsequent intestinal cancer he endured, and his healing methods. For this performance, new mythologies will be created as the artist transforms Knockdown Center into a space for storytelling, choreographed rituals, and healing.
Under the embrace of a purple cloud, Knockdown Center’s expansive Main Space will be populated by totemic objects, a suite of gongs, a revving motorcycle, and a cast of otherworldly characters. The performance will incorporate one of Maravilla’s signature Disease Thrower shrine sculptures that operate simultaneously as an artwork, an instrument, and, for the first time as part of this performance, as a headdress worn by the artist. A mix of returning and new characters conceived by Maravilla — from metaphysical snail border crossers and an operatic singer named La Momia to a troupe of masked, mourning quinceañerxs — will fill the Main Space. Disease Thrower is accompanied by a live score by the Mexico City-based electro-drama band La Rubia te Besa, composed in collaboration with Maravilla. Following the performance, the audience will have an opportunity to commune and dance to a concert-style show by La Rubia te Besa.
Disease Thrower is the third and final work of a performance trilogy based on Maravilla’s autobiography. The first chapter, titled The OG of Undocumented Children, performed at the Whitney Museum, NY, in 2018, relayed the story of how Maravilla became an undocumented and unaccompanied child immigrant. The second chapter, Walk on Water, performed at the Queens Museum, NY, in 2019, focused on Maravilla’s past as an undocumented immigrant, the deportations his family endured, and his methods for healing.
The personal experience Maravilla details in Disease Thrower echoes that of many immigrants, and highlights the lingering and internalized effects of this kind of journey and lived reality, calling attention to the body as a site where systemic abuse manifests. Sonic elements will envelop the audience within a resonant environment of collective ritual intended to help cleanse the body of phobias and create a space for healing. Knockdown Center will vibrate with the sounds of gongs and motorcycle engines, reverberations intended to shake free the audience members’ bodies of their own invisible, deep-seated traumas.
Disease Thrower marks the inaugural commission in the Knockdown Center Propeller series, which supports artists in the production of ambitious new works made specifically for Knockdown Center’s unique spatial context.
About Guadalupe Maravilla
Guadalupe Maravilla was part of the first wave of undocumented children to come to the US from Central America. The artist immigrated from El Salvador alone at age eight to escape the Salvadorian Civil War, and became a US citizen at twenty-seven. In 2016, as a gesture of solidarity with his undocumented father, who uses Maravilla as a last name in his fake identity, Maravilla changed his birth name Irvin Morazan to Guadalupe Maravilla.
Maravilla creates fictionalized performances, videos, sculptures and drawings that incorporate his pre-colonial Central American ancestry, personal mythology, and autobiography. Through a multidisciplinary studio practice, Maravilla traces the history of his own displacement, interrogates the parallels between pre-Columbian cultures and our border politics.
Maravilla has performed and presented work extensively in venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, MARTE (El Salvador), Central America Biennial X (Costa Rica), XI Nicaragua Biennial, Performa 11 & 13, Fuse-Box Festival, Exit Art, Smack Mellon, Rubin Foundation, the Drawing Center and the ICA/VCU in Richmond, Virginia. Maravilla has upcoming projects at the 2020 Guatemala Biennial, Site Santa Fe, Phoenix Art Museum, and São Paulo Museum of Art (Brazil). Maravilla has been awarded the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship 2019, Soros Fellowship: Art Migration and Public Space 2019, Map fund 2019, Creative Capital Grant 2016, Franklin Furnace 2018, Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant 2016, among many others. Maravilla has been featured in the NY Times, Brooklyn Rail, the Guardian, Art Forum and many other publications. Maravilla’s work has been collected privately and by the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, Deutsche Bank, MoMA, and Whitney Museum of American Art.
About La Rubia te Besa
La Rubia te Besa is a multifaceted music project proclaimed as ‘electrodrama’, where keyboards, guitar, bass, percussion and digital sound processors propose a pastiche of prominent references to instrumental pop culture (soundtracks, hymns, popular melodies, ringtones, etc.). The band, formed in 2013 (Mexico City) by members of different creative profiles (not formally trained musicians), bases its name on an imaginary aphorism that comes from an inescapable unconscious voice, an eternal submission to the canonical seduction.
About Knockdown Center Propeller Series
Guadalupe Maravilla: Disease Thrower is the inaugural commission of the Knockdown Center Propeller series, a commissioning program designed to support artists in the production and presentation of ambitious new works in Knockdown Center’s expansive Main Space. Responding to Knockdown Center’s unique architectural context and programmatic mission, the series is designed to support new site-specific work by artists who have not yet had the opportunity to extend their practice by significantly scaling up. The program furthers Knockdown Center’s mission to present innovative new projects by artists making ambitious, risk-taking, and boundary-crossing work.
About The Chocolate Factory Theater
Since its first season in 2005, The Chocolate Factory Theater has supported the development and presentation of new work by a community of local, national and international artists working in dance, theater, and interdisciplinary performance. The Chocolate Factory’s programs have drawn many thousands of new visitors to its 5,000 square foot industrial facility in Long Island City, Queens. The organization recently purchased a permanent facility in the neighborhood.
Disease Thrower is commissioned by Knockdown Center and presented in partnership with The Chocolate Factory Theater. Commissioning support also provided by The MAP Fund. Support also provided by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation, The SHS Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Resident Advisor tickets: http://bit.ly/AmelieLensRA
Tickets on sale now!
◾️ AMELIE LENS ◾️ The Belgian DJ and producer has been DJing since she was 18 years old and since has become one of the most celebrated artists in the world of electronic music. Lens tours worldwide but still has time to run her popular party series, Exhale, and her own record label, Lenske. She’s known for her full throttle sets where she unloads her techno skills and sheer love for the genre on her crowd of fans.
◾️ FARRAGO ◾️ Farrago creates arpeggiated melodies that reverberate endlessly to the point where they are deemed tangible and are driven by the resonating sound of a classic 4/4 kickdrum, it’s the perfect marriage between body and soul.
◾️ RACHEL NOON ◾️ Noon who began crafting her sound in the 90s, credits New York’s underground queer dance scene for her accelerated growth over the last few years. As the founder of the queer, trans and non-binary focused platform Large Marge, she has become a pillar in the scene where her roots lie. Noon is also a resident of Unter. Her sets focus on creativity and structure while pushing the boundaries of sound.
Outline is a new Knockdown Center-produced series of multi-disciplinary events centered on music that showcases artists of all stripes. Unique each season, Outline will explore and expand Knockdown Center’s distinctive architectural and programmatic context.
The series kicks off with Outline: Winter, marking the leap year on February 29th, 2020 with a headline performance by avant-pop stylist John Maus and a lineup specially selected to bid farewell to the cold.
Throughout 2020, Outline will showcase artists across genres, pairing rising talent with industry legends, incorporating visual art and performance to demonstrate how each discipline informs and enhances one another. Events will utilize the distinct spaces within Knockdown Center in new and unexpected ways, creating moments that could only happen here.
An eclectic mix of artists join John Maus and Boy Harsher for the Outline debut, presenting an experience that crosses genres. Avant-pop artist Katie Gately will celebrate the release of her highly anticipated second album, Loom, with an exclusive New York City appearance. Ben LaMar Gay, a lynchpin of Chicago’s vital jazz scene, will perform a dark ambient set as a duo with Bitchin Bajas instrumentalist Rob Frye. Breakout experimental producer DEBBY FRIDAY from Vancouver, B.C., Patience, the new project from ex-Veronica Falls vocalist Roxanne Clifford, and new age synth pioneer Don Slepian will also perform.
An immersive installation by artist Aya Rodriguez-Izumi will accentuate the unique architectural elements of Knockdown Center’s space with tinsel, and serve as an atmospheric setting for experimental sounds. Interdisciplinary artist Rena Anakwe will accompany Rodriguez-Izumi for an opening performance in the specially created space.
The series name references Knockdown Center’s beginnings as a manufacturer of door frames and glass windows, functional outlines that allow entrance into new places and views of outside points. It also reflects the present and future of the space, an unmistakable architectural structure that can be filled in and transformed radically, depending on what’s held inside.
From the Winter show, Outline installments will follow regularly, with Spring, Summer, and Fall lineups developed to reflect the passing seasons. Look out for announcements on upcoming events!
RSVP here: http://bit.ly/OutlineWinterRSVP
Tickets are on sale now: http://bit.ly/OutlineWinter
◾️ JOHN MAUS ◾️ The multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter, composer and academic is known for his intense stage presence and sounds that bridge the gap from 1980s synth-pop and post-punk to Medieval music.
◾️ BOY HARSHER ◾️ BOY HARSHER is a dark electronic duo that produces gritty dance beats infused with ethereal vocals, creating a sound that is eerie, intense and incredibly danceable. Augustus Muller develops the underbelly of sound with minimal beats and grinding synths, where Jae Matthews whispers, screams and chants on top. Together, the music created is somewhere between industrial, drone and confessional storytelling. Muller and Matthews both have a strong background in film and their cinematic approach translates effectively in both their recordings and live performance.
◾️ BEN LAMAR GAY ◾️ Prolific composer and cornetist Ben LaMar Gay is a lynchpin of Chicago’s thriving jazz scene, able to hop between free jazz and soul funk, from Brazilian bossa-nova to disquieting ambient drone.
◾️ DEBBY FRIDAY ◾️ A self-described experimentalist, born in Nigeria, raised in Montreal, and now working in Vancouver; DEBBY FRIDAY is an anomaly. Her work spans the spectrum of the audio-visual, resisting categorizations of genre and artistic discipline. She is at once a sound theorist and musician, composer and performer, video artist, poet and PUNK GOD.
◾️ DON SLEPIAN ◾️ A computer engineer turned ambient artist, Don Slepian is mostly known for his remarkable, electronic piano pieces. Ethereal, delicate, and intricately commanding, Slepian boasts twirling synths and improvised, whimsical songs.
◾️ KATIE GATELY ◾️ American experimental electronic musician Katie Gately utilizes a plethora of computer programs to reshape her voice into dense, occasionally unsettling sound constructions. Her unpredictable compositions run from industrial collages to playful, abstract pop tunes, exhibiting an absurdist sense of humor and an ear for rhythm and melody.
◾️ PATIENCE ◾️ Patience began as a bedroom synth project for songwriter Roxanne Clifford after the break up of her acclaimed indie-pop band Veronica Falls. Born out of a desire to experiment with a new sound and analogue synthesizers, the project has since grown to become an all-encompassing persona and serves as the main vehicle for the full emotional spectrum always latent in Clifford’s songwriting.
◾️ AYA RODRIGUEZ-IZUMI ◾️ Aya Rodriguez-Izumi is an interdisciplinary artist whose work blends installation, performance, video and beyond to explore aspects of ritual retention and cultural identity through marginalized histories. She was born in Okinawa, Japan, and grew up between that island and East Harlem, NY, where she currently lives and holds a studio. Her work has been exhibited through group and solo presentations at venues such as El Museo del Barrio, MoCADA, the Knockdown Center, Rush Arts Gallery, Pulse Miami Beach, the Material Art Fair in Mexico City and the International House of Japan in Tokyo among others. She was the recipient of the Emma Bee Bernstein Fellowship at A.I.R. Gallery in New York in 2017-2018, a Jerome Foundation Fellowship at Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota in 2018, and the 2018-2019 JUSFC Creative Artist Fellowship supported by the National Endowment of the Arts. Rodriguez-Izumi earned a BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design in 2009, an MFA in Fine Arts from The School of Visuals Arts in 2017. In 2019 she joined the MFA Fine Art faculty at her graduate alma mater of SVA.
◾️ RENA ANAKWE ◾️ 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 creative technology. Rena was a 2019 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence, a 2019 Abrons Arts Center (AAC) Sound Series commissioned artist, a 2018 Signal Culture Artist-in-Residence and has collaborated, produced and shown audio/visual/scent work at venues including: Lincoln Center (NYC), BAMcafé (NYC), MoMA PS1 (NYC), CultureHub (NYC), Pioneer Works (NYC), and Montez Press Radio (NYC). She is based in Brooklyn, New York by way of Nigeria and Canada. || aspaceforsound.com
On February 22, Mind-Matter embraces our grandest & most immersive production featuring 5 world-class DJ & Live acts at the Knockdown Center. On this night, we are proud to present an innovative lineup that places spotlight on those who elevate the game.
Artists (A to Z):
Kevin de Vries
Hello? Is anyone out there? We’ve been sending messages, trying to reach you, emptying ourselves into the machine. We meant to move you. The data tells us you wanted a reminder. That death doesn’t sleep. That you could fail and get up again. That you have a choice to make. That you could release the past. You have walls to inspect and sometimes you have to face them alone but not always. We’re making room for you.
January 17, 2020 10pm-4am @ Knockdown Center in Queens, NY.
All profits go to Al Otro Lado, a non-profit that provides legal aid to asylum seekers, migrants, and deportees throughout Latin America.
Let 2019 collapse and shimmer into stardust as you begin anew. Over the span of one transcendent evening, hypnotic performances will warp and bend around a century-old warehouse while celestial aerialists and installations ripple across time and space itself. This is a cosmic call to glimmer, gravitate, and emerge reborn.
– A trio of stages
– Orbiting planetarium
– Room of infinite mirrors
– Psychedelic installations
– Pirate ship and art cars
– Transcendent aerialists & performers
– Festival vendors
7th annual Winter Wonderland celebration returns to the Knockdown Center on Saturday, December 14th.
BRYANT JENSEN B2B SAQIB
Soft Power is a performance that combines traditional Polish dance and experimental music by Felicita. The evening will begin with a performance by Speaker Music (DeForrest Brown, Jr.), titled a Black rhythm happening to fill a crease.
Originally from London, Shanghai-based Felicita works with fractured sounds. Soft Power was originally commissioned by Unsound, in collaboration with traditional dancers from Śląsk Song and Dance Ensemble, the oldest and most renowned company of its kind in Poland. This unique work synthesizes traditional choreography and costume with new music to create a hypnotic multimedia experience. The concept stems from Felicita’s childhood education in traditional dance, and explores folk culture, national identity, tourism, branding, illusion, and farce. The music itself is a fusion of Polish folk, noise, trap and chamber music, and was released last year by PC Music, fitting beside releases by the likes of SOPHIE and Danny L Harle.
As Ben Ben-Beaumont Thomas wrote in The Guardian: “Folk dances, involving lots of twirling around and dramatised romance, are paired with plangent piano melodies, scorched ambient noise and, most incongruously, wild synthetic pop. Despite (or rather because of) the aesthetic clashes, it hangs together in a supremely atmospheric whole. Devised in the wake of Brexit, it’s a stirring affirmation of how cultures can coexist while retaining their own voices.”
The evening will begin with a set by Speaker Music (DeForrest Brown, Jr.) titled “a Black rhythm happening to fill a crease,” a new improvised composition expanding on the lush ensemble energy music found in his debut album of desire, longing (Planet Mu, 2019). Referencing free jazz trumpeter Eddie Gales’ culturally noteworthy 1969 album Black Rhythm Happening, Speaker Music probes further into the sonic narratives of African American expression towards a novel rhythmic and romantic abstraction of vibration and frequency.
Speaker Music is a digital audio and extended media praxis by New York-based rhythmanalyst DeForrest Brown, Jr. His work is concerned with speculative futures in performative contexts and programmatic intersections of technology and thought. He is a representative of the Make Techno Black Again campaign, and his most recent writing can be found in Artforum, Hyperallergic and Afropunk. In 2020, Brown, Jr. will publish a book related to a talk given at Unsound Kraków, entitled “Assembling a Black Counter-Culture” with Primary Information.
Note: this show was originally part of the Unsound New York 2019 lineup, and had to be moved to this date due to unforeseen reasons.
Organized in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music program and POLSKA 100, the international cultural program celebrating the centenary of Poland regaining independence.
Financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland as part of the multi-annual programme NIEPODLEGŁA 2017–2022
They have been a driving force of nightlife for decades, but have never played together. Friday Dec 20, 2019 – an event that has been discussed, dreamed of and hoped for…is finally happening! CHUS & CEBALLOS, BORIS & OSCAR G together for one night only at Knockdown Center.
Tables service contact – Jonpaulpezzo@icloud.com
CHUS + CEBALLOS
As pioneers and creators of the underground movement known as the “Iberican sound,” Chus & Ceballos have established themselves as one of the world’s elite DJ Duos, and never fail to bring “la fiesta” in each and every performance. Touring consistently since 2000, the pair have appeared at most of the world’s elite clubs, including residencies at Space Miami, Stereo Montreal, Ageha Tokyo and Pacha NYC. Chus’ record label Stereo Productions is highly respected by DJ’s as one of the industry most reliable sources of top quality, peak hour House Music.
Boris is amongst a select few born and bred New Yorker DJ’s who have managed to remain A List headliners through multiple generations of nightlife. From the infamous Roxy to Crobar to Pacha NYC, Boris has maintained a loyal following that has followed him during his journey thorugh all of New York’s premier venues, and have shown such devotion that they even coined the term “Believers.” Ultimately Boris released a series of high successful Believe In Boris CD’s, and his “Believe” parties even to this day are guaranteed sell-outs. Currently his Transmit record label imprint is a go-to source for DJ’s from Carl Cox to Dubfire to Paco Osuna, all of whom support his music and also frequently reach out to him for tracks for theie own labels.
With over 25 years as one of the world’s premier DJ / Artists, Oscar G has made his impact both through his productions and his deejaying. As one half of the Murk production team, he has been a force along with Ralph Falcon behind worldwide chart-topping dance hits including Fired Up, Dark Beat and Some Lovin’ along with many more. As a solo artist his album releases are essential additions to music collections of house music fans worldwide, as are his two DVD’s recorded live from the Club Space Terrace. As a DJ he has had residencies at Liquid, Club Space and Heart in Miami, and Pacha, Space Ibiza New York and Output in New York, all of which were defining moments in the history of those two mecca’s of American nightclub culture.