Events – Danspace Project
John Bernd, 1980s, NYC. Photo by Dona Ann McAdams.

Platform 2016: Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works by John Bernd

Post-performance discussion with Lucy Sexton on Friday, November 4.

In 1988 choreographer/dancer John Bernd died at age 35 of complications of AIDS. Bernd was a pivotal figure in the early days of the New York downtown dance scene of the early 1980s. He was one of the first persons from the community to contract HIV (though the virus had yet to be identified). He created several solos, semi-autobiographical pieces, a duet– Live Boys –made in collaboration with his then partner Tim Miller, and three versions of an ensemble dance, Lost and Found: scenes from a life. Bernd’s final piece was a duet, Two on the Loose, made in collaboration and performed with choreographer Jennifer Monson months before he died on August 28, 1988.

Platform 2016: Lost & Found was initiated by Ishmael Houston-Jones‘ memories of Bernd’s work and the work of other New York dance makers who died during the first 15 years of the AIDS crisis, 1981-1996. Houston-Jones and his collaborators use archives of Bernd’s work to produce a collage of work he made during the last years of his life to interrogate what the effects of that loss have had on work being made today.

Directed by Ishmael Houston-Jones in collaboration with Miguel Gutierrez, Jennifer Monson, and Nick Hallett, with performers Tony Carlson, Talya Epstein, Alvaro Gonzalez, Charles Gowin, Madison Krekel, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, and Alex Rodabaugh.

Part of PLATFORM 2016: Lost and Found
#platform2016 #lostandfound

Ishmael Houston-Jones, Chris Cochrane and John Walker in THEM, 1985. Photo by Dona Ann McAdams.
Ishmael Houston-Jones, Chris Cochrane and John Walker in THEM, 1985. Photo by Dona Ann McAdams.

Platform 2016: Modern Mondays – An Evening with Ishmael Houston-Jones and Dennis Cooper (MoMA)

Tickets on sale now: http://www.moma.org/calendar/events/2530

On the occasion of Platform 2016: Lost & Found, choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones discusses his work and its relationship to collaboration, friendship, and the cultural history of AIDS. The program will include a screening of selected works from the last 30 years including THEM (1986), Hole (1989), Knife/Tape/Rope (1989–90), and The Undead (1999)—and a conversation between the artist, his longtime collaborator Dennis Cooper, and Thomas J. Lax, Associate Curator, Media and Performance Art.

Organized by The Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with Danspace Project’s Platform 2016: Lost & Found.

Part of PLATFORM 2016: Lost and Found
#platform2016 #lostandfound

Photo courtesy of AUNTS.
Photo courtesy of AUNTS.

Platform 2016: The Zine Project: AUNTS (Arts on Site)

Join us for a conversation with dance collective, AUNTS, on the final evening of their zine residency. AUNTS‘ concept for their chain curated zines is to “name names” in the margins (taking a cue from Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts and Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse) to make lineages/influences/ghosts/inspirations/experiences of the artist community visible and known.

AUNTS, organized by Laurie Berg and Liliana Dirks-Goodman, generates a constantly shifting environment, often in the form of a live event.

In trying to “fill out the gap” left by deaths from AIDS, the zine, as a handmade, grassroots object, will serve as a central metaphor for addressing the ephemeral, fragmentary, and affective documents of a generation of artists. Two artist collectives, Allied Productions (October 18) and AUNTS (November 8) will develop zines and related live presentations addressing how each collective’s artistic practices might be in conversation with the reality and aftermath of the AIDS epidemic in the NYC dance and performance community.

Other performances

Allied Productions, Inc. is a not-for-profit arts umbrella organization founded in 1980. We are an entirely artist-run multi-purpose entity that fosters community building through the collective process. We present, produce, and sponsor all areas of the arts, including the activities of individuals, groups, and organizations.

In the past, Allied helped give a start to pioneering non-profits like ABC No Rio. Recently, Allied’s main project has been the development and maintenance of Le Petit Versailles Community Garden. After fourteen years of work, Allied has transformed what was formerly an abandoned lot left in the wake of a demolished auto-body chop-shop into an extraordinary community garden and multipurpose arts space. For nearly ten years, Le Petit Versailles has been home to countless art exhibitions, performances, readings, film screenings, and more.

Allied Productions facilitates community and communication between many different artists and organizations. Among our ongoing New York City organizational associates are The Film Makers Cooperative, Mix NYC, ABC No Rio, Rain Forrest Relief, Gartenberg Media Enterprises, Inbred Hybrid Collective, and AIDS Data Treatment Network. Out of town affiliates include The Uptown Entertainment and Development Corporation (Philadelphia), Parasol Project (Tucson), and Frise Art Collective (Hamburg, Germany).

Part of PLATFORM 2016: Lost and Found
#platform2016 #lostandfound

Drawings by John Bernd. Courtesy of the estate of John Bernd.
Drawings by John Bernd. Courtesy of the estate of John Bernd.

Platform 2016: A Matter of Urgency and Agency: HIV/AIDS Now (CUNY)

This evening with Jawanza James Williams (Voices of Community Activists and Leaders (VOCAL-NY)), Theodore (ted) Kerr (writer and organizer), Kenyon Farrow (essayist and US & Global Health Policy Director for Treatment Action Group), Robert Sember (Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts at The New School’s Eugene Lang College and member of the sound-art collective Ultra-red), and iele paloumpis (dance artist and death doula) will focus on the work of current activists and will attempt to articulate and historicize contemporary issues related to HIV/AIDS. We aim to push forward and circulate current knowledge production of various kinds as well as to produce strategies for archiving and theorizing the contemporary.

This is the second of two events produced in partnership with the Mediating the Archive Seminar, part of the Center for the Humanities’ Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research, to take place at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Organized by Jaime Shearn Coan, Danspace Curatorial Fellow and Janet Werther, CFH Research Fellow, with the assistance of faculty co-leaders Amy Herzog and Edward D. Miller.

Part of PLATFORM 2016: Lost and Found
#platform2016 #lostandfound

Other performances

Michelle Boulé. Photo by Ian Douglas.
Elisabeth Motley. Photo by Scott Shaw.

DraftWork: Michelle Boulé/Elisabeth Motley

Curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones, the DraftWork series hosts informal Saturday afternoon performances that offer choreographers an opportunity to show their work in various stages of development.

Performances are followed by discussion and a reception during which artists and audiences share perspectives about the works-in-progress.

Other performances

Drawing by John Bernd. Courtesy of the estate of John Bernd.
Shan Kelley, With Curators Like These, Who Needs a Cure, 2015.
Juan Rivera, Untitled (Keith Haring) c. 1985.

Platform 2016: Memory Palace – A Vigil

Historically, the Memory Palace is a technique of memory recall often used by ancient Greek poets. By committing a location to memory, a poet could take an imaginary “walk” through this location, thereby recalling people, faces, events, and other memorial phenomena.

Memory Palace is a community gathering in our home at St. Mark’s Church open for all to remember the loved ones they’ve lost to AIDS and consider the ongoing impact of HIV/AIDS on the dance, music and visual art communities. In a spirit of lively remembrance, the evening will feature readings, performances, music, and more.

Co-presented by Danspace Project and Visual AIDS

6-7PM: Open Mic: You are welcome to share a short poem, thought, remembrance or song. Open mic slots will be 2 minutes long. (To sign up for the Open mic, please arrive between 5:15pm-5:45pm. We will take names starting at 5:15pm until the list is full.)
7-8PM: Readings by Platform 2016: Lost and Found catalogue contributors Arthur Aviles, Dan Fishback, Denise Roberts Hurlin, Eiko Otake, iele paloumpis, Nicky Paraiso, Muna Tseng and Jeff Weinstein
8-10PM: Musical responses co-curated by Alex Fialho and DonChristian. Performances by DonChristian, Sadaf, Richard Kennedy, John Kelly and Hi Tiger

The evening will include opportunities for audience members to contribute their own memories to a scroll that will become its own Memory Palace.

Visual AIDS will also project their “RADIANT PRESENCE” Day With(out) Art 2015 project, a digital slideshow with images from the Visual AIDS’ Artist+ Registry, the largest database of works by artists with HIV/AIDS.

Memory Palace: A Vigil is co-sponsored by Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA), and St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery.

Part of PLATFORM 2016: Lost and Found
#platform2016 #lostandfound

DANCENOISE courtesy of Lucy Sexton and Anne Iobst.
Antonio Ramos and The Gang Bangers by Ian Douglas.
Brother(hood) Dance! by Ricarrdo Valentine

Platform 2016: An Evening with DANCENOISE, Antonio Ramos, and Brother(hood) Dance!

Three shared evenings of new commissions layers three generations of dance artists to consider the effect of loss on queer art-making in the present.

The work of DANCENOISE (Anne Iobst and Lucy Sexton), who emerged in East Village nightclubs in the 1980s-90s, was shaped by their responses as women to the many storms raging during the early years of their collaboration, including the plague of AIDS. Their new work for this evening will respond to the work of John Bernd, who they cared for and danced with.

Antonio Ramos has been involved in the New York experimental dance scene since the early 2000s. With his group, The Gangbangers, he questions the role of the body in personal and political spaces, taking artistic inspiration from multiple dance forms, pop music, and queer identities.

Orlando Zane Hunter and Ricarrdo Valentine formed Brother(hood) Dance! in 2014 with a mission to bring attention to socio-political and environmental injustices from a global perspective, and to bring clarity to the same-gender-loving African-American experience in the 21st century. On this evening, they’ll present how to survive a plague, a meditation on the artistic generational gap between those lost to AIDS, which investigates who survives and whose stories are told during and after life, and seeks to venerate the Black African bodies that were exiled from the urgency of care and shunned by their communities and government during the AIDS epidemic.

Part of PLATFORM 2016: Lost and Found
#platform2016 #lostandfound

Narcissister, Unititled (Spanish Shawl), Self-Portrait Series, 2012-Present
Narcissister, Unititled (Spanish Shawl), Self-Portrait Series, 2012-Present

Platform 2016: Conversation Without Walls: Two of Two

In the second of two long-form conversations contextualizing​ Platform 2016:​ Lost & Found, artists and curators revisit the community ethos of the East Village in the 1980s/90s and analogous networks of artists and activists today, in an afternoon interspersed with performa​nce. In search of an intergenerational discussion around artistic influence, portraiture, and performed history, Lost ​& Found has provided four performers with “dossiers” consisting of images, flyers, biographies, documentation, and other ephemera​ to explore the act of reconstructing, or responding to, the life, work, and mythology of​​ artists who have passed away.

1:30-2:30pm: LOST: East Village Ethos: a conversation about how local values and sensibilities historically defined by immigrant and artistic communities informed a “downtown” response to the AIDS pandemic in the 1980s/90s. With Allied Productions (Jack Waters & Peter Cramer), Sarah Schulman, Alex Fialho, and Ishmael Houston-Jones, moderated by Jaime Shearn Coan.

2:45pm: “Life Drawing” Response #3​: Katy Pyle responding to the work of Greer Lankton (1958-1996).

3-4pm: FOUND: Imaginative Alliances: Artists and curators Ali Rosa-Salas, DonChristian, Nelson Santos, and Larissa Velez-Jackson. ​This discussion will focus how artists and other creative performative minds address AIDS in their work today though notions of loss, queerness, and activism, moderated by Alex Fialho.

4:15: “Life Drawing” Response #4​: Narcissister responding to the work of Alvin Ailey (1931-1989).

4:30pm: Wrap-Up with Katy Pyle, Narcissister, and all panelists.

“Life Drawings” Responses propose an intergenerational discussion around artistic influence, portraiture, and performed history, Lost and Found has provided four performers with “dossiers” consisting of images, flyers, biographies, documentation, and other ephemera. Responding to these dossiers, Raja Feather KellyMariana ValenciaNarcissister, and Katy Pyle explore the act of reconstructing, or responding to, the life, work, and mythology of Ethyl Eichelberger (1945-1990), Assotto Saint (1957-1994), Alvin Ailey (1931-1989), and Greer Lankton (1958-1996). Considering these live events as a cross between performance and presentation, the Platform encourages these artists to approach the embodiment of widely-known or unsung artists through an exploration of their own artistic questions.

Part of PLATFORM 2016: Lost and Found
#platform2016 #lostandfound

Other performances