#InTheLoop | Socrates Exhibition Inspires Music, Dance + Storytelling
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Jeffrey Gibson wears many artistic hats — and he’s going to try on a few new ones.
The MacArthur Genius Grant winner has been exhibiting Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City since this summer. Now he’s going to premiere collaborations with indigenous artists — a musician, a dancer, a sound expert — who drew inspiration from his huge outdoor monument.
First some info on his piece. The kaleidoscopically-patterned ziggurat (above) mixes Indigenous Mississippian culture, activist graphic traditions, and queer performance strategies to pay homage to inclusion and diversity.
Check it out. Socrates, whose entrance is at 32-01 Vernon Blvd., is open from 9 am to sunset with free admission, and Because Once You Enter My House is on display through March 2021.
Now the upcoming projects. Gibson (below) will premiere videos with Laura Ortman, Emily Johnson, and Raven Chacon. He’ll chat about them with Socrates Curator & Director of Exhibitions Jess Wilcox during a live-stream on Jan. 20 at 6 pm.
Ortman, a violinist of White Mountain Apache lineage, jammed atop the ziggurat, enthralled by the park’s location on the East River and the Cahokia mounds, archaeological remnants of a prehistoric civilization in Collinsville, Illinois. (Gibson modeled Because Once You Enter My House on this historic site.)
Watch her piece on Feb. 3 at 6 pm.
Bessie Award-winning and Yup’ik Nation-affiliated Johnson choreographed The Ways We Love and The Ways We Love Better – Monumental Movement Toward Being Future Being(s). Wearing garments and masks designed by Gibson, performers utilized storytelling, invocation, and movement to illuminate Indigenous presence and history in the park.
Watch this original dance work on Feb. 17.
Chacon is a composer, performer, and installation artist of Diné heritage. His collaboration with Gibson is a sound piece that will premiere via live-stream on March 23 at a time to be determined (Rain Date: March 24).
Here’s what Gibson opined about the shows.
“Laura’s music places me presently in a specific location by waking up my senses. It’s like watching a meteor shower move through the galaxy, but hearing it instead of seeing it.”
“Emily’s performance is fully sensory storytelling that connected her ancestral background to her experience arriving at and living in New York City.”
“Raven’s sound pieces make me think about the landscape, as if the voice of the land is being channeled through his electronic gear and he is the medium.”
Plus, it seems like Gibson wants to try on a few more hats. Added he: “Their performances are the beginnings of how this monument will come to be defined. My intention is to continue to invite Indigenous artists to collaborate and contribute to the life and meaning of the monument.”
Images: Socrates Sculpture Park