here goes the neighborhood...
...a universal reminder of the wealth of knowledge we have in our bodies, histories and communities
...a multimedia performance installation that includes movement, text, video, photography and audience interaction
...an invitation to reclaim space
Anchored in the history of the Bronx, the work conjures memories born from turmoil and resilience and reminds us of the wealth of knowledge we hold in our bodies, memories and histories.
The theatrical performance is driven by three characters—Ghost, Trickster and Prophet—who respectively represent past, present and future. The audience is positioned as active participants in the performance—making offerings, building the space, dancing, calling forth their memories and sharing their visions. They are asked to consider the storytelling in relation to their own bodies and unique histories.
Since 2019 I have cultivated a practice of oral history walks in which participants, an intergenerational group open to expressing themselves through movement, lead me on self-determined walks through their neighborhoods while sharing place-based memories. Site-specific movement responses are woven together with their stories and presented as short films in a live performance installation, online and on an online interactive map.
The articulation of memory, evoked through the act of moving, unearths an ever-evolving archive. In collaboration, the participants and I investigate how our histories reside in our bodies, how our bodies shape and are shaped by the places they inhabit and how bodies moving in nontraditional spaces inspire new ways of seeing.
A multimedia installation takes a multi-sensory approach to replicate the experience of being in the Bronx at different points in time, from present day 149th Street and 3rd Avenue on a hot summer day to the 1977 blackout. Chairs are piled in disarray in the center of the space. Red tape on the floor, reminiscent of redlining maps, delineates the space. Chandeliers made of milk crates and sneakers illuminate, and green construction scaffolding wood panels serve as the backdrop.
Makeshift street altars fashioned from milk crates, votive candles, empty Hennessy bottles and other objects contain monitors that display the films collected through the process of oral history walks. The audience is invited to engage with the altars by making their own offerings.
Created with generous support from