MacArthur Fellow Okwui Okpokwasili is Coming to Houston and Wants You to Sing a Public Song with Her

by Paula Newton January 1, 2019

Okwui Okpokwasili in Andrew Rossi’s documentary film Bronx Gothic, 2017, © Andrew Rossi

Writer, choreographer, dancer, and 2018 MacArthur Genius Grantee Okwui Okpokwasili is coming to Houston for a project co-presented by Project Row Houses and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts in April 2019 as a part of the CounterCurrent Festival. They are looking for local vocalists (who will be paid) to participate. From the artist:

 “The only criteria for participation in the workshops: You have a vocal practice. AND you must be available April 10-13, 2019, for the projects culmination at Project Row Houses.

At the end of the workshop, you’ll get a better sense of the piece and what your participation beyond the workshop may be—in other words, just because you are doing the workshop does not obligate you to do the piece. However, we’d like you to have the April dates free so that your participation is a possibility.

In the performance work that we do, we think about proximity and time. How close can we be to strangers and how much time is needed in that closeness, for the boundaries between bodies to become blurred? Our concerns are with the movement of people towards each other, our work is always concerned with proximity and a durational practice of sustaining a particular proximity, challenging the borders we hold around ourselves and between each other. How do we undo the dehumanizing language that accompanies the other? This is thinking vocally.”

Choose a workshop on Friday, January 4th, 6-9pm, or Saturday, January 5th, 10am-1pm. All participants will receive $100. Childcare is provided if needed. Call Carrie Schneider at 346-232-8434 for more info and contact [email protected] sign up. Houston artist Schneider, who participated in an earlier work, says, “…[P]lease remember to come see the work during CounterCurrent. When I participated in an earlier iteration of this work in Berlin- though I admit to being skeptical and critical at the time, I left knowing this is the work, the really good work in the world that art is doing right now.”

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