Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Cross/Walking" Performance

When I am not doodling about on the internet, I am constructing and critiquing environmental messages, often through live performance.  Next weekend (9/23-9/25/2010) my current solo-show, "Cross/Walking," will be part of a double bill of solo performance in the Kleinau Theatre on the SIUC campus in Carbondale, IL.  I am happy to share the evening with Hunter Fine's media-immersive installation performance about urban nomadic practices. Together, both shows deal with movement and sojourning as important cultural and meaning-maiking practices.

My show, "Cross/Walking," is heavily influenced by my study and production of comics.  I am particularly interested in the work readers do to make connections between panels, filling in the "gutter," so to speak.  The deeper environmental message of the show is that we live in a culture more focused on objects than their relationship, more interested in products than processes.  Utilizing a variety of performance experiments, I contemplate how we might shift our consciousness to focus more on systems of interrelationship than objects in isolation.  My previous solo show, "Trail Mix", had a similar concept -- that, using backpacking as a metaphor, we might find connections and coalitions between different progressive issues- and identity-politics, demonstrating particularly links between LGBT/Q and environmental concerns.  Building on that show, "Cross/Walking" addresses a more abstract but perhaps more foundational concern in how we, particularly in the West and specifically in the US, perceive our relationship to the world and each other.

If you are in the area or ever wanted to come to Southern Illinois, consider dropping by for the show.  Or, if you have access to an arts community that can bring in performing artists, I have carefully created "Cross/Walking" so that it can easily travel.  I also still have "Trail Mix" in my repertoire. And, with either, I am happy to provide an accompanying lecture and/or workshop on the ways art and particularly performance intersect with environmental advocacy and concerns.  I keep the cost of this work low and am happy to do it for little more than the expense (travel, lodging, some tech, etc.) of bringing it to you, or even a charitable donation in kind to an agreed upon local environmental or LGBT/Q charity.  If interested, contact me at jmgray(at)gmail(dot)com.

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