Jaamil Kosoko's curatorial platform “other.explicit.bodies” featured on Cuturebot
DNA LateNite’s “other.explicit.bodies” This Weekend
In addition to exploring and challenging markers of race, class, gender, and sexuality, each artist was asked to take on something new in their own performative practice. Kosoko describes each of these artists as having a “post-disciplinary” practice because of the ways they continue to blur the boundaries between art forms. Thus, each artist has pushed themselves to explore new terrain for this platform and to further defy categorization or distillation. Artist Rebecca Patek says of her experimentation, “I am interested in reclaiming elements of performance that are considered wrong, awkward, uncomfortable, overlooked and that are frequently dismissed."
To push otherness even further, Kosoko also deliberately curated artists from outside the often insular New York performing arts world. In addition to a couple of New York-based artists, he primarily culled from around the Northeast region, in general, as a way to confront and counter New York-centricity. He hopes to have this platform comment on New York’s preference for New York-based artists and he aspires to break this particular mold. He asks, “How can the conversation broaden and expand, and work to include others who are making work in cities and venues that are not necessarily in New York?” Thus, his is an effort to take other regions more seriously and to potentially call attention to the ever-present hierarchy or canon of contemporary dance/performance. Even in this alternative artistic economy, there still remains a hierarchy, a consolidation of resources, and an underlying investment in celebrity. Performing arts writer/critic Andrew Horowitz recently wrote, “There is a class system in the arts – it is real and it is significant and gets worse every year.” There exists a very real scarcity of resources and accordingly, this platform presents artists who HAVE to do other things in order to support the production of their works. Kosoko’s curation inevitably brings up economic questions… How can a dance artist/choreographer make it in NYC? How can someone maintain a life in the arts while also supporting themselves? other.explicit.bodies features artists who are forced to wear multiple hats — “multi-taskers” as Kosoko calls them. How does this “multi-tasking” inform the work? How is the creative process informed by the daily grind of searching for material resources and social legitimacy? What day jobs do artists/performers/dancers/choreographers actually have and is this balancing act sustainable? Is it possible to still “make it” in New York? These questions pull the curtain back to reveal the vulnerability of the performance arts community and speak to the realities of many working artists within it. Kosoko observes a kind of “grunge aesthetic” in the curatorial project, in that it questions these hierarchical models of production and explores the margins of the contemporary dance scene(s). Kosoko asks each of us, “How can we collectively create opportunities for artists to make work, instead of subscribing to an older, competitive model that isn’t working anymore?
-By Cassier Petterson
Visit the link for entire article: http://www.culturebot.net/2013/01/15580/dna-latenites-other-explicit-bod...