niv Acosta, DISCOTROPIC: Ep. 1 Train Dance, 2015. Performance: 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York. Photo: Marine Penvern
In his new performance DISCOTROPIC (2015), niv Acosta explores the relationship between science fiction, disco, astrophysics, and the black American experience. Conceived as a “living graphic novel, manifest in episodical live events” the performances reflect the artist’s interest in the role of black presence in sci-fi history. DISCOTROPIC is inspired by actor Diahann Carroll, who starred in the TV movie Star Wars Holiday Special (1978). Cast by NBC at the behest of donors and audience members, who insisted that a black person appear on the show, Carroll appears only as a holographic fantasy—an illusion that distills the ways in which the black female body has been consumed in mass media: as alien, bodacious, and marginalized. Acosta’s DISCOTROPIC reconsiders past futures, like those in Star Wars, while claiming a fantastical site of possibility through a cast whose imaginative engagement with science fiction rewrites its dominant narratives. Assembled by Acosta on the basis of shared interests in queer politics and Afrofuturism, the performers include Monstah Black, André D. Singleton (aka Brohogany Opulence), and Acosta himself. Together the cast are, in their own words:
creating our own fantastical world/s via dance, text, and sculpture that seeks to create a space for people of a marginalized experience. A space where we can be together, honest, relaxed, inspired, and self-empowered. These are ingredients for a revolutionary space. In creating DISCOTROPIC we meditate on sparse unity, quiet virtuosity, and internalized spectacle departing from our collective queer lens.
Lead Support provided by the “Friends of the 2015 Generational Triennial”
Shelley Fox Aarons, Lonti Ebers, Ken Kuchin, and Toby Devan Lewis
Friends of the Generational Triennial:
Andrea Rosen Gallery
Lisa and David Barse
Alexandra Bowes and Stephen Williamson
James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach
Lisa Fayne Cohen and James Cohen
Sandra and Leo DelZotto
Marisa and David Droga
The John David and Signy Eaton Foundation
Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg
Charlotte Feng Ford
Tina Kim and Jae Chung
Mihail Lari and Scott Murray
Catriona and Simon Mordant
Mario Palumbo and Stefan Gargiulo
Lisa Roumell and Mark Rosenthal
Jerome L. and Ellen Stern
Courtney Finch Taylor
Laurie and David Wolfert
“Surround Audience” is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation.
Artist commissions are generously supported by the Neeson / Edlis Artist Commissions Fund.
Additional support is provided by Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, the International Leadership Council of the New Museum, and Carol and Arthur Goldberg. The accompanying publications were made possible, in part, by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and the J. McSweeney and G. Mills Publications Fund at the New Museum. Education and community programs are supported, in part, by the American Chai Trust.
Generous support for artist residencies is provided by the Ford Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Laurie Wolfert, and an anonymous donor.
Support for artist projects, travel, and research is provided by: Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), Aeroméxico, Artis, Asian Cultural Council, Czech Center New York, Iaspis – the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual Artists, Institut Français, Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (SRE/AMEXCID), Office for Contemporary Art Norway: OCA, Ostrovsky Family Foundation, Royal Norwegian Consulate General of New York, SAHA Association, Lisa Schiff, and VIA Art.
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