Join us for an artist brunch work in progress showing and get a first look at the latest work from Sister Sylvester, a Brooklyn-based collaborative theater company in residence with Spread Art as they create Come From There.
Come From There is a piece being made simultaneously in Turkey and in the USA. The piece is a search for stories and forms, for a time where the defining paradigm is a sense of un- belonging, of rootlessness, of being between cultures. Two directors - one in Turkey the other in the US - have set each other a series of challenges around this problem. In the first phase of the project they will work independently in their respective countries to create two performances, and in the second they will meet in both New York and Istanbul to combine their work and co-direct a final piece.
The piece is an attempt to wrestle with this sense of un-belonging through the lens of three performance makers from the previous generation, each of whom invented forms that became iconic to their place and time. The work of these three performers: Spalding Grey, Ethyl Eichelberger, Reza Abdoh, is the foundation of what we do as a company, and to this genre called ‘performance’ that we are a part of. We want to use the forms they created to see if they can hold contemporary stories – or to find out what we need to do to subvert and adapt these old forms for our contemporary reality. Working with an ensemble cast on what - in the case of the first two - are solo performances gives us the opportunity to complicate the single narratives, exploding these forms with new stories, and creating a performance for our times.
Sister Sylvester uses performance to investigate the fictions—personal, political, and social—that are built up through language and habit, and remain largely unquestioned in social identity and discourse. Since 2008, they have made work in both site-specific venues as well as in theaters, keeping an investigation of the audience-performer relationship at the heart of their practice.
Thank you to Cathy Schneider & family, owners of the Izzy's building, for their ongoing support of the Detroit arts community & Spread Art.