Visiting Artist | July 25- August 7, 2016
d. Sabela grimes came to MANCC to develop ELECTROGYNOUS, a transmedia performance work that proclaims the infinite dimensions of a Black gender spectrum. The work circulates speculative realities that counter historically imposed notions of femininity and masculinity. Through a synthesis of ancient AfroFuturistic soundscapes, video architectures, painting and kinetic poetics, ELECTROGYNOUS challenges modern systemic racism by imagining the inclusion of liberated Black bodies into the center of now, as a political act, while rendering a dynamic testament to the other worlds that Black people simultaneously inhabit.
While at MANCC, grimes, with his collaborators, explored the movement and multimedia possibilities of ELECTROGYNOUS. With a serious interest in how communities and cultures survive and prevail, grimes met with FSU History professor Dr. Jennifer Koslow to investigate the history of African-Americans in the area, namely the Smokey Hollow community in Tallahassee, a middle-class African-American community that was dismantled beginning in the 1960’s as part of a government post-World War II Urban Renewal program.
Additionally, d. Sabela grimes and his collaborators visited What Production Company in Tallahassee where renowned musician George Clinton records. Having the opportunity to immerse themselves in the funk sensibility of Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic deepened the exploration of the themes and possibilities of grimes' work. The group met with lead engineer Barry Epperson, along with several other musicians working at the studio. They were given a tour of the space, witnessed recording in progress and also listened to new, yet to be released, Parliament album. grimes and collaborators also shared elements of ELECTROGYNOUS at a public open rehearsal attended by students, FSU faculty and community members near the end of the residency.
This production residency was funded, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Collaboarators in Residence: Mr. Maxx Moses [Visual Artist/Performer], Meena Murugesan [Video Artist/Performer], Ursula Rucker [Writer/Performer]