Last Saturday, Staten Island’s LUMEN performance arts festival just held its “fifth incarnation where it all began: Atlantic Salt Company’s waterfront dock — 561 Richmond Terrace.” The festival was curated by David C. Terry and Esther Neff. And while it’s tempting to wax on about whether or not LUMEN 2014 was as good as LUMEN 2013, that debate is a bit old and really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that artists who I think are the best (and most underrated) performance artists in NYC participated yet again this year. My favs this year included Whitney V. Hunter, Ian DeLeon and Future Death Toll. I think the two are too different to properly discuss in the same post so for now I will turn your attention to Mr. Hunter. (More posts featuring Future Death Toll & DeLeon later this month.)
I asked Whitney Hunter to give me a little more insight into his project for Lumen. I was in intrigued by the poetic appeal that performer Germaul Barnes brought to the piece and wanted to know more. Ever the perfect ambassador for his own work (and YES this is a skill) this is what Hunter wrote:
1st American Shapist House for the Practice of Performance/Ritual:
SALT, a ceremony of 5 actions
Conceived by Whitney V. Hunter. Performed by Germaul Barnes.
SALT, a ceremony of 5 actions, is a “faith ritual” of the 1st American Shapist House for the Practice of Performance/Ritual. It reasserts the power of belief and faith in the transformative potential of art through the work effort and interaction with such a substance as rock salt. The sheer weight and quality of this substance presents a significant physical challenge that instigates authenticity and honesty. As a public ceremony performed at the top of each hour and for as long as the action takes, the performer confronts in real-time the challenge of duration and endurance.
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Editor-at-Large, Cultbytes Performance artist, speaker, educator, and writer. My art explores the intricacies of my life; as an individual and as a social being who is: a woman, a Black American woman, a light skin Black American woman, a light skin black American woman from Chicago, blah blah blah. You get the idea. I'm an artist. (period) Conceptual-ish is my "thing." l igram l twitter l contact l #operationcatsuit #ijustcameheretofindahusband