|HAND TO MOUTH: DE-SUICIDE|
|October 21 – November 21, 2021|
|ALL-DAY OPENING: Sunday, October 24, 2021|
PS122 Gallery is pleaseD to PRESENT HAND TO MOUTH: DE-SUICIDE, a multi-channel video installation and sculptural environment on view from October 21–November 21, 2021.
Hand to Mouth is a dance company of sentient and inanimate collaborators founded by visual artist Deville Cohen during the COVID-19 pandemic. It integrates Cohen’s studio and performance practices through a process of collaboration (remotely and in-person) with other artists and institutions.
hand to mouth DE-SUICIDE
The symbolic meaning of the phrase “hand to mouth” and its reflection on materialistic hardship sheds light on the distance between one’s mouth and hand, establishing limits of perspective. Anything beyond these physical and metaphorical ranges is considered unrealistic or fantastical. When accessibility becomes the measure of availability, Hand to Mouth asks: how does this rehearsed, limited engagement with a world of deficiency and self-deprivation restrict our non-materialistic experiences? Can we meditate on our artistic responsibilities and possibilities outside of the pre-existing disciplines, formats, and structures of distribution and consumption of materials and resources? Can our aspirations, motivations, desires, and hopes transcend what is physically and spiritually available to us?
The videos and objects in the installation are the outcomes of workshops with dancers Laura K. Nicoll (NY), Margaux Marielle-Trehoüart (Berlin), Tushrik Fredericks (Johannesburg/NY), Effie Bowen (NY); guest
dramaturgs Patricia Hernandez (NY), Bronwyn Lace (Johannesburg/Vienna); musician JD Samson (NY); and in partnership with Summer Guthery of JOAN Los Angeles, and Ian Cofre of PS122 Gallery (NY). Our process is organized around thematic “Notions,” through which we workshopped specific choreographic and sculptural themes within the lunar cycle. Launched on the full moon of August 3, 2020, the outcomes of the workshops—held during a five-month residency at PS122 Gallery during lockdown—have been published as six Lunar Updates, shared on our website: www.handtomouth.wtf
To DE-SUICIDE is to become WITH rather than to follow our settler-colonial histories and claim ownership of resources, people, and land. Being WITH, rather than owning and dominating, is to follow the sculptural sensibility of crafting materials into objects. Whether in the studio, backstage, or in a dance video, bodies and objects hybridize in the act of co-inhabiting the scene. Physical objects, gadgets, and rainwater are not just instruments or props, they are equal partners, inanimate collaborators forming a coalition with human performers, exposed to the risks, damages, and potentials of their environment.
Deville Cohen (Founder + Artistic Director)
Tushrik Fredricks (Dancer)
Margaux Marielle-Tréhoüart (Dancer)
Laura K. Nicoll (Dancer)
Effi Bowen (Dancer)
Bronwyn Lace (Guest Dramaturg)
Patricia Margarita Hernández (Guest Dramaturg)
Ato Moiloa (Director of Photography, Johannesburg)
Carlos Cardona, Sophia de Baun (Directors of Photography, New York)
Michael Höppner (Director of Photography, Berlin)
JD Samson (Sound Design)
Hand to Mouth: DE-SUICIDE
October 21–November 21, 2021
Free and Open to the Public: Thursday–Sunday, 1–6pm
Proof of Vaccination and Masking Required for Entry
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150 First Avenue
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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 800-273-8255 (Available 24 hours)