This event is free and open to the public.
Social distancing expected and implored.
ABSCONDED is a work that honors the life and legacy of Ona Maria Judge Staines through the creation of a living monument that moves through the streets of New York City. Ona Judge was born into slavery before the American Revolution. She was a seamstress and Martha Washington’s body servant and “pet.” During Washington’s second term, on May 21, 1796 at age 22, Judge quietly absconded from Philadelphia on a ship to New Hampshire as the Washington’s ate dinner. With the help of Free Black and abolitionist communities, she evaded capture for the rest of her life.
In the work, DRAGONFLY (Robin LaVerne Wilson / Miss Justice Jester) embodies Judge in moving-monumental form as she walks the streets, interacting with historical figures and markers, as well as unscripted elements encountered in the procession. The work is a meditation on the perpetual state of fugitivity as freedom for the marooned members of the African Diaspora, offering a voice from the past to unbuild the mythologies surrounding the United States’ celebrated tyrants.
#onajudge #fugitiva #abscondedproject #nevercaught #ejectionday #ejectionday2020 #christophercolumbus #teddyroosevelt #frederickdouglass #colonization #decolonization #lincolncenter #abrahamlincoln #columbuscircle #georgewashington #marthawashington #enslavedwomen #slavery #reparations #blackwomen #blackhistory #americanhistory #ushistory #centralpark #manhattan #decolonizethisplace #takethemdown #streetperformance #streettheatre #streettheater #livingstatue #publicart #dragonflyness #robinlavernewilson #graceexhibitionspace #hemisphericinstitute #rutgersnewark #rutgersalum #blacklivesmatter #BLM
|12:00pm||Seneca Village in Central Park|
|12:20pm||The Teddy Roosevelt Statue at the Museum of Natural History|
|12:30pm||Frederick Douglass Statue at the New York Historical Society|
|12:35pm||Columbus Avenue Promenade|
|12:50pm||Columbus Avenue & Broadway intersection|
|1:00pm||San Juan Hill — Lincoln Center|
|1:30pm||Columbus Circle & Trump International Hotel|
Watch HEMITV LIVESTREAM for current location during performance.
Joy Brooke Fairfield
Dr. Joy Brooke Fairfield is a scholar/artist working at the intersection of interdisciplinary contemporary performance and theatre for social change. At Rhodes, she teaches practical classes in creative work (Acting, Directing, Dramatic Writing) as well as research-focused courses utilizing methodologies from performance studies, post-colonial literary analysis, and critical theory. Her current research project examines unbinding “wedlock performances” and the fugitive intimacies creatively crafted by those excluded from state-sanctioned marriage.
Sabura Rashid’s earliest work in theater includes performing as a youth at the Harlem School of the Arts under the guidance of the late Marantha Quick. Sabura’s work has been read and performed at various venues around the city including The National Black Theater Festival (Winston-Salem, NC); Harlem 21 Playwrights at the Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art; and The Theater For the New City, where Sabura has enjoyed a creative home for several years. Sabura is currently working on several new plays including one about the life of Elizabeth Keckley, and is currently directing a staged reading of Class by Gloria Browne-Marshall.
Born in the Netherlands, based in Brooklyn, Ak Jansen’s sculptures, ceramics, soft sculptures, and sewn drawings occupy queerness on poetic and political terms, and honor queer community’s ethic of creative self-making. Recent exhibitions include a solo show, WE’RE HERE, at Ivy Brown Gallery; group shows at 601 Artspace, and South Etna, and collaborations with poet Ariana Reines, and Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir. He is a Wolff Ravenal Fellowship recipient, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, and is currently teaching sculpture at Brooklyn College.
This performance was supported by the generous donations of time and labor from the collaborative team; an extended artist residency with Grace Exhibition Space; the promotion, documentation, livestream and archival support of Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics; and self-funding from the remains of the artist’s $1200 federal economic stimulus check.
Ebony Noelle Golden
Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Noelle Lorraine Williams
Stacy Lynn Smith
Your tangible enthusiasm for the long and wide vision for :: ABSCONDED PROJECT :: is welcomed. All contributions support the impact and longevity of this synergistic fusion of art, history, and activism. Grace Exhibition Space is the 501(c)(3) umbrella.
Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the foundational text that inspires and guides this project. I encourage you to support Mahogany Books, a Black-owned business, when purchasing your copy.
YOUNG READERS EDITION
(I highly recommend that people of all ages read both versions, as the Young Readers edition is a powerfully written complement to the scholarly version.)
Did you witness the first ABSCONDED?
Please take a moment to share your thoughts and feedback.
The HD performance documentation will be edited into an archival video. Meantime, here are links to public livestreams.
Inaugural Moving Monument Ritual for Ona Maria Judge Staines
Unpaid Labor Day
Monday, September 7, 2020
12pm – 1:30pm EDT
(Social distancing expected and implored)
12pm — Federal Hall
12:20pm — NYSE
12:40 — NYSE to St. Paul’s Chapel
1:00 — St. Paul’s Chapel to African Burial Ground
MOVEMENT // SOUND // STILLNESS // SILENCE
Ona Judge was born into slavery before the American Revolution. She was a seamstress and Martha Washington’s body servant and “pet.” While George was serving his second term, on May 21, 1796 at age 22, she quietly absconded from Philadelphia on a ship to New Hampshire as they ate dinner. With the help of the Free Black and abolitionist communities, she lived as a fugitive for the rest of her life. This ritual is the first in a living monument series to a forgotten Founding Mother.
#onajudge #oneyjudge #unpaidlaborday #georgewashington #marthawashington #enslavedwomen #slavery #reparations #blackwomen #blackhistory #americanhistory #ushistory #federalhall #NYSE #stpaulchapel #africanburialground #wallstreet #lowermanhattan decolonizethisplace #takethemdown #streetperformance #streettheatre #streettheater #livingstatue #publicart #blacklivesmatter #BLM #robinlavernewilson #rutgersnewark #rutgersalum #dragonflyness #graceexhibitionspace
Sabura Rashid – director
Joy Brooke Fairfield – developmental dramaturg
Kevin Powell [Glasgow] – costume consultant
Ak Jansen – costume fabricator
Gregory Corbino – associate dramaturg
Jill McDermid – institutional producer
Johnny Fego – video producer
Steve Maing – video director
Graceson Abreu – associate dramaturg
Rudy Malveaux – outreach consultant
Marisol Valle – residency maintenance
Valerie Sharpe – public relations
Darryl Aiken-Afam – security
Keisha – mascot
Amy Miyang Ginter
Dee Dee Maucher
Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Ebony Noelle Golden
Mary Dean Wilson
Pop the Balloon Man
Raquel de Anda
Stacy Lynn Smith
Squad Goals Collective
The Mighty Gareth
Tracey Conyer Lee
This performance was supported by the generous donation of labor of the collaborative team, an extended artist residency with Grace Exhibition Space, and funded from the artist’s $1200 federal economic stimulus check.
Your tangible enthusiasm for the long and wide vision for :: ABSCONDED PROJECT :: is welcomed. All contributions support the impact and longevity of this synergistic fusion of art, history, and activism.