Félicia Atkinson: The Candle (La Bougie) / Afrikan Sciences & Sassacyprigo
Saturday, March 31st, ISSUE presents Parisian-born artist Félicia Atkinson presenting a brand new performance involving an imaginary dialogue between the poems of Francis Ponge (1899-1988) and texts of her own, in French and in English, accompanied by electronics, voice and piano. The evening also features Afrikan Sciences & Sassacyprigo presenting a performance of nuanced soundscapes, mindful movements, and rhythms that conjure different temporalities.
Atkinsons distinct practice incorporates diffuse poetic atmospheres and pointillistically rendered sounds that constantly suspend and re-introduce themselves. Often moving to emphasize the relationship between music and sculpture -- sound and its spatialization -- Atkinsons work concentrates upon the implicit narrative of a poetics of things happening in sound. Here, like in the poems of Ponge, a profound readymade empathy toward objects, technology, and music emerges. Atkinson is also co-director for the label Shelter Press alongside Bartolomé Sanson, which has released works from Ben Vida, Gábor Lázár, Tomoko Sauvage, D/P/I, Stephen OMalley, and others.
"La nuit parfois ravive une plante singulière dont la lueur décompose les chambres meublées en massifs d'ombres." The night sometimes revives a singular plant whose glow breaks down the room furnished in masses of shadows" -- Francis Ponge, The Candle (La Bougie) in Le Parti Pris des Choses / The Nature of Things, 1942
Emerging from a long lineage of musical structures born from the difficult social and political conditions of race relations, Afrikan Sciences uses electronic instruments as a medium for open-ended explorations of form and composition across the musical linguistic heritage of African-American music, while Sassacyprigos free-form dance stylings channel intuitive action and a continuous soul survivalist strength to live free.
As a human being, I find that Im at constant battle between the imposed power structures ways of looking at freedom and actually living free, Sassacyprigo states. It is within my search for personal voice and belonging that I create.
This program is curated by writer and media theorist DeForrest Brown Jr. Concerned with speculative futures in performative contexts, Brown is part of the cataloguing space Elevator to Mezzanine and was ISSUE's 2017 Suzanne Fiol Curatorial Fellow.
Parisian-born artist Félicia Atkinsons multifaceted work embraces improvisation, science-fiction, composition, chance, noise, abstraction and poetry. Her sound palette draws from the history of electronics, musique concrète, field recordings and improvisation through the use of synthesizers, guitar and piano, abstract distortions, text-sound and infra bass. Félicias recent album Hand in Hand has generated a great deal of curiosity, excitement and intrigue, with Fact Magazine writing that Atkinson takes the dying bleat of obsolete technology, the crack and stutter of her own voice, the atonal clatter of intuitively-played instruments and sculpts them into flawless vignettes that lodge themselves deep in the psyche. Like the dystopian science fiction it references, Hand in Hand is bewitching, intense, meditative and at times, deeply unsettling. She also runs the experimental music label Shelter Press with Bartolomé Sanson. Félicia Atkinson has played in international festivals such as GRMs Presence Electronique (Paris, FR), Rewire Festival (Den Hague, NL), Novas Frequencias (Rio De Janeiro, BZ), Sound Of Stockholm (Stockholm, SE), Borderline Festival (Athens, NL). She also performed in many art venues including Lisa Cooley Gallery (New York, USA), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, FR), Kunsthal Charlottenbord (Copenhagen, DK).
Afrikan Sciences (Eric Douglas Porter) is a musical torch bearer of modern experimental composition and jazz. A self taught multi-instrumentalist and a true outsider, Porter's repertoire covers a wide spectrum of music yet defies categorial constraints -- triumphing over the limitations of electronic composition with productions and performances that feel truly organic. Porter has appeared in venues like the Blue Note (NY), Jazz Cafe (London), Prince Charles (Berlin), Jazz House (Copenhagen), Nublu (Istanbul), Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw), Unit (Japan), and Boiler Room TV to name a few. In 2011, Porter released his Means and Ways LP which brought him universal praise as one of the groundbreaking artists/albums of the year. The following year saw the release of his sophomore work Theta Wave Brain Sync, once again drawing critical praise worldwide. His benchmark release Circuitous was released in 2014 on Berlin imprint PAN transcending jazz, techno and hip hop with a pineal futurist vision.
Miasha Eunice Williams aka Sassacyprigo is an Interdisciplinary Artist and Performer from Oakland, California currently residing in Yonkers, NY. Currently, she serves as an adjunct Professor of Experimental Art Practice and Art History at Boricua College in the Bronx. She has two released albums, the first released alongside Eric Douglas Porter as the duo The Student Body Presents Arts & Sciences in 2007 on Germanys Phazzadelic Records, most recently she released her solo album, the self titled Sassacyprigo in 2017. SassaCyprigo has maintained an interpretive style that is both abstract and familiar. SassaCyprigo's experiments in music performance are her way of getting to the heart of and expressing outwardly her deepest sentiments about the planet and her experiential world.
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