MoMA PS1
Respect the Runway: The Red Carpet to Mastery, 2014, at MoMA PS1 as part of VW Sunday Sessions. © 2014 MoMA PS1, New York. Photo: Charles Roussel

Sunday Sessions presents Respect the Runway: The Red Carpet to Mastery, a celebration of the history and pedagogy of New York City’s House and Ballroom scene. The event foregrounds twined notions of mastery—namely, virtuoso artistry and the labors of teaching and learning—by engaging with the history of the Ballroom community. To walk the runway is to engage a tradition and announce terms for the ongoing project of the community. The dialogue between runway and community, unlike the conventions that govern most relationships between performance and audience, weaves a thread of debate, influence, and inspiration that is the living memory of the scene.

Respect the Runway: The Red Carpet to Mastery is part of a series of events that has emerged from a multi-year investigation undertaken by the Vogue’ology collective, which includes members of New York City’s House and Ballroom scene and the sound-art collective, Ultra-red. Vogue’ology is grounded in the Ballroom scene’s history of autonomous, self-organized struggle and a shared investment in collective art practices. Among the collective’s concerns is how the history of the Ballroom scene intersects with the multiple and often divergent struggles for freedom in the United States and elsewhere. This question guided the performance of five protocols for listening to the sound of freedom undertaken at the 2012 Whitney Biennial by Arika, the Scottish experimental arts organization, in collaboration with Ultra-red and Vogue’ology.

MoMA PS1’s acclaimed VW Sunday Sessions performance series welcomes visitors to experience and participate in live art. Since its founding in 1976, MoMA PS1 has offered audiences one of the most extensive programs of live performance in the world. VW Sunday Sessions highlights artists responding to contemporary social and political issues through a wide variety of creative and critical lenses. Encompassing performance, music, dance, conversation, and film, the series develops and presents projects by established and emerging artists, scholars, activists, and other cultural instigators. With a focus on artists that blur and break traditional genre boundaries, VW Sunday Sessions embraces the communities in New York City that create and sustain artistic practice.

Since 2012, VW Sunday Sessions has presented a commissioning program resulting in new work by Trajal Harrell, Mårten Spångberg, Anne Imhof, Tobias Madison and Matthew Lutz Kinoy, Hannah Black, and Colin Self. Additionally, the VW Dome Artist Residency offers a platform for creative development and experimentation for artists at all stages of the creative process.

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Respect the Runway: The Red Carpet to Mastery is a collaboration between the Vogue’ology Collective, Arika and Ultra-red.

Vogue’ology members include: Michael Roberson Garcon, Derek Ebony Prada, Jack Mizrahi, Pony Zion Garcon, Twiggy Pucci Garcon, Frank Leon Roberts, J’Lin Lanvin, Aisha Prodigy, Alfred Hammonds, Robert Sember.

The Ballstar Weekend events are made possible by Creative Scotland, MoMA PS1, Union Theological Seminary, NY Black Pride, Georgeous Entertainment, Issue Project Room, and The Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

Sunday Sessions is organized by Jenny Schlenzka, Associate Curator with Mike Skinner, Producer, Alex Sloane, Live Programming Coordinator and Rosey Selig-Addiss, Production Assistant.

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Sunday Sessions and the VW Dome at MoMA PS1 are made possible by a partnership with Volkswagen of America.

This performance is part of VW Sunday Sessions.