Only Remains Remain uses the structure of a Sophoclean chorus to create an elegy for the hundreds of unidentified migrants buried in mass graves in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Brooks County, Texas. Working with an ensemble of 15 performers, Powell explores the mournful potential of the voice. Through a collaborative process, the work utilizes pitch, intonation, breath, movement, and silence to embody a contemporary tragedy drawn from the story of Antigone. The chorus of women seeks to recognize the lives of those laid to rest as unknowns by addressing the silence of their burial and our complicity and grief in the process.
Between the two performances on Saturday, October 23 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., Powell will lead a discussion with theorists and scholars around the topic of ambiguous loss, making connections between the ongoing tragedy in Brooks County and the COVID-19 pandemic. The artist will be in conversation with Cinthya Briones, artist and anthropologist; Alexandra Delano Alonso, Chair of Global Studies, The New School; Benjamin Nienass, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Law, Montclair State University; and Jamieson Webster, Professor, The New School for Social Research; moderated by Alex Sloane, Associate Curator of Performance and Programs, MOCA. The conversation will take place in Homeroom.
Choral Director: Samuel Budin
Costumes: Liz Altman
VW Performance welcomes visitors to participate in live art including performance, movement, music, theater, comedy, and other time-based experiences created by artists, scholars, activists, and other cultural instigators at all career stages. The program supports work by artists responding to contemporary social and political issues through a wide variety of creative and critical lenses, often through commissions and the development of new work. With a focus on networks of artists that take risks, experiment, and blur and break traditional genre boundaries, VW Performance embraces entire communities that create and sustain artistic practice in and around New York City in particular.
Since its founding in 1976, MoMA PS1 has offered audiences one of the most extensive programs of live performance in the world, recently presenting work by and with artists and cultural figures including 8 Ball Community, Karen Finley, Arca, Mark Leckey, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Genesis Breyer P. Orridge, Hannah Black, Jace Clayton, Doreen Garner, Jonathan González, and Susanne Bartsch. VW Performance is a continuation of the VW Sunday Sessions performance series.
VW Performance at MoMA PS1 is made possible by Volkswagen of America, celebrating ten years of support for performance at PS1 in 2021.
Dance programming as part of VW Performance is supported in part by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
Only Remains Remain is also made possible by Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.