Conjuring with the Archive
As an artist equally concerned with truth (towards shaping reality towards justice) and magic (towards employing imaginative and symbolic properties to shape reality towards justice), Nia Witherspoon finds conjuring with the archive to be an organic ancestral practice. This Living Gallery will share a short talk about how this methodology informs Witherspoon’s own practice, and then engage participants in a workshop where they can add conjure to their own archival or documentary obsessions.
ABOUT NIA WITHERSPOON
Nia O. Witherspoon is a black queer writer/director, vocalist/composer, and cultural worker. Witherspoon has been described as “especially fascinating” by Backstage Magazine, and named in Phoenix’s “Top 100” Artists. Witherspoon’s work creates contemporary ritual-space grounded in African-diaspora sensibilities to speak to the issues of our times. Currently in residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Witherspoon has received New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Playwriting/Directing Fellowship, BRIC’s Premiere Residency, a “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV, and Theatre Fund (NYFA) grant, Astraea Foundation’s Global Arts Fund Grant, a Brooklyn Arts Fund Grant, Downtown Urban Theatre Festival’s “Audience Award,” Lambda Literary’s Emerging Playwriting Fellowship, and a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship. Her works, including MESSIAH, The Dark Girl Chronicles, YOUMINE, and SHE have been developed or featured at BRIC, HERE, NYTW, National Black Theatre, BAAD, Dixon Place, The Fire This Time Festival, Judson Church, and Movement Research. Witherspoon holds a PhD from Stanford, and is currently the Multi-media Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University. She has works commissioned in the 2019-20 season by The Shed, Playwright’s Realm, La Mama ETC, and JACK, and has been recently awarded a Jerome Fellowship and a HARP Residency at HERE Arts Center.
Living Gallery, a monthly program curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa and produced in the Gibney Gallery, presents live performance of storytelling, monologues, spoken word, stand-up, or creative talks.
Photo by Zavé Martohardjono.
Gibney 280 Broadway is accessible via elevator from the main entrance at 53A Chambers Street.
We welcome the opportunity to make this event more accessible. Please refrain from wearing scented products, so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us. Please request ASL interpreting, audio description, or open captioning 30 days before the event or submit other requests by completing our Access Requests and Inquiries Form or calling 646.837.6809 (Voice only).