New York, NY
New York, NY
REEL (2005) by Tom Pearson, is a site-specific work commissioned for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s SiteLines series at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) which turns the gaze back at the multiple levels of scrutiny within the old U.S. Customs House Rotunda. The performance explores the ideas of dominance which are inherently bricked into the architecture and puts pressure on the images of guardianship that manifest throughout–from the front-door security check point, to the hidden surveillance cameras on the wall, posted guards, and last but not least, images of colonial figures gazing down from potraits on the walls, Christopher Columbus among them. Pearson’s public offering intervenes to shift the point of view to one of a Native or integrated perspective and amplifies the dichotomies of the space by spotligting the incongruity of Native artifacts hidden behind glorified colonial facades. The projects’ goal is to warm the space, and ultimately reclaim it by the shifting power to the performers as they dive into their own questions of inheritance, and through movement both furious and nuanced, incrementally reveal the seeds of reconciliation.
Photography by Stephen Lang and Richard Termine
Created by Third Rail Projects
Choreography by Tom Pearson
Created in collaboration with and performed by: Donna Ahmadi, Marissa Nielsen-Pincus, Tom Pearson, and Mayuna Shimiz
Assistant Director: Tori Sparks
Live Score Louis Mofsie, the Heyna Second Sons with Rob Mastrianni.
Installation Design: Matt Gratz
Costume Design: Michiko Hisamoto
Production Stage Manager: Karen Oughtred
Filmed by: Kathleen Green
REEL was originally commissioned for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s SiteLines series and co-presented with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. REEL was part of the River to River Festival 2005. Material for REEL was created while in residence at LMCC’s MOVE: 133 Beekman in space generously provided by General Growth Properties, Inc. Additional support for the work came from Materials for the Arts/New York City Department of Cultural Affairs/Department of Sanitation, and Third Rail Projects with support from individual and institutional donors