A 13-hour durational performance by Raegan Truax with sound by Derek Phillips. Begins March 11th at noon, ends March 12th at 1 a.m. (EST).
The performance will occur over a consecutive 13-hours. During the 13-hours Truax will not leave the performance space.
Recitation will be live-streamed online at hav.to/recitation and open to the Haverford College community for in-person viewing following COVID-19 guidelines for social distancing. Both virtual and live audiences are invited to come and go as you please.
Recitation is a cacophony of grief created from a prompt: Write a letter to someone in your life that has passed away.
Since 2019, an international array of artists, nurses, teachers, strangers, and intimates, took up Truax’s prompt to write a letter to the dead. Several creative prompts followed, until each letter was translated over time into sound, movement, statement, space, rhythm, and surprise.
Now, set amidst a global pandemic, Recitation is layered with images, objects, audio recordings and materials siphoned from years of letters, conversations, and creative exchanges. Occurring over 13-hours, the durational performance invites a suspended moment (of discord) as Truax attunes to recitations on how to grieve.
Raegan Truax is a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow at the John B. Hurford ‘60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Visual Studies
Thanks to Matthew Seamus Callinan, Alex Savoth, Charles Woodard, Claudia Kent, and Haverford College Arboretum.
How to Watch
To view Recitation in person, members of the Bi-College community may visit the VCAM Lower Create Space 006 between March 11th at Noon EST and March 12th at 1 a.m. EST. Please note that OneCards will be required to access the VCAM building. Please remain masked and note any safety signage posted near the Create Space outlining attendance limits and social distancing protocols.
To view Recitation online, please use one of the two YouTube livestreams.
Friday March 12
4:00 p.m. EST
Raegan Truax will participate in a special hour long talkback conversation with Boston-based artist Marilyn Arsem and Angela Hennessy, Oakland-based artist and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts.
Photo: Patrick Morarescu
Raegan Truax is an artist-scholar whose research manifests in live performance, practice-based experiments, and writing. Her artistic work and scholarship often coalesce to explore a sense of untimeliness and the ways untimely bodies labor to create space for radical unrest. She is currently working on her manuscript "Durational Performance: Temporalities of the Untimely Body," which focuses on global women artists who bend, suspend, queer, and reclaim time as a political material.
An accomplished durational performance artist with an international profile, Truax’s work has been included within The Marina Abramović Institute’s Immaterial archive and presented at Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (ZK/U) in Berlin and Cité internationale des Arts in Paris. She has also performed at Centro Negra with AADK in Blanca Spain, SOMArts in San Francisco, grüntaler9 in Berlin, Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City, the Performance Arts Institute in San Francisco, and The New Museum in New York City. Her recent performances include Citation, which was performed for 37 consecutive hours at CounterPulse in San Francisco, Sloughing, which included 35 performers and occurred across 19 different locations in the Bay Area over 28-days, and a 76-day piece, Stay in Place, that was performed in her living room at the onset of COVID-19.
In 2019, Truax began working on a series of 12+ hour performances conceptualized around public mourning and collective grief. The first performance in this series, all the nothing, took place at Artists’s Television Access in San Francisco in 2019. Recitation continues this work and investigation.
Truax is currently a Mellon Post- Doctoral Fellow in the John B. Hurford ‘60 Center for the Arts and Humanities and Visiting Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at Haverford College. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies (Stanford University), an MA in Performance Studies (NYU) and an MA in Gender Politics (NYU). She teaches courses in Performance Art, Performance Theory and Practice, and The Art of Duration. She is currently teaching a new course developed for Haverford, “Untimely Art and Performance.”
Photo: Jamie Lyons
Derek Phillips is a composer and sound artist based in San Francisco. His work has been performed at The Asian Art Museum, The De Young Museum, The Exit Theater, The Garage, Kunst-Stoff Arts, The Performance Art Institute (SF), Jack Arts (NY), Z/KU (Berlin), Sidney R. Yates Gallery in the Chicago Cultural Center (IL) and Stanford University. He studied literature at UC San Diego.
Photo: Jordan Hutchings
Marilyn Arsem has been creating and performing live events for more than forty years, and has presented her work in thirty countries around the globe. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, she also teaches performance art workshops internationally.
Many of her works are durational in nature, minimal in actions and materials, and often created in response to specific sites, engaging with the immediate landscape and materiality of the location, its history, use or politics.
Arsem was the 2015 recipient of the Maud Morgan Prize at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she presented 100 Ways to Consider Time, 100 different 6-hour performances on the nature of time, over 100 consecutive days from November 9, 2015 to February 19 2016.
A book on her work, Responding to Site: The Performance Work of Marilyn Arsem, edited by Jennie Klein and Natalie Loveless, has recently been published by Intellect Books of the UK.
Angela Hennessy is an Oakland based artist and Co-founder of See Black Womxn. She is an Associate Professor at California College of the Arts where teaches courses on visual and cultural narratives of death and textile theory. Through writing, studio work, and performance, her practice questions assumptions about Death and the Dead themselves. She uses a spectrum of color and other phenomena of light to expose mythologies of identity. Ephemeral and celestial are forms constructed with every day gestures of domestic labor—washing, wrapping, stitching, weaving, brushing, and braiding.
In 2015, she survived a gunshot wound while interrupting a violent assault on the street in front of her house. Her manifesto, The School of the Dead, was written in the following months of recovery. Alternating between poem, prayer, and call to action, The School of the Dead is in development as an educational program for aesthetic and social practices that mediate the boundary between the living and the dead. She lectures and teaches workshops nationally.
As a hospice volunteer, she has worked with families on home funerals, death vigils, and grief rituals. She is certified in the Grief Recovery Method and trained with Final Passages and the International End of Life Doula Association. She serves on the advisory boards of Recompose and Death Salon. She lectures and teaches workshops nationally.
Her work has been featured in Sculpture Magazine, The New Yorker, Nat Brut, Surface Design Journal, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture and recently in exhibitions at The Museum of the African Diaspora, Pt. 2 Gallery, and Southern Exposure. She has upcoming exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and the Oakland Museum of California. She is a San Francisco Artadia Award winner and has participated in Facebook AIR program and the Mesa Refuge Writer’s Residency.