Zwoisy Mears-Clarke // “Blueprint I” // February-April 2018
“How do we form community, a new sense of one when the old one has been lost?”
At the start of each work, Zwoisy Mears-Clarke remains in wonder and thereby tied to the question of how ‘community’ is formed, always attempting to go at this question from a new and embodied/physical angle. In the course of his project in Cologne, he will be looking at the manifestation of ‘nationhood’ culminating in the creation of a new performance. Central to this performance is the people of Germany, and we are seeking Cologne residents to share their personal German history with Zwoisy as a first step to creating the final piece. To find out how to participate, click here.
The project is interrelated to ” Blueprint – Love as a Strategy ” by Khanyisile Mbongwa (May-June).
save the dates:
Wednesday, February 7th, 7-11 pm
Wednesday, March 14th, 7-11 pm
Wednesday, April 4th, 7-11 pm
Saturday, April 14th, 5-9 pm
Red Cologne Bridges
On April 14, 2018, Zwoisy Mears-Clarke presented the work-in-progress Red Cologne Bridges, an interactive, performative, collective procession activating significant colonial sites throughout Cologne.
The piece offers engagement of present-day Cologne with the city’s historical connection to colonialism using storytelling, dance, and text. In the face of the current class-action lawsuit against Germany launched by the Ovaherero and Nama people, indigenous groups from Namibia who were the victims of genocide, forced expulsion, and concentration camp imprisonment while under German colonial rule, Red Cologne Bridges acknowledges this ongoing active struggle and the presence of history still alive today. In light of this struggle, we will engage each of our ability to give support, resist, and empower and ultimately celebrate that together.
Zwoisy Mears-Clarke (*1990, Jamaica) achieved a BA in Engineering and Dance from Oberlin College, USA, as well as a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University, USA. He is a choreographer and Live Art artist.
My personal immigration background – from Jamaica to the United States at 13, and from the United States to Germany at 21 – sensitized me to the many social structures that fracture and alienate people from one another. What is it that’s blocking us from meeting one another as we actually are? I use the expanded potentiality of the choreographic space to confront the forms of oppression that sabotage human interaction both structurally and interpersonally. Dance offers us temporary environments that can suspend the everyday duress of racism, colonial nostalgia, nationalism and prejudice, creating opportunities to move differently. Through choreography, I desire to open encounters that might otherwise seem unreachable. Every work I makes involves a layering of stories – my own memories, those of others I have spoken with during the process of making a work, and those of the viewer. My presentations often take place in non-traditional art spaces like galleries, often in public space and outdoors. Moving between spoken and movement languages, and beyond the proscenium stage, my choreographies give us the opportunity to meet each other – and ourselves – anew.