Lily Lines via The Washington PostMarch 4, 2019
Okwui Okpokwasili, a choreographer and performer, creates experimental productions that shed light on the experiences of women of color, particularly those of African and African American women. The daughter of Nigerian immigrants and raised in the Bronx, Okpokwasili was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2018. Along with her collaborator and husband, Peter Born, she will present in March “Adaku’s Revolt” — an interdisciplinary performance about a young black girl who fights back against imposed standards of beauty. The duo will unveil another project, “Sitting on a Man’s Head,” at the CounterCurrent Festival in April.
The New YorkerMarch 1, 2019
Lime Rickey International is the alter ego of Leyya Mona Tawil, an experimental and transdisciplinary American artist of Syrian-Palestinian descent. She invents “future folk dances,” mixing Arabic folk forms (such as dabke and tarab) with contemporary technique. She makes noisy sound art with a microphone. Sometimes she wears a green wig. The concept of “Future Faith,” her first evening-length commission, is a series of transmissions to a homeland that does not yet exist.— Brian Seibert
ElephantMarch 1, 2019
Alicia Mersy wants to save your advanced capitalist, militarized soul —well, kinda. The Montreal-bred, French-Lebanese artist who now lives in Brooklyn presents a four-part self-help series at Abrons Art Center until April 5th: Wisdom Fertiliser riffs on the language of YouTuber life coachers, clip-art, commercial graphics and news culture to reflect on whether it’s actually possible to self-actualize in such a world. “The Only Shame Is to Have Shame,” she tells us in her soothing and sensual voice. It might seem flippant at first but Mersy is serious: driven by her own heritage and time she has spent living in the Middle-East, working on local projects in Palestine in particular, her socio-political video art is well-informed and she mashes up gold chains, puffs of smoke, vases of flowers and ideologies to create fresh and unique visuals that aren’t quite like anything else.
The New York TimesFebruary 28, 2019
LIME RICKEY INTERNATIONAL at Abrons Arts Center (March 7-9, 7 p.m.). This project is the “superconsciousness” of the Arab-American artist Leyya Mona Tawil, who favors neon wigs and moody soundscapes and who creates within a genre she calls “Arab experimentalism.” In her new work, “Future Faith,” Tawil uses music and movement — especially Arab folk dances like dabke and tarab — to comment on culture, politics and identity.
Artnet NewsFebruary 19, 2019
New media artist Alicia Mersy uses the Internet as her medium, collecting images, clips, graphics, and still frames that together make up an incomplete but endlessly fascinating view of the world. In her new series WISDOM FERTILIZER, Mersy reflects how deeply fractured the global economy really is and gives insight into the crises at borders around the world.
The New York TimesFebruary 6, 2019
The battered metal desks clustered onstage at Abrons Arts Center are like a time capsule from the late 1960s, strewn with file drawers and ancient office lamps. But it’s the profusion of detritus on the desktops that really whisks us to that era: a layer of photos and news clippings — images of the Vietnam War, and of American life back then — so thick that there’s no work surface left.
This is the set (by Peiyi Wong) for Transport Group’s dynamic reimagining of Daniel Berrigan’s “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine,” and as audience members enter, we’re told we’re welcome to examine it — this messy, stubbornly tangible evidence of who we once were as a nation, and what we were doing in the world.