The process for this work has been and is a practice of listening, adapting, healing, longing and belonging, witnessing, building, accepting, surrendering. Here I include a small selection of snippets: bibliographic references and connective links, essences of process, research and rememberings.
Gabriel Christian & Chibueze Crouch
About This Artist
Gabriel Christian is an artist bred in New York City and baking in Oakland. Their work metabolizes the vernaculars within BlaQ diaspora—futurity, afrovivalism, faggotry—through body-based live performance and poetics; moreover, they feel the bio to be an unfortunate by-product of capitalistic modes like chattel slavery.
Chibueze Crouch is a queer Nigerian-American (Igbo) actor and artist from Danbury, Connecticut (Paugussett land) currently living in Oakland, CA (Chochenyo Ohlone land). Her creative practice straddles theater and performance art, examining Diasporic longing and constructions of identity through masquerade, song, text and multidisciplinary live performance. Chibueze has performed at Brava Theater, Finnish Hall, SFSU, the National Queer Arts Festival, BAMPFA, and Crowded Fire Theater, among others. Her work is a slow trickle of blood sliding down your forearm, the sweetest juice of an overripe fruit: you almost don’t notice until it stains your good shirt, and then you can never forget where it came from.
Alexa Burrell creates collages composed of narrative film, animation and soundscapes that center the Black femme experience. She is best known for her site-specific video and sound installations in House/Full of Blackwomen, an Oakland based collective addressing the displacement and trafficking of Black women and girls.
Wesley Chavis is an interdisciplinary artist/vocalist living in New Orleans, LA. His layered explorations of vocalized prayer, site-specific sounds, and sensuous physicality transfer sensations of love and loss that flow from black communities – seeking home, rest, warmth, and God.
Stephanie Anne Johnson is a second-generation theater worker specializing in lighting design. Inspired by her mother Virginia Johnson who worked with the American Negro Theatre in N.Y., Johnson takes pride in a career that spans over four decades. Dr. Johnson is a professor in the Visual and Public Art Department at Cal State University Monterey Bay.
Celeste Martore is a spatial designer from the Bay Area. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Her most recent work was Kill, Move, Paradise at Shotgun Players in Berkeley. She is currently working on an upcoming installation for Gray Area Art & Technology that will show in early 2020.
summer fucking mason: “My goal is to always make the viewer find doubt in the ideas they find certain…I use intimate visions of my fears as the key motivating factor in my work…It is my job as an artist to raise a delicate idea into a compelling and influential piece.”
Amadia Shadow Rabbit is a Southern-bred multimedia creatrix, teacher, diviner, student of healing arts. An unfolding lifetime occupying liminal thresholds of mixed blackness, queerness, neurodivergence, bodily trauma/disability, and synesthesia, their contribution is dedicated to their great grandfather Lewis Tate, a black southern baptist pastor and medicine man in Alabama and Louisiana.
Uzo Nwankpa is a storyteller, dancer, choreographer, facilitator, entrepreneur, researcher and an advocate for healing through indigenous practices. Originally from Enugu, Nigeria, West Africa, Uzo has created diverse ways to preserve and share aspects of Igbo culture and beyond around the world through innovative workshops, speaking engagements, presentations and performances.
Rhodessa Jones is Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey. She is an actress, teacher, director, and writer. Ms. Jones is also the Director of the award winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women and HIV Circle, a performance workshop with incarcerated women and women living with HIV.
Praise Break Guest Artists
Mo Clearly (Monica Hastings-Smith), an Oakland native, is a songwriter, music teacher, performer and part of a well-respected line of local drum and dance communities (Boom Shake, Samba Funk! & Fogo Na Roupa). She teaches and studies the culture and sounds of African-rooted Carnaval music, funk and social justice actions to all ages.
Queen Reverend Mutima Imani, MPA is a Social Justice Visionary, Master Trainer and Facilitator working to Heal the Heart of Humanity by providing 21st Century Tools for Personal/Professional Development and Transformation. Highly skilled at bringing diverse groups together to resolve conflicts, Imani works with people conducting Civic Leadership Training and Restorative Justice Circles.
Europa Grace Baker-Brathwaite is a black, queer, non-binary person, currently living in San Francisco, originally from Albany, NY. Since 2012, they have been a teacher of the healing somatic practice of yoga. Europa is a poet, dancer, installation artist and cellist – taking risks to push the boundaries of praxis within these mediums.
brontë velez (they/them) is guided by the call that “black wellness is the antithesis to state violence” (Mark Anthony Johnson). as a black-latinx transdisciplinary artist, designer, trickster, and wakeworker, their eco-social art praxis lives at the intersections of black feminist placemaking & prophetic community traditions, environmental justice, and death doulaship.
Rashad Pridgen is a multidisciplinary dance artist, creative director and conceptual creator of The Global Street Dance Masquerade #gsdmq8. Recent works include: masquerade performances in collaboration with Sadie Barnette’s Eagle Creek Saloon (Institute for Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and SF LAB). For more artistry: www.soulnubian.com
SPELLLING is a Bay Area based experimental musician and multimedia artist. Her work explores themes of the afterlife, utopia, creation and death. Her debut solo music project, Pantheon of Me, was independently produced and released in September 2017 and her sophomore album, Mazy Fly, was independently produced and released in February 2019 on Sacred Bones Records.
Tyler Holmes (They/Them) is a music producer, singer-songwriter, and performance artist who uses music as a therapeutic device. Holmes creates a manic digital-age take on soul singing by blending a variety of vocal genres including R&B, Folk,Goth and Gospel. They perform with constantly changing electro-acoustic arrangement, always finding new ways to showcase an intimate horror.
WIZARD APPRENTICE (pronouns: she and/or they) is a music producer, live performer, and video artist. As a highly sensitive introvert, her multimedia projects are strategies for managing an overwhelming world. She combines song and video to create live performances that explore intimate emotional themes ranging from the challenges/triumphs of being an empath to overstimulation in the Internet Age.
jose e. abad is a queer social practice performance artist exploring queer futurity through an intersectional lens. Using dance, storytelling, and ritual, abad’s work unearths lost histories, memories, and wisdom that are held within the body that the mind has forgotten or dominant culture has erased.
Indira Allegra is re-imagining what a memorial can feel like, the scale on which it can exist and how it can function through the practices of performance, sculpture and installation. She is the 2019 Burke Prize winner and a triennial 2019-2022 Montalvo Art Center Sally and Don Lucas Artist Fellow.
Stephanie Hewett is a choreographer, movement researcher, DJ, performer, and teacher from the Bronx, New York (Lenape territory). Current movement-based research entails navigating performance through injury, pleasure frequencies, dance floor exorcisms, Detroit techno, and discovering ancestral vestiges in the body. Hewett DJ’s under the moniker, Madre Gitana.
About this Project
mouth/full explores faith in the Black body, as told through testimonies of two artists from the African Diaspora. By mining their personal relationships to spirituality within and outside religious institutions, they will create a new Mas(s) where all can feel truly whole and holy.
Paying homage to Black American spirituality and African Diasporic rites of community, the 2022 CounterPulse Edge program presents [and then we must be] by Audrey Johnson and, in partnership with Afro Urban Society, Mixtape of the Dead & Gone #1- Egwu Onwu Ahamefula by Nkeiruka Oruche + Gbedu Town Radio. This year’s Edge performances invite the audience into conversation with the land, spirits, the afterlife, and the legacies that inform the rituals and practices around them.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — CounterPulse is proud to be unveiling the new light sculpture titled “Elektra” on the façade of our building at 80 Turk St by the award-winning art and design studio FUTUREFORMS. The installation of this world-class public art installation marks the summit of CounterPulse’s current capital campaign to purchase their building in […]
Nkeiruka Oruche on ‘Mixtape of the Dead & Gone’, Proverbial Performance, and Igbo Practices of Mourning
“Traditionally, in Igbo cultures, we have had death as part of the conversation. We understand that life doesn’t end when you die. Ancestors are part of our life connection and day-to-day practice.”
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Tickets are now available for CounterPulse’s annual art party and auction Innerspace : Homecoming on Saturday May 7th, 2022. This one-night-a-year spectacular of art and performance will happen throughout CounterPulse’s building at 80 Turk Street in the Tenderloin. Don’t miss a diverse program of artists spanning many disciplines including the world […]