Call & Response

Summer & Fall 2018

CITIZEN (2016) by Reggie Wilson Fist and Heel Performance Group ©Aitor Mendilibar Raja Feather Kelly
CITIZEN (2016) by Reggie Wilson Fist and Heel Performance Group ©Aitor Mendilibar Raja Feather Kelly

Call & Response is a summer-long project that gathers a community of artists who share a commitment to the radical Black imagination as a means to re-examine the past and imagine a better future. Many have a history of working individually and collaboratively at Lynden: choreographer Reggie Wilson, visual artist Folayemi Wilson, filmmaker Portia Cobb, textile artist Arianne King Comer, and chef/food anthropologist Scott Barton. Others are new this summer: poet Duriel E. Harris, visual artist Tyanna Buie.

Working with artists, scholars, educators, and community members, we have been imagining a space for artists of color working across disciplines to celebrate the radical Black imagination in both form and content. Reggie Wilson’s 2015 residency and performance of Moses(es) and Folayemi’s Eliza’s Peculiar Cabinet of Curiosities have redefined Lynden as a place where Black creativity is nurtured and celebrated, and where its role as a “unique technology of Black agency, resistance, and survival” (Folayemi) is being explored. With Call and Response, we expand these conversations into other marginalized communities that are actively addressing citizenship and belonging in their daily lives.

Related Exhibitions
Arianne King Comer: Ibile's Voice, June 3-July 3
Arianne King Comer + Others: Ibile's Voices, July 3-August 19
Tyanna Buie: Im•Positioned, August 26-December 2
Related Events
Family Workshop: Eliza's Peculiar Cabinet of Curiosities, June 3, 12:30-2:30 pm
Writing in the Light of Death: Withness & Experiments in Joy with Duriel E. Harris, June 6-8, 1-4 pm
Arianne King Comer Open Studio Schedule, July 5-July 25, times vary
Family Workshop: IBILE!, July 8, 12:30-2:30 pm
The Garden Project with Scott Barton & Portia Cobb, July 14, 10:30 am-4 pm
Performance on the Porch: Kavon Cortez Jones, July 14, 4 pm
The Garden Project with Scott Barton & Portia Cobb, July 15, 2-4 pm
Family Free Day: Call and Response, July 22, 10 am-4 pm
Performance on the Porch: Nickel & Rose, July 22, 4 pm
Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group: Citizen, July 28, 2 pm
Performance on the Porch: Portia Cobb, August 11, 4 pm
Talk and Tasting with Scott Barton & Portia Cobb, September 29, 3-4:30 pm
Call and Response: A Conversation with Tyanna Buie, Folayemi Wilson, and Portia Cobb, November 17, 3-4:30 pm

What began in unique projects with Reggie Wilson and Folayemi has grown into an approach to programming that is cross-disciplinary, community-focused, artist-driven—and that places the voices of artists of color at its center. Folayemi’s call to performers to respond to her work brought Tomeka Reid, Viktor Le, Honey Pot Performance, and Anna Martine Whitehead to Lynden and transformed Eliza’s Cabinet into a site of public programming. Last summer, Cobb’s residency responded to Eliza by conjuring her own Gullah-Geechee ancestors; Cobb planted Sea Island staples in Lizzie’s Garden and invited Comer to pilot IBILE! and Benjamin Seabrook to perform You Da Gullah/Geechee Too, a collection of a cappella songs and spoken pieces. Barton, who first joined us at Lynden in 2016 for Eliza's Cabinet: History, Objects, and the Black Imagination, the symposium following Folayemi’s project, returned to talk okra and the migration of movement, bodies, and food across the African Diaspora with Cobb and Reggie Wilson. Arsene DeLay came up from New Orleans and SistaStrings came from across town to perform on the porch of the cabinet.

Two interlocking residencies are at the heart of this summer’s programming. Starting July 9, Wilson will remake Citizen, his latest work, for a large, intergenerational cast, with a performance on July 28. For IBILE!: Ancestral Call in Cloth (July 3-28), Comer will open an all-ages, drop-in, indigo-dyeing workshop, filling Lynden’s gallery with her work and that of community members. Comer will work with Barton and Cobb to compile community recipes related to Lizzie’s Garden, Cobb’s project, in a cloth cookbook and will design costumes for Citizen’s expanded cast. Cobb will return to cultivate Lizzie’s Garden and perform; Buie, a 2012 Nohl Fellow, will open a responsive solo exhibition on August 26; and Barton will prepare and share a harvest story meal from Lizzie’s produce.

Public activities include exhibitions, workshops, a Free Family Day, and several performances. There will be moments for reflection: a public roundtable and an invitational postscript gathering of artists and scholars. In the fall, we’ll connect with For Freedoms, a 50-state platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists, as we continue to explore what freedom looks like in the 21st century.

Call & Response is made possible with the generous support of:

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