Portamento: Dawn gliding into afternoon oblivion Performed by: Jeanette "Joy" Harris and Katheryn Roberts

July 25, 2024 7:00 PM
Free Event
Lawndale

About the Performance

In 2022, Harris’ parents died in a tragic accident, the details of which have never been fully understood. This performance attempts to rechoreograph her mother’s final day, replacing unknowable turns of events with a story of presence, love, and solitude. By reconfiguring silence and heat, a series of gestural landscapes lovingly places Harris in the company of her mother as they drift into the afternoon.

“Portamento: Dawn gliding into afternoon oblivion” is one iteration of Harris’ larger work INHERITANCE, a multi-disciplinary exploration of the movements and performances of relationships between singular and plural – their tension and compression; expansion and contraction; and extension and shrinkage. INHERITANCE looks at our deep desire for uniqueness in a world that both protects and prohibits its flourishing. It looks at this desire through two lenses: the private realm of family relationships, where we inherit the stories of our ancestors, and the public realm of political movements, where we inherit ideologies.

“Lovingly burdening the constellation” was the first performance in the INHERITANCE series and premiered at the Orange Show for Visionary Art in March 2024.  Kylie Sivley’s images of that performance are included in “The Big Show” exhibition at Lawndale Art Center. Documentation from “Portamento: Dawn Gliding into Afternoon Oblivion” and “Lovingly Burdening the Constellation” will be incorporated into Harris’ upcoming two-person exhibition with Molly Koehn at Throughline Collective from January 3 – February 1, 2025.

About the Artists

Jeanette “Joy” Harris is a Houston-based artist, curator, and philosopher focused on the multi-dimensionality of performance and its intersection with philosophy. She is on faculty at the University of Houston McGovern School of the Arts in the interdisciplinary program and is a member of the artist-run space Throughline Collective. Joy is particularly interested in the constellations that emerge from the discourse between Continental philosophy, dance, performance art, and vocality. Over the past 25 years, Joy has created projects that involve performance art, dance, video, photography, installation, and public engagement, and she has shown creative work regionally, nationally, and internationally. Joy has been involved in projects in Chicago, Dallas, Helsinki, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, the Netherlands, New Orleans, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, and Venice (IT). Joy has presented her research at The American Society for Aesthetics; Carleton University Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies; Centre for Applied Politics, Philosophy and Ethics at the University of Brighton; The University of Cambridge; The University of Edinburgh; The Center for Phenomenology in South Africa; Literary Landscapes: Forms of Knowledge in the Humanities at La Sorbonne Université; New Mexico Texas Philosophical Society; and Society for Italian Philosophy.

Joy is pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought at the European Graduate School. Her dissertation, under the direction of Michael Eng, explores Italian feminist philosopher Adriana Cavarero’s phenomenology of vocality alongside historical and contemporary opera practices.  She completed an MscR in art history with an emphasis on performance from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in government with an emphasis in political philosophy from Texas Woman’s University. Joy has published articles in Glasstire, Hyperallergic, Beautiful Decay, smART Magazine, and Political Animal, among others.  www.jeanettejoyharris.me@jeanette_joy_harris

Katheryn Roberts is a native Houstonian who received her BA in Theater and Dance with a concentration in dance from The University of Texas at Austin. She also performed with a variety of regional modern and jazz companies. Katheryn is the broker of a commercial real estate company and is involved in a variety of art making endeavors including social dance, like West Coast Swing, and creative writing.  She was most recently a performer and collaborator in “Lovingly burdening the constellation,” a performance at the Orange Show for Visionary Art’s Happenings series.

July 2024

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