DRAGONFLY / ROBIN LAVERNE WILSON | Conceptual Artist
DRAGONFLY // Robin LaVerne Wilson [she/they] was born in Detroit, Michigan; raised in San Antonio, Texas; and has been a resident of the NYC Metro since 2003. She descends from enslaved Africans who rooted themselves in Alabama and Georgia after the end of the first American Civil War. She is the Gen X daughter of a career US Army combat medic (Korea and Viet Nam), and a military wife/homemaker/non-domestic cleaner. The unresolved intergenerational traumas of race, class, gender, and sexuality inform her work as a conceptual, multidisciplinary artist.
Dragonfly interweaves a lifetime of professional experiences in radio, film, stage and street theater, photography, design, journalism, spoken word, music, activism, facilitation, and guerilla marketing. She has studied with Linda Montano, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and Sharon Bridgforth; multiple collaborations with Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens; and a decade of community leadership and performance with Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir.
Dragonfly has guest lectured and facilitated for New York University, Adelphi University, UC Santa Cruz, and St. Joseph’s University. She earned a $41,000+ debt for her magna cum laude honors BA degree from Rutgers University, and is a candidate for an MA in Applied Theatre from CUNY, pending thesis completion.
The genesis of Absconded Project was made possible through an extended residency with Grace Exhibition Space, and the expanded scope and audience are nurtured by Hemispheric Institute.
JOY BROOKE FAIRFIELD | Developmental Dramaturg
Dr. Joy Brooke Fairfield is a scholar/artist working at the intersection of interdisciplinary contemporary performance and theatre for social change. At Rhodes, she teaches practical classes in creative work (Acting, Directing, Dramatic Writing) as well as research-focused courses utilizing methodologies from performance studies, post-colonial literary analysis, and critical theory. Her current research project examines unbinding “wedlock performances” and the fugitive intimacies creatively crafted by those excluded from state-sanctioned marriage. www.rhodes.edu/bio/joy-brooke-fairfield
SABURA RASHID | Director
Sabura Rashid’s earliest work in theater includes performing as a youth at the Harlem School of the Arts under the guidance of the late Marantha Quick. Sabura’s work has been read and performed at various venues around the city including The National Black Theater Festival (Winston-Salem, NC); Harlem 21 Playwrights at the Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art; and The Theater For the New City, where Sabura has enjoyed a creative home for several years. Sabura is currently working on several new plays including one about the life of Elizabeth Keckley, and is currently directing a staged reading of Class by Gloria Browne-Marshall.
AK JANSEN | Costume Designer
Born in the Netherlands, based in Brooklyn, Ak Jansen’s sculptures, ceramics, soft sculptures, and sewn drawings occupy queerness on poetic and political terms, and honor queer community’s ethic of creative self-making. Recent exhibitions include a solo show, WE’RE HERE, at Ivy Brown Gallery; group shows at 601 Artspace, and South Etna, and collaborations with poet Ariana Reines, and Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir. He is a Wolff Ravenal Fellowship recipient, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, and is currently teaching sculpture at Brooklyn College. www.akjansen.com
GRACESON ABREU | Creative Collaborator
LAU MALAVER | Creative Studio Assistant
Grace, n. – simple elegance or refinement of movement
Grace Period – an extended period granted as a special favor
The Three Graces (Greek Mythology) – charm, grace, and beauty
GRACE EXHIBITION SPACE | Artist Residency Sponsor
Opened in 2006, Grace Exhibition Space is devoted exclusively to Performance Art. We offer an opportunity to experience visceral and challenging works by the current generation of international performance artists whether emerging, mid-career or established. Our events are presented on the floor, not on a stage, dissolving the boundary between artist and viewer. This is how performance art is meant to be experienced and our mission is the glorification of performance art. Grace Exhibition Space presents over 30 curated live performance art exhibitions each year, showcasing new work by more than 400 performance artists from across the United States and the world since 2006.
Grace Exhibition Space for International Performance Art Space IRS tax-exempt 501(c)3 status in 2015.
HEMISPHERIC INSTITUTE | Sponsorship & Documentation
The Hemispheric Institute [Hemi] gathers artists, scholars, writers, learners, and activists from across the Americas. Hemi focuses on social justice and research politically engaged culture and performance. The institute shares this work in digital archives and amplify it through dialogues and public scholarship, residencies, publications, and gatherings.
HemiTV is the Hemispheric Institute’s new portal for live streaming and virtual programming, developed for the Zoom era and beyond.
This performance was supported by the generous donations of time and labor from the collaborative team; an extended artist residency with Grace Exhibition Space; the promotion, documentation, livestream and archival support of Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics; and self-funding from the remains of the artist’s $1200 federal economic stimulus check.