Co-created by Ogemdi Ude and Sydney Mieko King
In this BRIClab residency, Ogemdi Ude and Sydney Mieko King will work on their new piece, Living Relics.
Living Relics is a multidisciplinary project reimagining “death masks” – plaster casts created to record likenesses of the dead – by creating an immersive altar space.
Ogemdi Ude, Living Relics, Installation View
The altar will contain plaster molds of the body, photographs, projections of dances that reflect on grief, nostalgic soundscapes, and space for movement within. The residency will feature workshops open to the public during which the artists will facilitate a dance practice that identifies grief in the body through activations of weight, momentum, and stillness; after, participants are invited to create plaster molds to externalize this grief and to contribute to the altar.
Living Relics integrates Ude’s research in processing grief and communing with the dead through movement, and King’s work in understanding the body through investigations of surface, trace and photographic process. As collaborators – and in their individual practices – they have demonstrated radical approaches to working with the body and contending with the stories buried within it.
Living Relics examines the precarity of BIPOC bodies, amplified by instances of death and loss that enshroud our daily life. As the pandemic has stripped us of opportunities for communal mourning, this work creates space for individuals to address the weight they carry. We ask: What experiences are you bringing with you? What memories and sensations? What grief? Living Relics focuses on making the immaterial physical, so that we can see it, touch it, and move forward with it.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ogemdi Ude (Co-creator) is a Nigerian-American dance artist, educator, and doula based in Brooklyn, New York. Her performances focus on Black femme legacies and futures, grief, and memory. She aims to incite critical engagement with embodied Black history as a means to imagine Black futurity. Her work has been presented at Recess Art, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Danspace Project, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, Movement Research at the Judson Church, and for BAM’s DanceAfrica Festival. In collaboration with Rochelle Wilbun she facilitates AfroPeach, a series of free dance workshops for Black postpartum people and serves as Head of Movement for Drama at Professional Performing Arts School. She is a 2021 Laundromat Project Artist-in-Residence and 2021 LMCC Creative Engagement Grantee. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English from Princeton University. @gemgemdi
Sydney Mieko King (Co-creator) is a Brooklyn-based artist working primarily in large format photography. Her work explores the physicality of photography, its relationship to the body, and its potential to create new realities and histories. Her work has been shown at the International Center of Photography Museum, the Broodthaers Society of America, the Dean Collection, Chashama, Wallworks Gallery, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and others. She has held residencies at the Yale Norfolk School of Art, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and Recess Art. King graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in Art and Archaeology in 2017. She is a 2021 En Foco Fellow and recipient of a 2021 Winter Innovate Grant. She is currently an MFA candidate at the Yale School of Art. @sydney.m.king