June 11, 2019 - New Museum - Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, Sable Elyse Smith: Mirror/Echo/Tilt
June 11, 2019

New Museum

Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, Sable Elyse Smith, Mirror/Echo/Tilt, 2019. Digital photograph, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artists.

Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, Sable Elyse Smith
Mirror/Echo/Tilt
June 18–October 6, 2019

New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY 10002
USA

www.newmuseum.org

Mirror/Echo/Tilt is a performance and pedagogical project created by artists Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, and Sable Elyse Smith to examine the language and gestures used to describe experiences of arrest and incarceration. Culminating a four-year collaboration between the artists, the exhibition premieres a multichannel video installation that depicts performances they developed with participants in intensive workshops and filmed largely in decommissioned prisons, empty courthouses, and other psychically charged architectural spaces in New York City.

Drawing on principles from speculative fiction, somatic movement, cognitive psychology, and radical theater, the artists and participants use visual storytelling to reframe their experiences and open up new possibilities for resisting systems of control. Fragmented, doubled, and slowed movements de-familiarize mainstream narratives about carcerality. The project’s title, Mirror/Echo/Tilt, is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’s famous novel Don Quixote (1605–15), which was written from prison. Much like Cervantes’s novel, Mirror/Echo/Tilt complicates the boundary between fiction and reality, and explores how radically shifting the way we tell stories can challenge dominant power structures.

The project also takes the form of a living curriculum practiced with court-involved youth, formerly incarcerated adults, and individuals otherwise vulnerable to the justice system. The curriculum focuses on undoing the language around culturally embedded conceptions of criminality and will serve as an open resource that lives beyond the artists and the exhibition.

Mirror/Echo/Tilt is the New Museum’s fourth annual Summer Art and Social Justice residency and exhibition. It features private workshops for community partners, public forums and readings, and a resource room with visions for justice contributed by visitors and facilitated by the New Museum Teen Apprentice Program, a summer youth employment program.

This exhibition is curated by Emily Mello, Associate Director of Education, and Sara O’Keeffe, Associate Curator.

Public programs

A Possibility that Exists Alongside: Gallery Tour with Shaun Leonardo and Poetry Reading by Nicole Sealey
Thursday, July 18, 6pm
Artist Shaun Leonardo will lead an intimate walk-through of the exhibition and residency Mirror/Echo/Tilt, followed by a reading by poet Nicole Sealey, author of the critically acclaimed debut collection Ordinary Beast (2017).

Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, and Sable Elyse Smith in Conversation with Nicole R. Fleetwood
Thursday, July 25, 7pm
Artists Melanie Crean, Shaun Leonardo, and Sable Elyse Smith will discuss their four-year project Mirror/Echo/Tilt with moderator Nicole R. Fleetwood, a writer, curator, and professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University. Fleetwood is the author of the forthcoming book Marking Time: Art in the Era of Mass Incarceration.

Convening for Contemporary Art, Education, and Social Justice
Thursday, July 25–Saturday July 27
Now in its second year, this three-day Convening will offer educators, teaching artists, and organizers a chance to engage in workshops, discussions, and resources exploring art and transformative justice. As part of the program, artists Melanie Crean and Ayodamola Okunseinde will facilitate a workshop on design futuring.

A Possibility that Exists Alongside: Gallery Tour with Melanie Crean and Poetry Reading by Jess Saldaña
Thursday, August 22, 6pm
Artist Melanie Crean will lead an intimate walk-through of the exhibition Mirror/Echo/Tilt, followed by a reading by poet Jess Saldaña.

A Possibility that Exists Alongside: Gallery Tour with Sable Elyse Smith
Thursday, September 12, 6pm
Artist Sable Elyse Smith will lead an intimate walk-through of the exhibition Mirror/Echo/Tilt.

So the Body May Think, Feel, Move: Healing, Justice, and Performative Embodiment
Thursday, September 12, 7pm
This panel discussion will bring together Bryan Doerries, artistic director of Theater of War; Ras Cutlass Mashramani, cofounder of the sci-fi collective Metropolarity; and psychologist Isaiah Pickens to consider strategies for envisioning new narratives toward healing and justice.

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