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tsedaye makonnen


Saturday, April 21st 2018 to Saturday, November 10th 2018


Public performances/presentations Saturdays:
April 21, May 26, September 29, October 20, November 10, 2018 all at 8pm
FREE & Open to the Public

@ Panoply Performance Laboratory
104 Meserole Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206

PERFORMANCY FORUM: CIVIC REFLEX is a collective performance/social art project involving: 1) the formation of a self-reflexive collective of 20 artists/groups 2) a series of 5 public forum events and 3) an online blog substantiating and framing “civic” “civil” and “reflexive” performance practices and performative theoretics (

PERFORMANCY FORUM: REFLEJO CÍVICO es un colectivo de arte social y performance que consiste en: 1) la creación de un colectivo de 20 artistas/grupos que se comporte de manera auto-reflexiva 2) una serie de 5 eventos/foros abiertos al público 3) un blog online dedicado a proveer contexto y enmarcar teóricamente prácticas de arte performático, civil, cívico y auto-reflexivo (

The 20 artists/groups forming the CIVIC REFLEX/REFLEJO CIVICO temporary collective are:
Rina Espiritu, Pei-Ling Ho, Tsedaye Makonnen, Diane Dwyer, David Ian Bellows/Griess, Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez, @Daniel Gonzalez, Nana Ama Bentsi-Enchill (Ama BE), Aditi Natasha Kini and Amin Husain, Leopold Krist (Leopoldo Bloom), Megan Livingston, Feminist Art Group (F.A.G.), Amelia Marzec (Amelia Meta), Samantha CC (Samantha Regina), Sierra Ortega, Verónica Peña, Ada Pinkston, Lorene Bouboushian, Arantxa Araujo, Helen Yung

This temporary collective will meet on each of the five Saturdays for forum discussion and interaction 6pm-7:30pm, followed by public performances/presentations/situations at 8pm on each date:

April 21 public performances/presentations by: Diane Dwyer, Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez, Rina Espiritu

May 26 public performances/presentations by: Pei-Ling Ho, Tsedaye Makonnen, Daniel Gonzalez, Nana Ama Bentsi-Enchill

September 29 public performances/presentations by: Aditi Natasha Kini and Amin Husain, Leopold Krist, Megan Livingston, Feminist Art Group (F.A.G.)

October 20 public performances/presentations by: Amelia Marzec, Samantha CC, Sierra Ortega, Verónica Peña

November 10 public performances/presentations by: Ada Pinkston, Lorene Bouboushian, Arantxa Araujo, Helen Yung, David Ian Bellows/Griess


context/org inf0s________________>>>>_____________________<<<

CIVIC REFLEX/REFLEJO CIVICO is organized as/by Brooklyn International Performance Art Foundation (BIPAF) and Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) as a part of PERFORMANCY FORUM. Members of the temporary collective were selected through an Open Call by a peer committee convened March 8, 2018.

CIVIC REFLEX/REFLEJO CIVICO is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). This grant is distributed to the 20 artists/groups involved, allowing honorariums of $150/each. The remaining grant monies go towards toilet paper, cups, printed programs, and the project blog domain.

Brooklyn International Performance Art Foundation (BIPAF) is an anonymous entity operating as an ongoing institutional critique project. BIPAF was initiated in 2013 to produce the first and only ever month-long Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, a mass organizing endeavor that took place across 11 spaces and many public sites in Brooklyn. “BIPAF” has since been used by JACK, Leili Huzaibah and Esther Neff, and others to perform administrative, bureaucratic, and institutional activities (such as grant disbursement, letters of invitation for Visas, grant proposals, and more). BIPAF is, in and of itself, performance art.

PERFORMANCY FORUM is an exhibition platform and discursive program constructed for and by performance artists. Initiated in 2009 by Esther Neff/PPL. PERFORMANCY FORUM has since has since become a relational, self-reflexive project, collaborating with artists, spaces, sites, curatorial collectives, and many others to produce exhibitions, shows, workshops, conferences, actions, events, and performative critical gatherings. Initiatives and events have emerged in relationship with SUPERFRONT (Public Summer at Industry City), the Poop Project (BOB the Pavilion at Columbia University), MDW Art Fair, Performer Stammtisch, Association for Performance Art Berlin (APAB), Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival/Foundation (BIPAF), ITINERANT (Hector Canonge), Petrichor Performance Collective, and many independent curators, organizers, artists, and groups from all over the world. PF’s primary activities include the monthly incarnation of the platform as one-night performance art exhibitions at Panoply Performance Laboratory in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

PPL is a flexible collective, thinktank(s), and lab site. PPL makes and situates performance art, operas-of-operations, installations, and social projects, operating across a spectrum between live art/life art and cultural organizing, researching embodiments, forms of public gathering, and performative ideation, conceptualization, and theorization across scales and spheres.

FULL DAY Performancy Forum: glitch/heal OR gore/harm

Saturday, December 10th 2016

1. HEAL: assisting, caretaking, and healing processes penetrate the skin of reality following pressure points along the spine; glitches in the daily, peaceful moments of patience+pause, repetitions which overwhelm self-reproductive sensibilities, small objects tracking pathways, telepathic contact, passed notes, touch and talk beading like sweat between our bellies

2. HARM: anti-normalizing, sabatoging, and resisting processes exhume the bowels of sociality and being; poltergeists and parasites of the gut, arson of the eye, martyrdom of the mind, murder of the moment, removal of fundamental organs, all the entrails of love spilling out across the floor

Coco Cafe

Day de Dada

Tsedaye Makonnen

Valerie Kuehne

Alexandra Delafkaran

CAKE: pop-up show and Tsedaye Makonnen's birthday party

Sunday, May 22nd 2016


Tsedaye Makonnen (the birthday hat-wearer!)
Helina Metaferia
Ivy Castellanos
Amanda Hunt
Jodie Lyn Kee Chow
Geraldo Mercado
Zhenesse Heinemann


What It Is or What It Ain't* a one-night performance art exhibition

Thursday, December 17th 2015

6pm: Roundtable discussion moderated by the artists

8pm: Performances by Helina Metaferia (San Francisco), Tsedaye Makonnen (Washington, DC), Dell M. Hamilton (Boston), and Ayana Evans (Chicago/NYC)

Four artists come together to publicly deal with their agencies as performance artists working within and beyond institutions and artworlds. The evening begins with a public discussion sparked by examples of artists leveraging their own careers in critical ways, like Adrian Piper's pulling out of the exhibition of black performance art Radical Presence, and by the participating artists' own experiences as professional artists, educators, scholars, and curators navigating ethical, political, social, and practical decisions.

The public discussion is followed and framed by performance works by Helina Metaferia, Tsedaye Makonnen, Dell M. Hamilton, and Ayana Evans.

This evening as a whole debates four solo artists' relationships with their own practices, through both artworks and discussion of artworking, providing a public forum for performance practices that deal with beliefs in the strength in the collective voice of black people/women (even if those voices disagree or contradict) as well as resistances to processes commodifying and objectifying identities and artists.

*The title of the evening quotes curator Valerie Cassel Oliver's catalog statement from the 2013 Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art exhibition: "The intention here is to resist reductive conclusions about blackness: what it is or what it ain’t. What is clear is that it exists and has shaped and been shaped by experiences. The artists in this exhibition have defied the ‘shadow’ of marginalization and have challenged both the establishment and at times their own communities.” (2013)

A donation of $5-20 at the door is requested to provide barebones honorariums to the participating artists though no one will be turned away for lack of funds.


Thursday, October 15th 2015


Malik Crumpler, Kaya Bailey, Kevin Ramsay, Robert B. Lisek - “Random Agenda”

performances/presentations/interactions/problems by:

Soufïa Bensaïd: “Black Box or Sometimes, Often, Most of the time, I don’t know”
Zhenesse Heinemann
Tsedaye Makonnen

@Panoply Performance Laboratory, beverages lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.


PF: QUINQ is open to the public with a suggested donation of $10-20 to support/reimburse the artists

For the Full Schedule for PERFORMANCY FORUM QUINQUENNIAL: A Performance Conference October 8-25:

conference = a situation during which persons confer
conferance = a "con" like "comicon" for makers and fans
conference = a culmination of a period of labor
conference = states of being and becoming together

PERFORMANCY FORUM: Emergency Visibility (EV)

Saturday, July 19th 2014

For PF: EV edition, 4 artists were solicited by an open call, which offered visibility of an ephemeral, almost private nature, and asked how artists perceive being seen and/or desire to be seen.

Posner, Dwyer, Berezney, and Dwyer proposed works dealing with sight, gaze, seeing and being seen through feminist, ontological, theoretical, situational, post-colonial, and other shifting and overlapping lenses. Join us for their four performances and a discussion forum afterwards.


TSEDAYE MAKONNEN "I want to understand why someone would go to such (toxic) lengths to change their appearance and also go beyond diagnosing this epidemic as self-hate. I want to touch on the juxtaposition between excessive vs. moderation, is this resurgence of skin lightening yet another reflection of excessive behavior we all exude in some form due to the cross-pollination of cultures, technology, accessibility, choice, individualism, etc"

JESSICA POSNER: 'BBP' "Caroline Shawk Brooks, an Arkansas farm wife and dairy maid, is credited by historian Pamela H. Simpson in her book Corn Palace and Butter Queens as creating the first widely recognized butter sculpture, "Dreaming Iolanthe," in 1876. In the 1970s, Barbara "Butter Queen" Cope rose to fame as a legendary groupie known for her use of butter as a lubricant--with songs written about her by The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, and others. Since 1954, Minnesota has been crowning Princess Kays of the Milky Ways. The main prize is being sculpted into a "butter head" at the Minnesota State Fair. Since 1928, Land O Lakes butter boxes have persistently featured an infinite loop of a racist, stereotypical image of a Native American woman holding a box of butter with an image of herself on a box of butter. As a medium, butter is made from milk from a breast and is ready for immediate consumption after churning: a bodily feedback loop produced through movement. Culturally, butter is wrapped in the performance of feminine sexuality, imagery, and labor. The BBP is a gesture towards identifying, deconstructing, and unraveling this. ",

PHILIP BEREZNEY: 'Not-dead-yet things' " I wonder why I keep making what seems like invisible work... when it will become visible... whether it is important (to me) that it does. The performance of these varied, cut, pieced-together materials describes their creation as it resurrects and re-configures their significance. In keeping alive, in making visible these near-dead essences, I can summon a pathos for the nearly cast-aside; I can celebrate the potential for truth and strength in uncertainty; I can begin to scratch the polish off of my own nails... I can question my sometimes-reluctance to release a grasp on formal paradigms."

DIANE DWYER: "AUDIENCE" "Originally I was interested in enacting an awareness of “performing” oneself in our increasingly mediated world. When are we performing? When are we aware of an audience? This piece was first performed alone, videotaped and placed on vimeo with no description."


$5-15 pay-what-you-can for the artists

Brooklyn Brewery see this!

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