Fresh Performance: Contemporary Performance Art in New York City and the Caribbean

The full documentary Fresh Performance: Contemporary Performance Art in New York City and the Caribbean, the culmination of a collaborative project between Fresh Milk and New York-based, Guyanese artist damali abrams is now available for viewing online.

The Fresh Performance Project was an experimental, six-chapter documentary series which saw damali interviewing 12 performance artists, 6 from the Caribbean and 6 from NYC, and pairing them under particular themes to investigate performance art from the perspectives of those working in these different locations and contexts.

This video, which was screened at FRESH MILK XIII in October, 2013 saw footage from all of the interviews edited into one video, which flows almost as if the artists are in conversation with one another as they speak out their practices and the larger contexts they work in, revealing a number of linkages that can be drawn despite differing settings and the variety of concepts addressed.

Screening damali abrams' documentary Fresh Performance: Contemporary Performance Art in NYC & the Caribbean

…Fresh Performance: Contemporary Performance Art in NYC & the Caribbean, the documentary that I came to this residency to complete, came out very differently from what I expected (but I expected that as well)… I began to leave in only the portions of the interviews that clearly explained the importance of performance to these particular artists. I wound up cutting about two-thirds of the piece. It went from about 90 minutes to roughly 30 minutes. Then I had to rearrange the clips so that the words of all of the artists I interviewed flowed together. It wasn’t until I got back to New York that I realized that the project had taken shape based on the conversations and experiences I had during the residency (which I think must be the entire point of a residency anyway)…

– damali abrams in her blog post on her residency with Fresh Milk and Groundation Grenada

Zachary Fabri, New York-based performance artist in Fresh Performance: Contemporary Performance Art in NYC & the Caribbean. Photograph by Mark King.

…Entitled Fresh Performance: Contemporary Performance Art in New York City and the Caribbean, damali’s documentary is less about the specific performance works of the twelve artists that she interviewed but is instead more about the artists’ conceptions of performance art as a practice within the context of their work. In the first few minutes of the film we are introduced to differing considerations of what performance art is from the twelve artists, which for the viewer emphasizes the interpretive nature of performance art and its malleability as an art form. damali has paired the video interviews with still images of the live performances of each artist, which creates an intriguing juxtaposition of interview as performance, and performance as documentary…

Jessica Taylor in her review of FRESH MILK XIII

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