News: John Sims Residency — 2020: (Di)Visions of America, Events 12/1-12/5 at La MaMa

The acclaimed multidisciplinary creator, activist, performer, and 2021 La MaMa Artist-in-Residence John Sims will be presenting 2020: (Di)Visions of America, a series of workshopped-for-stage multimedia performances of works never before seen in New York City that melds performative letter writing, installation art, film, music, dance, and video gaming. This series, based on the themes of the COVID-19 pandemic, American policing, and Recoloration Proclamation – a 20-year project that confronts, and confiscates Confederacy iconography and symbols and spaces of American slavery – is a cry for help, hope and healing.

The featured pieces are:

AfroDixiesRemixes: La MaMa Listening Session

Sound and Flag installation. A NYC premiere

This audio-visual event presents a giant red, black and green (colors of Black liberation) Confederate flag, along with the listening session of The AfroDixieRemixes – a collection of 14 tracks of Dixie in the many genres of Black music: spiritual, blues, gospel, jazz, funk calypso, samba, soul, R&B, house, and hip-hop.

Recoloration Proclamation film

2020. Running time: 60 mins. A NYC premiere

This experimental animated film tells the story of Recoloration Proclamation by collaging space and time, art and activism, and text and visuals to redress one of the most controversial and problematic American symbols – the Confederate flag. This film spans a period of 20 years from Harlem to Gettysburg to gallery to streets to a fantasy post-Civil War slave plantation in search of redemption, healing, and justice.

2020: (Di)Visions of America

Live performance; 70 mins. A NYC premiere

This main multimedia performance, first created by the artist as a part of his residence at Ringling Museum of Art is shaped by the fear, protest and division caused by the central events of 2020: COVID-19 pandemic, police murder of George Floyd and the pushback on Confederate iconography, memorial and monument spaces. Inspired by Sims’ responding op-eds and an evolving self-portrait, this show confronts main themes of 2020 with KoronaKilla video game, Dear Police audio/visual piece, and a re-imagined animation of the Gamble Plantation in Florida as a Slave Memorial along with a letters by Dr. Lisa Merritt, Chandra Carty and John Sims. With special appearance by dancer Jill M. Vallery, known for her performance in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical FELA! .

The schedule of events is:

Installation Viewing and Artist Talk, Featuring the AfroDixieRemixes Listening Session, with the world’s largest AfroConfederate Flag: Wed, Dec 1, 7:00 PM

Film screenings of Recoloration Proclamation:
Thu, Dec 2 at 7PM and Sun, Dec 5, 2:00 PM

Live Performances: 2020: (Di)Visions of America:
Fri, Dec 3, Sat, Dec 4, Sun, Dec 5; all shows at 7:00 PM

La Mama's Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10003

Tickets: Pay What You Can ($10 - $60) – buy here


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