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Ayana Evans

Just Situations: Day 5, Reading Conditions

IV Castellanos. Photo by Laura Bluer
Thursday, July 20th 2017

JUST SITUATIONS: a performative convention

Day Five: Reading Conditions
What are the elements of “a situation”? How do we inscribe, read into, interpret, and mark our world(s)? Abstraction, social magnetics, communication, (con)text, and forms of semiotic transparency perform “reads” of our conditions, backgrounds, ethics, identities, and ideals.

Ayana Evans
IV Castellanos
Nicole Goodwin
Danielle Abrams


Danielle Abrams’ performances react to the social tensions that shape her experiences as a biracial lesbian. Her performances blend scripted and improvised language, and public encounters that rely on engaged participation. She adopts contradictory personae that are also autobiographical, and animates the ambivalent relationships between racial and ethnic groups. Her menagerie of personifications stage humorous encounters while reimagining the cultural narratives of art history, civil rights, and popular culture.

Danielle Abrams has performed at Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Detroit Institute of the Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston) Bronx Museum of the Arts, Roger Smith Hotel (NY), The Jewish Museum (NY), Queens Museum, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, WOW Performance Cafe, and The Kitchen. Abrams has received grants from The New York Foundation of the Arts, Urban Arts Initiative, and the Franklin Furnace Performance Art Fund. She is a Professor of Practice in Performance at School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.


IV Castellanos is an abstract performance artist and sculptor based in Brooklyn, NY. They have performed at the Queens Museum, Gruentaler9 (Berlin), DFBRL8R (Chicago), Grace Exhibiton Space, IV Soldiers, Dixon Place, PPL, Gallery Sensei and Rosekill (Kingston, NY). They founded the F.A.G. (Feminist Art Group), 2016 with co-founder Esther Neff, which has alternating performers.

IV will perform a piece called: Brick x Brick v



Ayana Evans is a NYC based artist. She frequently visits her hometown of Chicago whose Midwestern and sometimes controversial reputation is a major influence on her art. Evans received her MFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University. She has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2015 she received the Jerome Foundation's Theater and Travel & Study Grant for artistic research abroad. During Summer 2016 Evans completed her installment of the residency, "Back in Five Minutes" at El Museo Del Barrio in NYC..She also completed a series this Summer 2017 "A Person of the Crowd" at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA; as well as FAIP an international performance festival, Martinique; "Light Happenings II" presented by Lab Bodies, Baltimore, MD; and Rapid Pulse Retrospective, Chicago, IL.

Evans’s on-going performances/public interventions include: "Operation Catsuit" and "I Just Came Here to Find a Husband." She has curated and co-curated performance art shows throughout New York, worked in arts education for a decade, and is Editor at Larger for Her recent press includes articles on New York Magazine's The Cut, HyperAllergic, the Huffington Post and

For more information on her upcoming projects and impromptu public performances follow her on instagram @ayana.m.evans and visit

Artist Statement/ Performance practice:
I often articulate my ideas through different modes of actions and appearances from our daily living-practices. Mundane repetitive movements or physical struggles are my primary forms of expression. These actions collaborate in acknowledging, collecting, and creating evidence of my “self,” as they are laced with personal stories that exude both humor and pain. My performance practice continuously reveals larger explanations and speculations of (re)defining/categorizing significances, meanings and values within the hegemonic society. It is important for me to exert a conceptual and tactful way of thinking, seeing, inhabiting marginalized bodies (and spaces) through my art practices.



Nicole Goodwin is the author of Warcries, as well as the 2017 EMERGENYC Hemispheric Institute Fellow, the 2013-2014 Queer Art Mentorship Queer Art Literary Fellow, as well as the winner of The Fresh Fruit Festival’s 2013 Award for Performance Poetry. She published the articles “Talking with My Daughter…” and “Why is this Happening in Your Life…” (Personal essay/Review for award-winning documentary Tough Love) in the New York Times’ parentblog Motherlode. Additionally, her work “Desert Flowers” was shortlisted and selected for performance by the Women Playwriting International Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

Performancy Forum: night terrors, sandwiches, and dream logics

Diane Dwyer I am an elephant 4min. 5 sec. & THUMB WARS video by Diane Dwyer, performance by Diane Dwyer & Matthew De Leon 2 min.40 sec digital video
Saturday, May 13th 2017

TARA AND DAVID GLADDEN: "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters"


DIANE DWYER: "Night Sandwich"



Quinn Dukes is a multimedia performance artist, activist and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work addresses sensory dynamics, social injustice and ritual. She has performed in galleries and festivals across the United States including Fountain Art Fair, Lumen International Video & Performance Festival, Wassaic Festival, Grace Exhibition Space, Local Project and Gallery Sensei. Dukes has received reviews in Flash Art, NY Arts Magazine, D/Railed and WhiteWall Magazine and written for blogs: Art in New York City and Art in Brooklyn. In 2014, following a heated discussion about the death of performance art, Dukes founded Performance Is Alive. She is a tireless advocate for performance art and higher education via appointments at Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn) and the School of Visual Arts (NYC).

Diane Dwyer was born in Japan, and grew up in New England.
She is an interdisciplinary artist focused on investigations of performance through public interventions and private actions. She is also curious about the performative aspects of drawing and other indexical signs. She lives in Brooklyn, where she host Diane’s Circus and cloyingPARLOR, two projects in her home addressing, in part, the negotiation of public and private space, as well as the labels ‘amateur’ and ‘professional.’ She received her BFA from The Museum School/Tufts University, and her MFA through a teaching fellowship at the University of Connecticut. She is currently a part-time Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design, and adjunct faculty at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Ayana Evans is a NYC based artist. She frequently visits her hometown of Chicago whose Midwestern and sometimes controversial reputation is a major influence on her art. Evans received her MFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University. She has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2015 she received the Jerome Foundation's Theater and Travel & Study Grant for artistic research abroad. Summer 2016 Evans completed her installment of the residency, "Back in Five Minutes" curated by Nicolas Dumit Estevez, at El Museo Del Barrio in NYC. Evans’s on-going performances/public interventions include: "Operation Catsuit" and "I Just Came Here to Find a Husband." Other recent works by Evans are: "Thoughts on Rape; A Response to After Midnight by SHPC" Queens Museum, NYC, “Parasol" a triptych video collaboration with Zina Saro-Wiwa, Tiwani Contemporary, London, and “Stopping Traffic," Gallery Sensei, NYC, and "Make Your Own Way" at Satellite Art Fair, Miami, and "Gurl I'd Drink Your Bathwater," PRIZM art Fair, Miami. Additionally, Evans has curated and co-curated performance art show throughout New York, worked in arts education for a decade, and is Editor at Larger for Her recent press includes articles on New York Magazine's The Cut, HyperAllergic, the Huffington Post and For more information on her upcoming project and impromptu public performances follow her on instagram @ayana.m.evans and visit

C Tara and David Gladden are collaborative, interdisciplinary artists who use sound, video, installation, and performance to investigate ideas of identity, gender, psychology, politics, and perception. Their work has been presented/exhibited both nationally and internationally.

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters references surveillance and ​Ganzfeld experiments to explore concepts of mind control and paranoia. This work delves into the darkness of subconscious experience; phenomena such as sleep paralysis, possession, and altered states. The darkness is a pit of resistance, of fear, of awareness without control. It is also a place where one can confront the darkness, where one can emerge with awareness of deeply buried secrets: a site of confrontation, struggle and transformation.

C Tara holds a BM in Voice Performance from Boston University. David holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Both hold MFAs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College and are educators at Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD. David is an Assistant Professor of New Media Art and Tara is Art Galleries Manager and a Lecturer in the Art, Music and Interdisciplinary Studies Programs. Together, they curate the Seeing Sound Series and Electronic Gallery at Salisbury University as well as special projects at their own venues: John Cage Memorial Park in Chance, MD and at W.O.R.K., a center for experimental art on the downtown plaza in Salisbury, MD.​


Jessica Borusky: detail from "CalicoEconomies" historic downtown Las Vegas strip. Part of the Queer-A-Fest Destiny Project; ongoing. (Photo Justin Favela)
Saturday, November 5th 2016


5-8pm: Coloring Coorain/Harness Cannons
Coorain Devin
Jessica Borusky

8-11pm: Labor-Supreme/Electives
Geraldo Mercado
Benjamin Lundberg
Arantxa Araujo
Ayana Evans

Artists Coorain Devin and Jessica Borusky create a collaborative performance work within the context of Devin’s online TV show, Coloring Coorain. The television program’s mission and purview is summarized in this one minute video: For this event, Coorain will attempt to recreate the look and feel of the show, as well as imitate television for the audience. Coorain will introduce themselves and the show, interview guests, report news, as well as introduce a special segment, Harness Cannons, Borusky’s performance within a performance. A LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE IS WELCOME.

Four short-form performance art works push bodies to their limits in extreme acts of elective strength and power, navigating self-presentation and media.


Saturday, October 1st 2016 to Sunday, October 2nd 2016

is open 11am-7pm on Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2


Bushwick: long ago defaced and degraded by "mural style" ads, Bichon Frise shit, bro vomit, and crêpe trucks, we perch on the edge of an almost-imaginary recent past, clinging to an old lease as "postmodern mediterranean" buildings march us shoulder to shoulder towards total erasure. This exhibition briefly stages the melancholy, mortification, embattlement, righteousness, humor and violence of artists who were working in performance art before it became a joke on TV, artists who use "recycled materials" because they are free, artists whose politics, identities, and "socio-ethics" are core elements of practice not marketing tools. 

REMAINING/REMINDING/REMAINS/REMAINDERS is visual works and video by artists who celebrate no "post" (gentrification)(modern)(colonial)(structural), working through ongoing colonial, imperial, and capital-driven histories, leaving remainders of performances, using remains and scraps of materials used for other purposes, providing reminders of what matters. 

PPL is a BOS Hub site.

PERFORMANCY FORUM: Electronic + Technologic Semiotics of the Bodily

Thursday, May 5th 2016

a technology can be as simple as a spoon
as sonic as a breaking trust
as somatic as a sprain
as symbolic as a noise
as sculptural as electrons making their way through muscles

6pm: Plural Authorship Collective (A. Liparoto & Z. Morales) lecture/performance “I want to agree with you but you are making it really hard for me”

Kristin McWharter
Bobby English Jr., Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Austin Blakely
Luke Mannarino
Davindar Singh
Ayana Evans


Thursday, April 7th 2016 to Sunday, April 10th 2016

Device controlled. A collaboration between two artists (Nia Nottage and Frances Yeoland).

THURSDAY, APRIL 7: Opening, 8pm
FRIDAY, APRIL 8: Activations of the installation, 8pm: Geraldo Mercado, Ivy Castellanos, Amanda Hunt, Kaia Gilje
SATURDAY, APRIL 9: Activations of the installation, 8pm: Thea Little, David Ian Griess, Ayana Evans
SUNDAY, APRIL 10: Video/Film, 6pm

A constructed platform for experiencing physical sensation that is foreign to everyday physical perception. Hold/release, hold/ release, hold/ release; an apparatus for tension control.

Performance artist | Detroit
Romance lives in the gap between reality and the dream world.
You don’t have to be miserable to be deep, relationships with objects teach us a lot about ourselves, libido is only demonized b/c it’s a powerful tool for haptic touch that can inform corporeal understanding and cause alternate perceptions of happiness. Nia Nottage is a performance artist.

Visual artist | Sydney
Human attempt at understanding is about ownership, and labeling is a symptom of this failure. This work is a composition of material that asks for meaning from the viewer based on its appearance of logic and rationality. It's is an absurd puzzle of familiar, tactile and industrial materiality. It is a system of symbols taken out of context, reframing our perception of value and meaning.

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.


Saturday, June 6th 2015 to Sunday, June 7th 2015

PPL Space is a Bushwick Open Studios Info Hub ("B") see map HERE. We will be hosting a two-day exhibition, 1pm-8pm both days. 

CACHE is value given to something, something that deserves to be hoarded or mediated due to its high desirability. "Cache" synonyms include: hideout, hoardings, repository, stash, stockpile, wealth, accumulations, heirlooms, treasures, wealth, assets, kittys, supplies, treasury, drop joint, hiding place.  

ARTISTS: Ivy Castellanos, Anya Liftig, Ayana Evans, Edward G Sharp, Geraldo Mercado, PPL, tozz buttz, Ultras, Batya Goldberg, Felix Morelo.  


TIME DISTORTION AND THE BODY: Performance Art Exhibition

Thursday, July 24th 2014


Durational, looping, dual, excruciatingly precise; presence is maintained and contained to the space but time itself is altered by the tension between the performing body and those witnessing and by physical, psychological, and emotional pain, strength, and focus.

Four performances: Ayana Evans Phillip Fryer A.E. Kingsmill Future Death Toll +++ SPECIAL GUEST!! Uniska the Performance Body, Barney, or who???


A.E. Kingsmill: "Since moving to London in 2009 to study I have been exploring its underground scene in tandem with feeding my artistic practice. Here I have been able to cross fertilise queer imagery with fine art aesthetics to create arresting endurance works which solicit the body as a platform and often use dressing as a form of three dimensional surrealist collage. As a recent graduate in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins I have performed at Franko B's Untouchables at Mori and Stien gallery and at Peep Anatomy at Edinburgh Fringe. I have performed at the infamous Torture Garden Club and presented my paper, Pervarts along side Annie Sprinkle at the Performing Porn symposium at Performance Space."

Born in Cleveland, but raised on the South Side of Chicago, Ayana M. Evans was given a strong sense of Midwestern American culture, which still influences her art making practices today, either as ideals she challenges or as nostalgia for histories she cannot re-create. After receiving her MFA in painting from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University, Ms. Evans moved to New York City where she now resides as an installation/performance artist and accessories designer. Ms. Evans relational performances and installations collaborate in acknowledging, collecting, and creating evidence of her ‘self’, which is often registered to socio-political context; presented as critical or banal queries that involve her body.

Philip Fryer (Born 1981, Boston MA) is a Boston based artist who explores concepts of mortality, chaos and order, the body as a circuit, and the omnipresence of sound. He works primarily in performance but also utilizes noise, video and installation in his work. His recent exploration has been focused on using lo-fi technologies such as circuit bending and cassette tape loops, both as individual pieces and as elements of performances. Philip is a co-founder of The Present Tense, an initiative that has organized performance events since 2005 and has exhibited the work of over 200 artists. He as also been a member of the Boston based dark ambient project TOOMS since 2012, and performs under the solo moniker Moondrawn.

Forged from the figurative beauty that dance and movement provides, FUTURE DEATH TOLL introduces movement, light, sound, rope, markers, fire, sweat, haircuts, phone calls, and flags as a metaphorical stand-in for issues like mortality, death, diseases, prison as a corporation, intellectual property rights, bdsm, and subjective destitution. Pondering questions like: how do we talk about performance art? how can we all hear each other? is silence important? how far does our voice reach? how can we make performances with people not in the same room (would that also work for several performers in several different places)? how can this engage the public? what’s the most minimal amount of material required to conceptually encapsulate the relevant point? how are we going to schedule and choreograph all of this? So in attempt to find some answers FUTURE DEATH TOLL has been writing software that allows for transparent multimedia collaboration amongst a small community of collaborators both near and far. Answers become fodder for group collaboration and idea exchange through tools like open forum discussion, a/v recordings, and video chat. Reading poetry together provides a preemptive meditation that does not exemplify any individual. Black trash bags, heavy breathing, sweat, hair clippers are objects of ephemera & appropriated context; which may or may not be (or become) transcendental; which may or may not be well crafted; which may or may not really exist.

Will our special guest come?


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