October 15, 2010

Hierophany: Ochún Rising

san francisco, california

the following is a foto exhibition of a performance art piece i did at Our Lives Post 9/11, a four-day conference hosted by We Are Change, on september 9th, 2010 in new york city. speakers included Cindy Sheehan, former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and Dick Gregory, fellow activist and contemporary of Dr. King. the performance continues my exploration of/with/within the afro-cuban deity, Ochún. (see here, and here.)
a last-minute addition to the program, the piece was the sudden expression of a years-long gathering of inspiration, research, and materials (including folkloric studies in havana, cuba), not the least of which were custom-made costume and jewelry pieces by bay-area designer, Yahroe Hill, and jeweler, Patricia Rabellizsa. it was the first time these pieces were shown publicly.
the mask was created by Yahroe. in the practice of brasilian candomblé, orixás are often depicted with a beaded veil. after seeing a similar theme in Yahroe's work, i thought that a metal veil would facilitate dance and movement, as well as highlight Ochún in her manifestation as Caridad del Cobre, or Our Lady of Copper.  the modular collar piece and a necklace were made by Patricia, augmented with items i've collected over the years. concept design for all the pieces was by myself. the designs were executed in close collaboration with the artists over a number of months.

the piece begins with Ochún in a state of struggle, and is a progression to a place of joy, liberation, and strength. her presence at the conference signified an act of solidarity with the 9/11 Truth movement and a reminder of the love which drives the true revolution.


special thanks to Jeremy Henry and Natasha Junejo for documenting the evening, also to Brian Reeves, gallery curator.