Chloë Bass

Post image for From Civil Rights to Uncivil Realities, ‘Selma’ Resonates Today

Selma is a film in which every moment has weight.

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Street

Staging a Performance with the NYPD

by Chloë Bass on December 10, 2014

Post image for Staging a Performance with the NYPD

In the midst of the recent amazing outpouring of street presence supporting black lives, on Monday night I had an opportunity to witness something a little quieter. Willing Participant, a performance group led by artists Todd Shalom, Ben Weber, and Niegel Smith of Elastic City, held a simple public action that they called “disarm.”

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Post image for Between Theory and Action in Social Practice Art

That social practice is difficult to define is not a new problem. However, what I experienced was not so much a confusion of terms but a confusion of time: a series of talks that demonstrated the divide produced by the slowness of theory pitted against an active practice.

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Post image for Standing Up: Bill T. Jones and Theaster Gates Discuss Their Collaboration

Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company’s Story/Time is a kind of spoken dance piece inspired by John Cage: 70 one-minute stories “interrupted by a chance musical score.”

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Post image for Funk, Medicine, and Questions of the Future

In performance, as in history, there’s a lot that gets lost: layers of meaning and nuance too complex to carry in a single story. Investigating Simone Leigh’s and Xenobia Bailey’s projects for funkgodjazz&medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn, produced by Creative Time and the Weeksville Heritage Center, I was struck by this loss as an informative process.

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Post image for Learning Omaha: The Impossibility of Place (Part 4)

I’m home in Brooklyn now — I’ve been back for about three weeks. As the Department of Local Affairs starts up in Bed-Stuy, where I’m the artist in residence for the Laundromat Project, I’ve been thinking about different ways to frame and understand my summer.

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Chloë Bass's Department of Local Affairs office at Bemis Center

OMAHA — I walked from Nebraska to Iowa this morning, over the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.

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Chloë Bass photo for

OMAHA — Both teaching and social practice ask a leader (artist, teacher, organizer) to codify and articulate a set of steps that are then acted out by a group. There’s a place for uncertainty, but it should be strategically applied: by choice, not default.

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Post image for Learning Omaha: A City by Way of Art (Part 1)

OMAHA — Fourth of July, 2014. I am in America’s heartland and trying not to get romantic about it.

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Post image for Adrian Piper Binds Us with Impossible Trust

The Probable Trust Registry, a new work by Adrian Piper, is not an exhibit so much as an agreement.

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