For years we have been developing Vestiphobia, a project involving a performance, a workshop and a film series exploring our relationship to fashion, from the mere act of getting dressed, to its socio-economic impact. We’ve been invited to premiere Vestiphobia in HAVANA, CUBA –this February 23rd 26th– in Latin America’s preeminent modern arts complex, The Fabrica de Arte Cubano. This is a true international collaboration with over thirty of Cuba’s top artists, designers, singers, and actors joining our NYC crew.
We need your help to realize this extraordinary and pressing project. Here’s where you can provide your support: Kickstarter campaign!
What is Vestiphobia?
Vestiphobia is a project involving a performance, a workshop and a film series exploring our relationship to fashion, from the mere act of getting dressed, to its socio-economic impact. Under the umbrella of Ideal Glass, the New York art collective, the VESTIPHOBIA team will debut its first international production at Havana Fabrica de Arte Cybano – Cuba’s premiere arts complex – from February 23rd to February 26th, 2017. As part of this project, Ideal Glass put together a unique collaboration with Cuban talents (actors, musicians, dancers and designers) that will both complement and enrich the project.
Written by Willard Morgan and directed by Steve Fagin, the performance is a four-act extravaganza of theatre, dance, fashion, film, art, and Musica Cubana exploring the main character’s damaged relationship to clothing. Vestiphobia confronts us with the contradictory nature of our clothing, presented here not only as a necessity but also as a luxury, a shield, and even a weapon. The show combines experimental fashion, video art, music, dance, and autobiographical narrative to entertain and enrich our understanding of clothing through time.
Working in collaboration with young up-and-coming Cuban designers, art director, Uta Bekaia, will produce sculptural costumes for the performance during a weeklong workshop taking place at the Taller Gorria Gallery, in Havana. The workshop will be curated as a living installation open to the general public in the week preceding the show.
THE WORKSHOP – GALERIA TALLER GORRIA
February 13th-22nd, 2017
THE PERFORMANCE – FABRICA DE ARTE CUBANO
February 23rd-26th, 2017
We need your help to realize this extraordinary and pressing project. Here’s where you can provide your support: Kickstarter campaign!
Join us this Friday September 16th for the opening of our new mural “Rise and Grind”, by Drea Cofield. The New York based artist conceived the mural to address notions of intimacy, and more particularly the idea of scaling up works initially conceived as expressive yet confidential experiences. With this piece her intention is to shift towards a more composed, graphic, and physically immersive encounter for the viewer. “Rise and Grind” is both a private confrontation and a larger visceral exploration for passersby.
“It’s bacchanalian and violent and altogether human.”
Cofield’s work involves figures interacting – or pointedly not interacting – in other worldly landscapes. Bodies are sleeping or dead, facial expressions and gestures are enacted incongruously with violence and spectacle. Cofield explores the challenging language of allegory to see, experience and feel.
Opening event: Friday September 16th, 6.30pm-10pm
On view until: Friday October 28th
VESTIPHOBIA EN HAVANA
Galeria Taller Gorria, Cuba
29 April – 06 May, 2016
After presenting several parts of VESTIPHOBIA in the US the Ideal team will be presenting an exclusive version of the show at Galeria Taller Gorria on April 29th! The installation will remain on view for one week. In preparation for the Havana performance, the creative team developed specific sets and costumes, and the performers worked in collaboration with Cuban musicians to allow new interpretations of the song cycle to arise. It is essential for the piece travel to different parts of the world and adapt it to local audiences, as it is a universal laugh in the face of fashion and our obsession with clothing. As such, the performance isn’t a fixed or strictly defined show, but an ongoing evolving process with changeable format and mutable characters.
Willard Morgan navigates performance art, filmmaking, and still photography in his new installation “Morgan in Cuba,” presented in Gibara, this April.
Curated by independent curator Berta Jottar, the show documents a decade of works that engage with concepts ranging from ethnographic photography to video mockumentaries, through the development of imaginary characters. Within the Cuban context, and in a sudden post-Obama and post-Rolling Stones era, Morgan is the enigmatic figure of a future that is already there.
I am Gibara
Cine Pobre Festival
20th – 24th April, 2016
Morgan in Cuba
Morgan in Cuba is a series of photographs introducing Gibara, a city in the island’s countryside, juxtaposed with Havana’s metropolis during the first decade of the 21st Century. The selected body of work explores different forms of pleasure and daily life in Cuba. Willard captures the “internal spaces” of locals and street passers-by as they go through their daily routines.
The multi-disciplinary installation leaves the spectator free to explore the paradoxes involved in the images themselves, their production, and our consumption of them. Within the Cuban context, and in a sudden post-Obama and post-Rolling Stones era, Morgan is the enigmatic figure of a future that is already there.
By RENATA PLAGA
With Janusz Gilewicz & Willard Morgan
“G E N T L E”
-Pop-up Multimedia Installation-
SATURDAY OCTOBER 17, 7-9 PM
at IDEAL GLASS
After presenting her installation G E N T L E in Poland (Art Cinema Luxury Design, Warsaw) and in the United States (Emart Gallery, NYC ; DreamBox Gallery, Chicago), award-winning poet and filmmaker Renata Plaga will be showcasing a new conception of her piece, this time as a collaboration with the artists Janusz Gilewicz and Willard Morgan.
Using her recently published book “Gentle” as a starting point, Renata Plaga developed the video installation incorporating animation, still life videos, as well as Janusz Gilewicz’s ephemeral feather’s live piece and Willard Morgan’s poetic voice-over.
“The performance will give a chance to the audience to ponder the real nature of our human experience. Gentleness is a silent force that awakens our conciseness to live life of love and compassion, free from mental labels. We need more love than money, more nature than industry, more silence than madness. Contemporary mind is addicted to competition, luxury or social status. Modern man consumes more and more even though he doesn’t want to. Why should one follow destructive values, and destroy true human aspects.”
– Renata Plaga
The limited edition of G E N T L E is a combination of her minimalist poems with the work of three women photographers, Iwona Biedermann, Heidi Knez and Kasia Opara. All explore distinct themes of gentleness. Opara explores the imagination, Knez captures the fragility and simplicity of the moment, and Biedermann follows the perception of beauty in stillness of time and in motion.
RENATA PLAGA is a poet, blogger and filmmaker whose poetry collections include Metaxa, Woman, Overheard in Silence, AMMA – Love in Action, Unknown, For the good beginning, Flow, and Zero Gravity. Her projects have received four awards from the Polish Association of Authors and Composers. She created a unique language of narration: short essential form of words combined with photos, music as albums, movies and installations.
WILLARD MORGAN is a performer, composer/lyricist of alternative musical projects, an award-winning director of several exhibited independent films, and the producer/gallerist of Ideal Glass, where he brings together a collective of international artists.
YANUSZ GILEWICZ is a painter whose work has carried him around the world, with numerous solo and group exhibitions in Poland, Italy, Japan, Brazil and the United States. Gilewicz has learned that, through his art, he can share with the viewer his appreciation of beauty, mystery, and harmony.
IDEAL GLASS PRESENTS
Award-winning documentary by Tami Gold and Kelly Anderson
Winner Tribeca Film Festival and EMMY nomination
“EVERY MOTHER’S SON”
Screening & Talk
THURSDAY OCTOBER 15 7-10 PM
at IDEAL GLASS
- Guest speakers include:
- Iris Baez, mother of Anthony Baez
(killed by NYPD officer)
- Artist Sophia Dawson
- Filmmaker Tami Gold
- King Downing, Founder Human Rights – Racial Justice Center
EVERY MOTHER’S SON profiles three mothers whose son’s were killed by the NYPD and find themselves united to seek justice and transform their grief into an opportunity for profound social change. Winner Tribeca Film Festival and EMMY nomination
In the face of recent killings of unarmed Black men in NYC, Ferguson, Baltimore and the increasing militarization of police forces around the U.S., we hope the film and post-screening discussion can help us think about solutions to make all our communities safer.
“Powerful, heartbreaking, and ultimately transforming! This film portrays victims as real people and makes it impossible to remain indifferent or inactive about the issue of police misconduct and excessive use of force. Tami Gold and Kelly Anderson have created an impassioned portrait of women’s courage and grassroots activism in urban America today.”
– Jill Nelson (Writer, Editor) in “Police Brutality: An Anthology”
IRIS BAEZ is a community activist and organizer around issues related to police abuse and economic justice. Iris is the mother of Anthony Baez who was killed in an illegal chokehold by New York City Police Officer Francis Livoti in 1994. Since then Iris Baez has created the Anthony Baez Foundation and been instrumental in working with families whose sons and daughters have been abused and or killed by law enforcement. She has spoken to thousands around the crisis in aggressive policing though out the United States.
TAMI GOLD is a professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College CUNY and an award winning documentary filmmaker, visual artist and activist. Her films have consistently been at the forefront of social justice, focusing on issues of race, gender, sexual identity, labor and police brutality. Issues of aggressive policing have been central to Tami’s organizing work. She produced and directed EVERY MOTHER’S SON (with Kelly Anderson), which profiles three mothers whose son’s were killed by the NYPD and unexpectedly find themselves united to seek justice and transform their grief into an opportunity for profound social change. The film won the Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award, was nominated for an EMMY and broadcast on the PBS series POV. She has been on WEB and PBS addressing Stop and Frisk and other related issues. Tami’s films have reached audiences near and far, airing on PBS, HBO and on television in Nigeria, South Africa, Germany, France, Turkey, Serbia, Lagos and Vietnam. Films such as SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED: Labor Struggle in the Post Office, JUGGLING GENDER, OUT AT WORK, ANOTHER BROTHER, PUZZLES, PASSIONATE POLITICS: The Life and Work of Charlotte Bunch among others have screened at the MOMA, the Whitney, The Chicago Arts Institute, The Kennedy Center, the American and British Film Institutes, Sundance, Tribeca and The New York Film Festival, and in over 150 film festivals worldwide. She is recipient of Rockefeller and Guggenheim fellowships.
Sophia Dawson, born February 25, 1988, is a talented and self-motivated African American woman. She is a Brooklyn based artist who discovered her gift while painting a portrait of her father as she studied at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music, Art and Performing Arts. At that very young age of sixteen, she witnessed that her work moved and touched people from all walks of life.
She saw that art could be used as a tool to bring people together and to create change. Sophia soon participated in Groundswell Community Mural Project, a non-profit arts organization, as a teen volunteer. In their afterschool program she had the opportunity to direct her artistic skills towards bringing about social change through designing and creating large-scale murals. The mural projects she participated in transformed various spaces throughout the borough. Sophia took on a leadership role among her teen group and was soon asked to join Groundswell’s team of professional artists and staff where she currently works.
Sophia received her Bachelors in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in 2010 and her Masters degree in Visual Arts Administration at NYU in 2013. She has participated in group exhibitions in both New York and Los Angeles as well as solo exhibitions at the Heath Gallery in 2009 and the Corridor Gallery in 2013. Her work has been featured in the Brooklyn Museum and published in Say it Loud magazine. Sophia also received commissions by performers such as Lil Mama and Tisha Campbell-Martin.
Sophia has given speeches, testimonies and lectures to youth and her peers about her experience as a young black artist and woman. In her talks, she educates on recent black history and emphasizes the importance of overcoming obstacles to achieve one’s goals. Through her art, she aims to raise awareness on the struggles of oppressed people throughout history.
At the age of twenty-five Sophia graduated from New York University with a Masters in Visual Arts Administration. She aims to start an art program that will create an atmosphere where minority youth can address, through art, the issues they face in society. Sophia is currently raising her four-year-old son and is determined to develop her career as both a Professional Artist and Administrator of the Arts.
Support independent films, especially Shah Bob, which is opening this weekend in both Los Angeles and at the Iranian Film Festival in San Francisco. The film, by my good friend Babak Shokrian, concerns:
Willard Morgan & The Ideal Orkestra
Workshop Performance of Project:
Sunday September 13th 8:30-9:30pm
at Bowery Poetry Club
(308 Bowery, New York, New York 10012)
Join us for a Q&A after the performance with the creators.
RSVP on Facebook
Project: Sweat Shop Boogie
a journey through space, time, and Will Morgan’s closet, fashion as a weapon, a shield, a seduction, and finally, as an addiction to cheap rags that enslaves the Third World and imperils the planet… An hysterical haberdasher’s tale of global dandyism in rap, spoken word, indigenous, and improvised orchestrations.
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 6TH
6-9PM at IDEAL GLASS
DOORS OPEN AT 6 / PERFORMANCE AT 8
Join us as we celebrate the end of Ayakamay’s residency at Ideal Glass. Her final live production at the gallery will include the premiere of her latest piece, as well as a display of recently completed works. Ayakamay’s new documentary debut on NHK World Asian Dreamers program is premieringon cable networks worldwide.
-FOR MORE INFO OF Ayakamay-
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND
RADIO “SAM ROBERTS SHOW”
XM 103/Sirius 206 and on SiriusXM On Demand
Details on Sam Roberts Show
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4TH-
NHK WORLD TV “ASIAN DREAMERS”
Art Gave Me Strength: Ayakamay
Details on NHK WORLD
The Marilyn Violet Foundation (MVF) is a family services and wellness non-profit created by my good friend Melissa Jackson in honor of her grandmother Marilyn Violet Jackson (1934-2013), a woman who gave in ways which laid the groundwork for strong lives. This year the Foundation is sponsoring their first annual Project Backpack, where, on September 1, they’ll be donating school backpacks filled with enough school supplies for a year to the Broome Street Academy Charter High School, as well as “wellness” backpacks for the homeless youth at The Door, NYC.
Donations are currently being accepted for this wonderful endeavor. And volunteers are needed to help assemble the backpacks – which will take place at Ideal Glass on Tuesday, August 25th.
For more information on donations and volunteering, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.