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A TWO-PERSON EXHIBITION FEATURING THE WORK OF JENELLE ESPARZA AND VERONICA GAONA
Sites of Memory is an exhibition featuring newly commissioned and recent works by San Antonio-based artist Jenelle Esparza and Houston-based artist Verónica Gaona, who come together to explore the impermanent nature of land and its residual energy through the use of objects, land-based materials, and living and historical research. This exhibition builds on conversations between Esparza and Gaona as they work to further explore the impacts of migration, familial legacy, transnationality, migratory labor, and ideas related to rest.
Sites of Memory explores the relationship between the body, history, and land. It is the next iteration of Overlapping Territories , an ongoing project about interconnected relationships to land, curated by Ashley DeHoyos, who is working with artists to identify and trace a network of knowledge and experiences through public conversations, art, and interviews with other curators, cultural producers, and scholars from across the Southwest United States.Read more
Karen Stokes Dance premieres the evening length dance theater project Mapping & Glaciers .
Mapping & Glaciers explores human interaction and nature through the vast, contradictory, and beautiful identities of maps. The project examines manmade and natural boundaries that challenge humans through tribalism and constructs of power, and the shifting shape of our geological environment under the influence of climate change. While the work questions the often-devastating absurdity of human choices, it also speaks to the resiliency of human nature. Mapping & Glaciers creates space for hope, for the possibility of connection and interconnection.
Choreography/film/direction by Karen Stokes, original music by Samuel Lipman, lighting design by Clint Allen, costumes by Ashley Horn Nott. Performers: Brittany Bass, Bethany Logan, Bryan Bradley Peck, Michelle Reyes, Davis Stumberg.Read more
by Samuel Beckett
“Here all is strange.”
Beckett’s existential tragicomedy Happy Days concerns itself with the plight of Winnie, a middle-class, middle-aged woman who is quite literally stuck, buried to her waist in crusted earth. Her husband Willie lives in a hole behind her mound, physically and emotionally out of reach. Even in his company she is essentially alone.
Armed with a shopping bag of everyday items and routines, a series of half-remembered stories, songs, and prayers, and a heroic capacity for optimism, she presses through an endless series of unforgiving days to the merciful night to come. The bell rings again and when the blazing sun comes charging back, she is buried up to her neck. Her last resources depleted, her arms and body sunk and gone, her predicament is irreversible, hellish, seemingly eternal. Through it all she perseveres, struggling with that which remains to make real her impossibly hopeful exclamation: “Oh this will be another happy day!”
The Houston Chronicle wrote that Catastrophic’s productions of Samuel Beckett’s plays “demonstrate exactly why this company and its artistic director Jason Nodler are so important to the city’s cultural life.” The Houston Press opined, “If man’s wretched existence ever needed a finer hand to paint comic despair, look no further than director Jason Nodler with his superlative interpreters all in the service of the apocalyptic vision from Samuel Beckett.”
Catastrophic’s co-artistic directors Tamarie Cooper and Jason Nodler reprise their roles as Winnie and director, as they did with Infernal Bridegroom Productions (IBP) 22 years ago. Greg Dean rounds out the cast as Willie.Read more