LL I & II
“LL I” is a new commission by Jonathan González created in collaboration with Rena Anakwe, Pamela Liou, and Nadia Schwartz Tykulsker. The project is the first in a series of works that conceptualize Blackness and post-anthropocentrism. In “LL I,” González takes the ideas of poet June Jordan and CHARAS as starting points to create an immersive environment in the VW Dome intended to function as an interactive model for sustainable living. Active in the Lower East Side during the 1970s, CHARAS was a collective founded on the ideas of Buckminster Fuller, proposing geodesic domes as an alternative model for social housing.
Over the course of two days on April 19 and 20, González invited visitors to enter the environment one at a time. The installation featured an original score composed with Anakwe, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Johann Diedrick, GENG, and Rudy Gerson, which references celestial cosmologies; sound-responsive lighting design; and an original film by Liou documenting the creative process with excerpts from Chad Freidrichs’ “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” (2011) and Marlis Momber’s “Viva Loisaida” (1978). In this work, González proposes that solitary dwelling within this space can be considered a choreographic action unto itself. “LL I” offers visitors a space to contemplate what González terms “the entanglements between the state of dispossessed non-being that is Black life with the non-human and the architectural.”
This extended exploration concluded on Sunday, April 21, when visitors were invited to experience the installation from 3 pm to 5 pm. During this time, González gave a live recitation amplified throughout the VW Dome and surrounding courtyard. A performance choreographed by González occured at 5 pm, signaling the conclusion of the work.
“LL II” was presented at Abrons Arts Center from Thursday, May 2 through Saturday, May 4, 2019.