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Beneath The Skin (A Living Museum)


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Thursday, April 12, 2018 7 pm - 9 pm @ MATCHBOX 2

Winston Churchill once said, “History is written by the victors.” In America, our history has been written and re-written to affirm and justify the oppression of people that do not conform to normative standards of race, gender, sexuality, class and religion. In other words, our history positions white colonizers as the victors, making our American history the history of colonizing whiteness.

Curated by Assistant Professor of Performance Studies Matthieu Chapman and the 2017–2018 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Visiting Fellow in Directing Justin Lucero, BENEATH THE SKIN is an art installation that serves as a “living museum.” It attempts to subvert the epidermis of the colonizer by collecting and displaying representations of history as they happen, rather than allowing the victors to archive and display it after the fact to support their narratives of power. The museum is devised and constructed by students in theatre, dance, communications and interdisciplinary arts at the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston. It seeks to engage the audience in discussions of cultural narratives, historical archives and power in the moment in which these things are being created.

Projects include:

"ROUGH CUT" by Eric Moore
- a visual art piece that seeks to challenge notions of whitewashing characters of color in films based on true stories by “color-washing” their white screen partners

- 13 Grey Zone (defined as incidents of a sexual nature that were nuanced or ambiguous and might not fit perfectly under the banner of #MeToo) stories shared by women throughout the US

"BRA OR BINDER?" by Mik Moats (they/them/theirs)
- a display questioning where the line is between too feminine and too masculine through the lens of Houston's transgender/nonbinary community and their clothing

"UNREACHABLE" by Ashley Boykin
- a movement piece refracting the effects of discrimination on the pursuit of dreams, a personal story of a black female dancer

"DEAR FISH" by Elizabeth Ann Michaela Keel
- a short, meditative film that explores strange-but-true news stories regarding portrayals of human loneliness, seeking to help with humanity's inner yearning to connect with one another

"DRESS CODE" by Bonnie Langthorn
- an interactive installation exploring the daily struggle that many women face when seeking an outfit appropriate for her day (and appropriate for the expectations others have on her)

"TRUE COLORS" by Roby Johnson
- a visual exploration of emergent discrimination on the Grindr digital platform where profiled bodies and personalities are often labeled, filtered, and judged in comparison to the white, masculine, dominant, muscular gay male aesthetic

"NASSARENE" by Nontani Weatherly
- a re-imagining of one of Christianity’s most recognizable icons: the crucifix, examining the question “Are all sins worthy of God’s grace?"

"#DISCONNECTED" by Julie Rubio
- often looked at as a primitive for not indulging in the world of social media, this choreography embraces the lifestyle of an unplugged Millennial

- an excerpt of a new play tying the historical figures of Harry Anslinger (shaper of America's drug policies) and Ronald and Nancy Reagan, and a present-day fictional figure dealing with the realities of marijuana prohibition

"LISTEN TO ME" by Alexis Vargas
- “Little girls don’t stay little forever...” this installation honors of the army of Larry Nassar's survivors who demand their voices be heard

This project is supported in part by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.