Cori Olinghouse: Grandma

Cori Olinghouse, GRANDMA. Photo credit: Andrew Jordan.
Cori Olinghouse, GRANDMA. Photo credit: Andrew Jordan.

June 16–17
June 16 Performances at 1pm and 5pm, June 17 performance at 1pm, at LMCC's Studios at 125 Maiden Lane, NYC

This event is limited capacity and RSVPs are required. Please RSVP here.  

About Grandma:

Grandma is a performance installation where I conjure my late Grandma, Addie Lee Holder. Set in an American landscape of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, I excavate the effects of television, consumerism, and familial pasts as portals. Until the age of 94, Grandma delighted in her daily Twinkies and Mr. Pibb’s, acquired from the local Piggly Wiggly. She saved tourist sweatshirts wrapped neatly in plastic, collected crocheted Barbie clothes, refrigerator magnets, and a vast array of thimbles. While she gossiped with ladies at the salon, I chopped off Barbie heads, and attempted to fly from a stump in her backyard. In this piece, she is embedded in the hints of living room, carpeting, and processed food products. While looping through the practice of hoarding, discarding, coveting and display, I excavate a particular formation of white southern middle classness that is built up in my memories. Employing shape-shifting and a queering of the clown form, I draw from Lauren Berlant’s description of humor as a space for transformation -- “delighting in brokenness” as a way to “shake up what’s structural.” --Cori Olinghouse

Duration: 60 minutes

Created and directed by Cori Olinghouse

Performance: Martita Abril and Cori Olinghouse

Visual Design: Dean Moss and Cori Olinghouse

Project Assistant: Callan Fish

Production Manager: Emma Johnson

Cori Olinghouse is an interdisciplinary artist, archivist, and curator. Her work has been commissioned by Danspace Project, New York Live Arts, BRIC Arts Media, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Movement Research, and Brooklyn Museum of Art. Recently, she was the recipient of The Award (2015-2016), and a participant in Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2016-2017). Olinghouse danced for the Trisha Brown Dance Company from 2002-2006, and served as the archive director from 2009-February 2018. Over the past ten years, in critical examination of the postmodern aesthetic of her training, she has studied closely with theatrical clown and actor Bill Irwin, and legendary voguers Archie Burnett, Benny Ninja, and Javier Ninja. She is the creator of Clown Therapy, an improvisational practice, which plays with the shape-shifting nature of identity and personhood. As founding director of The Portal Project, she is currently developing a series of artist archivist projects that explore the transmission of performance through curatorial and archival frameworks. She serves as guest faculty at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, and has lectured at the Museum of Modern Art, Duke University, Lincoln Center, among other institutions. She holds an MA in Performance Curation as part of the inaugural class at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.

Grandma was commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and developed as part of LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Grandma was additionally created with commissioning support from Gibney Dance with funds provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, and by the ODC Theater in San Francisco. Cori Olinghouse acknowledges Park Avenue Armory for residency in association with the development of this work.