How would you act in a Social Democracy? As the United States free falls into fascism, it is imperative we imagine alternative moves. In this collectively produced performance, the assembled performers take socialism as a “fake it ’til you make it” proposition. Courtesy the Artists forms a working group out of theater, video and music makers to produce a contemporary, in-process vaudeville that includes the audience in a conversation about what we hate about today, and what we want it to look, act, and be like tomorrow. Popular Revolt addresses an increasingly distracted and misinformed public with the riotous, rebellious power of liveness. Popular Revolt re-invests revolutionary urgency into historic models of Marxist theater as a way to dismantle Neoliberalism, a global economic force, and an ideology informing the habits we perform every day. Looking at Brecht’s Lehrstück, or “learning plays,” of the early Modern era, and Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed, which gave non-actors a critical voice in the 1960s, Courtesy the Artists approaches these forms as a means to create a new language, inflected by the spectacularity of online and televisual cultural technologies.
Directed by Alexandro Segade and Amy Ruhl (https://www.amyruhlfilm.com)
Miguel Gutierrez (miguelgutierrez.org)
Latasha N. Nevada Diggs (poetryfoundation.org/poets/
Ryan McNamara (ryanmcnamara.com)
Seung-Min Lee (seungminlee.com)
C. Bain (http://tiresiasprojekt.com/
Alison Kizu-Blair (https://vimeo.com/
Courtesy the Artists is a shifting collective based in New York, organized and directed by Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade, who started the project when moving from LA to New York in 2012. Prior projects include The Meeting at MoMA Ps1, which explored the music of Black Panther Party president Elaine Brown; 24-Hr Ballad, a day-long performance of the song “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair,” included in Performa 14; Songs of the Civil War, commissioned for the exhibition “When the Stars Begin to Fall” at the Studio Museum in Harlem; “The Shoot,” a live film shoot about the pepper spray incident at UC Davis, commissioned for the exhibition “The Rehearsal,” at the Kitchen NYC; and Choir Practice, an amateur sing-along of the songs of Sweet Honey in the Rock at Recess. This project also builds on Segade and Gaines’s work, with Jade Gordon, in the art collective My Barbarian, and their leftist theater project Post-Living Ante-Action, which was the subject of the group’s 2016 solo show at the New Museum.