Okwui Okpokwasili is a writer, performer, and choreographer. In her multidisciplinary performances straddling theater, dance, sound, and visual arts, Okpokwasili evokes the memories of women—of adolescent sexual awakening in the inner city (Bronx Gothic, 2014), forgotten women engaged in embodied revolt in the Women’s War of 1929 and the threads of that action in the Bring Back our Girls movement (Poor People’s TV Room, 2018), and of a young girl who refuses to have her hair straightened, as it’s a direct link to the spiritual plane (Adaku’s Revolt, 2019). Her virtuosic performances quake through the fissures of interior and corporeal experience, realized amid spare sets designed by her husband and collaborator Peter Born.
Okpokwasili presents On the way, undone, a processional performance inspired by Simone Leigh’s High Line Plinth commission Brick House. On the way, undone is at once an homage and a pilgrimage: performers trace a path through the park to Leigh’s magnificent sculpture at 30th Street, carrying a vessel that also carries them. Okpokwasili performs with Mayfield Brooks, Anaïs Maviel, and Samita Sinha.
Check-in is on the High Line at 14th Street and 10th Avenue. The performance will begin in the Chelsea Market Passage at 16th Street, followed by a procession north. The audience is encouraged to follow the performance, while maintaining 6-foot distance between individuals or households. Please note that the audience may stretch for as long as a city block in order to maintain social distance. The procession will turn east at 30th Street, culminating on the Spur at 10th Avenue. There will be seating and additional space for the audience to spread out on the Spur. Please note that event participants will be walking ~0.8 miles. If you prefer not to walk, you may still enjoy the first 30 minutes of the performance in the Chelsea Market Passage before the procession begins.
We encourage all persons with disabilities to attend. To request additional information regarding accessibility or accommodations at a program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Program venues are accessible via wheelchair, and ASL interpretation can be arranged two weeks in advance.
Organized by Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator.
Okwui Okpokwasili (b. 1972) is an Igbo-Nigerian American artist, performer, and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her performance work has been commissioned by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA with REDCAT, Los Angeles, California (2018); the 10th Annual Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany (2018); Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, Massachusetts (2018); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2017); and Danspace Project, New York, New York with Performance Space New York, New York (2014). She has been the recipient of two New York Dance and Performance Bessie Awards, and was a 2018 MacArthur Fellow.
mayfield brooks improvises while black, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York on Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenape people. brooks is a movement-based performance artist, vocalist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. They are currently an Artist-in-Residence (AiR) at the Center for Performance Research (CPR), is faculty at Movement Research NYC, Editor in Chief of the Movement Research Performance Journal, and the 2021 recent recipient of the biennial Merce Cunningham Award in dance granted by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. brooks teaches and performs practices that arise from their life/art/movement work, Improvising While Black (IWB).
Anaïs Maviel’s work as a vocalist, percussionist and composer focuses on the function of music as essential to settling common grounds, addressing relation, and creating utopian future. Maviel is dedicated to substantial creations from solo to large ensembles, music direction of cross-disciplinary works, and to expanding the power of music as a healing & transformative act. Maviel performs and teaches extensively in New York, throughout the Americas and Europe. Both solo albums hOULe and in the garden received international acclaim. Maviel is the recipient of the 2019 Van Lier Fellowship, 2020 ACF | Create and 2021–2022 Jerome Fellowship.
Lead Support, High Line Art
Amanda and Don Mullen
Major Support, High Line Art
Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons
The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston
Charina Endowment Fund
Project Support, High Line Art
Charlotte Feng Ford
Additional Support, High Line Art
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
The Scintilla Foundation
Public Support, High Line Art
High Line Art is supported, in part, with a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson.