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New York, New York … Since the start of the pandemic, only during the summer months, the West Harlem Art Fund has hosted a residence with artists from New York and around the country on Governors Island. Visual Muze is a unique storytelling residence and retreat. It offers visual artists, performance artists, multimedia designers and writers the opportunity to explore narrative forms within collaborative projects, work in progress, guest lectures and crafts. Attendees can choose to work independently or as a team to create original works in print, film, public performance or digitally for a final exhibition. Process, creative strategy and inspiration are emphasized.

Starting this Saturday, August 6, Brooklyn-based artist Tanika Williams will present her site specific installation Intrinsic ecologies and dance short film (build) Cancellation at Nolan Park at Building 10B (NP / 10) where the West Harlem Art Fund on Governors Island resides. This installation will be on display on 6 and 7 August and 12 and 13 August. Public speeches will be held daily at 1pm and 3pm.

Intrinsic ecologies And (build) Cancellation is presented in tandem with HouseFest on Governors Island (August 5 – August 7) ​​and Dance Party NYC (August 6).

Intrinsic ecologies places alien plants in handmade patches to explore the impact of immigration on indigenous biology. The experiment positions humans as an invasive species and plants as sentient life forms to imagine the relationship between migratory patterns of plants and people. This site-specific installation places callaloo, a green leafy plant essential to Jamaican food paths, in the hyperlocal compost of the Land matters Field station on Governors Island.

(build) Cancellation


25 min 57 sec

As a meditation on silent healing, intention, intergenerational movement and work (build) Cancellation try to understand how we wear and repeat familiar patterns of silence and separation. The work talks about the experience of migration, moving from one country to another, through the countries, through the cities, and tries to present the pain around the unexpressed suffering experienced during the separation of the caregiver and her responsibility. The work features Tanika I. Williams, choreographer Nehemoyia Young and Svaha Williams.

The installation and the video parallel the movement of people and plants to demonstrate that, like plants, people cross borders and settle in new areas in search of safety and community. Furthermore, the works reimagine the notion of hierarchy in plant ecosystems and human family structures to create new food for thought on immigration.

Biography of the artist

Tanika I. Williams (born in St. Andrew, Jamaica; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) is an award-winning director and performance artist. She investigates women’s use of movement, motherhood and medicine to produce and transmit the ancestral wisdom of ecology, spirituality and liberation.

Williams holds a BA from Eugene Lang College, New School, and an MDiv from Union Theological Seminary. Her films have been screened in national and international festivals and broadcast on American television.

Williams has received residencies at the New York Foundation for the Arts, Hi-ARTS, Cow House Studios, MORE Art and BRIC. Her additional awards and appearances include En Foco Media Arts Fund, 99.5 WBAI, Art in Odd Places, Creative Time, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Civic Art Lab, GreenspaceNYC, Let Us Eat Local, Just Food and Performa.

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