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Moriah Evans, Remains Persist

Moriah Evans, Remains Persist, (2022). Performance documentation from Performance Space New York. Photo by Rachel Papo. Performers L to R: Sarah Beth Percival, João dos Santos Martins, and Kris Lee.

Moriah Evans, Remains Persist
West Coast Premiere

With Cyril Baldy, Madeline Best, Malcolm x-Betts, Ian Douglas-Moore, Doris Dziersk, Lizzie Feidelson, Kris Lee, Joshua Lubin-Levy, João dos Santos Martins, Lydia Okrent, Sarah Beth Percival, Julia Simpson, Varinia Canto Vila, Anh Vo.

Remains Persist uses performance as a site for social inquiry and surveillance. Using choreographic scores as prompts, the work explores how language and dance can make use of each other to consider blatant and latent information.

Individually and collectively, the performers attempt to access, name, expose, and recompose what this project has termed “remains.” Remains might include: historical and personal relics; fragments remaining after use or destruction; physiological residues of pleasures and traumas; fantasies, and more. Performers utilize their varied remains and differences—informed by race, socio-economic background, sexuality, ideological beliefs, citizenship, verbal and physical fluencies, proclivities, and more—as energetic and generative resources. Remains Persist transforms these seemingly random and accumulated bodily histories into corporeal forces, movements, and utterances.

An ongoing rotation cycle of distinct roles and situations structures the performance. Its format references a research laboratory, medical clinic, courtroom trial, dance studio, reality TV show, or something else entirely. Sometimes, the performers assume the role of a biopolitical bureaucrat to interrogate another performer's matrilineal heritage with respect to class position. Other times, they are caring researchers who dig into the lived experiences of race, gender, or class to excavate mundane and profound content from their own and each other’s biographies. At times, they merely observe or simply resign. In other moments, they expel content and forge meaning between related and unrelated information. Regardless of the roles they occupy in any given instance, they are always examining and utilizing dance and embodiment.

Remains Persist strips away, accentuates, and reconfigures markers of identity, breaking down the everyday performance of subjectivity, and bringing forth an array of conversations within bodies, societies, and institutions.

Choreography: Moriah Evans
Performers: Cyril Baldy, Malcolm-x Betts, Lizzie Feidelson, Kris Lee, João dos Santos Martins, Sarah Beth Percival, Varinia Canto Vila, and Anh Vo
Dramaturgy: Joshua Lubin-Levy
Lighting: Madeline Best
Scenography: Doris Dziersk
Sound: Ian Douglas-Moore
Studio Management and Performer: Lydia Okrent
Studio Producer: Julia Simpson
Technical Advisor: Andy Sowers

Remains Persist has a running time of four hours. The work is open and porous—late seating is permitted and the audience may enter and exit as they please—it is recommended that attendees spend as much time as possible in the space.

Alongside the performances of Remains Persist, Evans will facilitate two open classes of Organ Work and an afternoon of 1X1 Resignation Clinics. Based on Evans’s methods and practice, these free classes and clinics will offer interested visitors additional points of entry and means to further engage with the work.

Moriah Evans positions choreography as an expansive social process. Drawing on somatic choreographic practices and feminist critiques of dance and visual culture, her work expands dance beyond the visible, to explore different ways of sensing both ourselves and our relationships to one another. Evans develops movement from the unseen interior of the body, by activating the emotional, somatic, and sensory systems, in order to question the default hierarchies between flesh, body, self, and subject.

For Evans, choreography is a social political project that means far more than arranging bodies and movement in space; it is a serious and wide-ranging exploration of ideological beliefs–including feminist, sociological, and anthropological considerations. In Evans’ practice, one work leads to the next, each project forming a chapter in her ongoing process to inspire transformation–both physical and psychosocially–through action. Evans creates site-specific performances, theater-based productions, gallery and museum-based participatory installations, symposiums, theoretical texts, and curatorial projects. Recent works include: Out of and Into: PLOT (Museion, Bolzano/Bozen, Italy, 2023); Rehearsals for Rehearsal (Public Art Fund, NY, 2022); RESTOS (Espacio Odeon, Bogota, Colombia, 2021); REPOSE (Beach Sessions, NY, 2021); Be my Muse (Pace Live, NY, 2021; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC, 2018, Villa Empain, 2016); BASTARDS: We are all Illegitimate Children (NYU Skirball, NY, 2019); Configure (The Kitchen, NY, 2018); Figuring (SculptureCenter, NY, 2018).

Wonmi’s WAREHOUSE Programs is organized by Alex Sloane, Associate Curator, and is produced by Amelia Charter, Producer of Performance and Programs with Michele Huizar, Programming Assistant, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.

Wonmi's WAREHOUSE Programs is founded by Wonmi & Kihong Kwon and Family.

MOCA’s presentation of Moriah Evans, Remains Persist, is featured as part of the Live Arts Exchange [LAX] Festival Vol. 10, organized by Los Angeles Performance Practice, which takes place from September 29 to November 4, 2023, at various venues across the city.