“When you come in, it will be transformed,” says Jimena Bermejo-Black of the presently quite ordinary dance studio on Central Square’s Green Street.
“We’re going to darken everything and we’ll have people led through the space by a rope.”
This Saturday and Sunday, performance collaborative, Jointissue, will present Body/Bawdy/B Awe D at Green Street Studios, a collection of film and performance art that takes a closer look at the human form.
The premise is to craft an experimental viewing experience, audience mingling with performers through dressing rooms, bathrooms and dance studios.
“The rope could be kindof like tissue,” Bermejo-Black says. “You’re going through the body of this space without your vision, just by touch and by sound.”
The brainchild of Bermejo-Black and Beth Cohen King, Jointissue formed in 2007 when both founders were studying in the SIM (Studio for Interrelated Media) program at MassArt. This is the first Jointissue event since their graduation in 2009, and in an ode to their art school years, all but one of the performers is a MassArt alum.
“It’s all about interaction,” King says. “It’s really about getting the audience involved in a sensory way.”
Victoria Jacob will cover herself in self-tanner. Bermejo-Black will do plies for an hour straight. Carolyn Shadid will show a video where she interviews an Irish lady about domestic abuse.
But, King emphasizes, it won’t be a night without comic relief. For one, Zayde Buti will perform a song inspired by Chipotle burrito marketing campaigns, the most recent development in his series of fast food-inspired rap songs.
In Bermejo-Black’s own films, she hilariously explores the issue of height– “People are always like ‘Oh, you’re Mexican, of course you’re short.’ It becomes a little bit political.”
King emphasizes: “A big problem with performance art is a lot of times you leave wanting to kill yourself.” Jointissue tries to curate an expert mix of hard and soft.
Ultimately, the presentation is an artistic commentary on something we all possess: bodies. And for performance artists like Bermejo-Black and King, this seems the most effective creative medium. There is nothing that cannot be expressed through the body.
“I think I chose the theme of the body because it’s what I do,” Bermejo-Black says. “I’ve been a dancer for the longest time…I had two surgeries, I had a child, I’ve been injured, my body has changed in so many ways. I constantly think about my body and I think everybody does.”
[Jointissue presents Body/Bawdy/B Awe D. 11.12.11 @ 8 p.m. and 11.13 @ 6 p.m. Green Street Studios. 185 Green Street, Cambridge. $15 General Admission/$12 Students. All proceeds go to Green Street Studios. Greenstreetstudios.org]