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Subject to Change

Thursday, March 21, 2024


2 images side-by-side. The left image is a blurred photo of a waterfall by Catherine Opie. The 2nd is a closeup of a woman with long dark blonde hair smiling and looking directly at the camera with greenery in the background.

Choreography + Performance by Julian Barnett and Jocelyn Tobias; Sound by Menghan Wang

The Current is pleased to welcome Vermont-based collaborators Julian Barnett, Jocelyn Tobias, and Menghan Wang for the performance of Subject to Change as part of our gallery engagement programming for the group exhibition, In the Garden. Running from 5pm-6:30pm on Thursday, March 21, the event will include a performance followed by a brief Q&A. With choreography and performance by Barnett and Tobias, and sound by Wang, Subject to Change explores the feelings of precipice and instability within our ongoing socio-political and climate crises. Part performance, part meditation, the work integrates live sound, whispering bodies, and a tent, all of which can receive our collective projections of futurity and implications of oscillating at a time of urgency.

The research behind Subject To Change has resulted in multiple iterations ranging from smaller-scale intimate performances to larger multigenerational ensemble work. It is a continuation of an ongoing, larger interdisciplinary project between New York and Vermont, which explores the intersection of environmental issues, ontology, and embodied art. The project has received support through the Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant, the School of the Arts at The University of Vermont, and the Mertz Gilmore Late-Stage Grant. Presentations include Movement Research at Judson Church, New York, NY; Performance Mix Festival, New York, NY; and the Instinct Experimental Dance Festival, Burlington, VT.

Julian Barnett is a choreographer, performer, arts advocate, and educator. His work often explores different notions of intimacy within performance and his Japanese American identity as a fulcrum for social-political transformation and empathy. Influenced by his performance collaborations with Steve Paxton, Jeanine Durning, Abigail Levine, Kota Yamazaki, Wally Cardona, and others, Julian has been fortunate to receive invitations to present his work throughout New York, the US, Montreal, Mexico, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and extensively across Europe. Born in Japan, he lived in New York City for 20 years and has considered Vermont home since 2017.

Jocelyn (Jojo) Tobias is a dedicated dance artist, mother, and writer who attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has worked internationally and in NYC for the last twenty years, calling Burlington home for the past six. Select professional relationships she has been fortunate to experience include Deborah Hay, Zvi Gotheiner, Sara Michelson, Mark Dendy, Gus Solomons Jr., Henning Rübsam, Jillian Pena, Eva Karczag, Laurel Jenkins, and Julian Barnett. Jojo is currently building a multi-generational and multimedia evening-length work with Barnett and collaborators.

Menghan Wang, aka Cold Dream, is a Beijing-born, previously Berlin-based artist who currently resides in Vermont. She is an interdisciplinary sound artist and musician who received an MA from the Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK), Germany. Menghan’s works mirror the hidden emotions and underlying challenges in life and reflect the interplays between movement and representation, self and otherness, undercurrent and status quo.

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