May 3, 2016 – May 31, 2016
A one-on-one intervention based on divination practices from various cultures
Saturday May 7, 14, 21 & 28, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
“Temple” is based on the divination practices from various religions and cultures such as Yoruba and Japanese. By drawing from these forms of fortune telling, Aya created her own method of divination that acts more as a game. Through tools such as tarot cards, shells and dominoes, she guides the viewer through a series of systems that end in either a gift they take home or an offering to the space. The performance is acted out silently and one-on-one between the artist and the individual viewer as a 3-minute (maximum) unique experience, no two interactions are the same. The tools for the performance will be set up each time. These items include a metallic table, two metallic cushions, a metallic mat, a silver hotel bell, a sand timer, a set of tarot cards, 3 sets of divination tools (short sticks in a cup, a shell and a rock, and 7 domino tiles) and a basket filled with various “prizes” (items such as plastic gem rings, chocolate coins and deflated white balloons). For this performance, Aya created a costume that is based on the Japanese puppetry uniform kuroko. In its traditional form, the kuroko uniform is a signal to the viewer that that person is not there, that they are invisible. It consists of black pants, a black shirt and a black hood that obscures the wearer’s identity. For “Temple”, she created a costume of a long metallic kimono and metallic hood. Its purpose is transformed from signaling that she, as a performer, is not there to a figure that reflects the viewer and the surrounding environment. Instead of disappearing, “Temple” is reflecting the landscape. The entire performance serves as a temporary intervention and transformation to Marcus Garvey Park and its visitors. Its intention is to engage the viewer to reflect both literally as all the items are mirrored and metaphorically as the viewer draws from the experience what they will. The performance is transportable and can be carried out in various sites in Marcus Garvey Park. The artist chose the middle of the large oval grassy area at 123rd and Madison.
Aya Rodriguez-Izumi is an artist living and working in Harlem whose practice includes painting, drawing, sculpture and music. Her work deals with how communication informs enculturation and molds the understanding of the self. She approaches this theme often in a satirical manner and calls on personal experiences of grappling with her own cultural identity. She has spent her life moving back and forth between New York City and her birthplace of Okinawa, Japan. Being half Cuban/Puerto Rican and Okinawan/Japanese, socio-cultural identity has always been a focus of her work and life. Since graduating from Parsons the New School for Design she has been included in various group shows and has shown at such venues as MoCADA, Skylight Gallery, Free Candy and FLUX Fair among others. She is currently an MFA candidate at SVA.