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Ping Chong and Company Presents A UNIVERSAL HISTORY OF INFAMY: VARIATIONS ON NOCTURN IN 1200 SECONDS

PCC also presents a series of virtual performance works from emerging artists responding to this moment, December 8.

Ping Chong and Company Presents A UNIVERSAL HISTORY OF INFAMY: VARIATIONS ON NOCTURN IN 1200 SECONDS

Ping Chong and Company will present A Universal History of Infamy: Variations on Nocturne in 1200 Seconds, a new video production of Ping Chong's Nocturne in 1200 Seconds and a collection of online works from multidisciplinary, emerging artists inspired by it, responding to this current moment. The online gallery, featuring new works from Kenya Bullock, Irisdelia Garcia, Zakaria Khafagy, and Jaime Sunwoo & Matthew Chilton, will launch Tuesday, December 8 at 7pm, here. PCC today also announces two creative fellows, Johnnie Cruise Mercer and Jaime Sunwoo, who will be in residence with the company during the 2020/2021 season.

The original Nocturne in 1200 Seconds was created in 1998 for Journey To The East, a curated, concept-driven festival in Hong Kong, in which 12 Chinese diasporic artists were commissioned to create 15 minute-long works with the restriction that they were to use the same table and two chairs in each work with two actors of their choice. Ping Chong and Company planned to premiere an anthology evening of short performances in April 2020 that derived from this concept, under the title Nocturne in 2020, with artists incorporating a table, two chairs, two actors, and additionally, found text, into their works. When live performances were cancelled due to Covid-19, the cohort of artists created short online video works comprising Nocturne REMIX 2020. With live performance further indefinitely postponed, the cohort of artists decided to create new virtual works, now under the title A Universal History of Infamy, prompted by the original Nocturne in 2020 concepts and parameters.

Ping Chong, describing his original work, says, "I am fond of saying, all islands connect under water. If only we human beings could remember and truly understand that, that we are all in this thing called life together, that our actions wherever we may be on the globe have consequences for each and every one of us. Nocturne in 1200 Seconds, a chamber work, small as a nutshell, encompasses the world. All of 20 so minutes long, you are taken on a journey both in time and space to confront the dark side of our nature with a single reminder, that without compassion and kindness we are unworthy of being called human."

Ping Chong and Company's creative residency, launched in 2019, likewise engages multidisciplinary artists with a commitment to social justice early in their careers. Fellows will learn from the body of Ping Chong and Company work and methodologies, receive mentorship and guidance on their career and creative goals, and gain skills in communications and marketing. From research within the Ping Chong and Company production archive, which consists of over 100 works, they will generate a new project, with a presentation at the end of the residency.

Ping Chong and Company Managing Director Jane Jung says of the Creative Fellows, "We are excited to be working with Jaime Sunwoo and Johnnie Cruise Mercer, two incredible artists who engage history, community, and new forms in their artistic practices. Nearly 50 years ago, when Ping Chong started making performance work, he created an artistic home by establishing Ping Chong and Company. This artistic home has been a place of mentorship and creativity for many artists over the years and we deepen this commitment through the Creative Fellowship. Jaime Sunwoo comes from a visual art background and Johnnie, from a movement background, and both artists are expanding beyond these formal disciplines in their self- generative work. Through in depth engagement with the company and archives, we will support the development of new work during this Fellowship for each artist."

A Universal History of Infamy: Variations on Nocturne in 1200 Seconds Works

Nocturne in 1200 Seconds

By Ping Chong

Nocturne in 1200 Seconds is a series of seemingly unrelated monologues alternating between two enigmatic "FIGURES". The script was created out of found texts slightly altered and recycled. The work obliquely examines the dark side of human nature.

Tha Barrel

By Kenya Bullock

In the wake of Covid-19, competition increases as resources and materials lessen. Tha Barrel is a filmed interpretive dance piece that explores the raw truth of the "Crabs in the Barrel" metaphor as it applies to today's climate. In the piece, two otherworldly figures at odds with each other, fight for the same goal in a "dark hole" that is impossible to exit or escape.

You Are The News Now

by Jaime Sunwoo and Matthew Chilton

You Are The News Now explores the fragile balance of online reality during the United States' COVID-19 crisis. Through parallel monologues, the virus's devastation comes into contrast with viral misinformation and conspiracy theories surrounding the virus's origin, government lockdowns, masks, vaccination, and racial violence. While the government and establishment media fail to interpret the crisis for the public, the mysterious "Q" and his army of citizen journalist "Digital Soldiers" wage war on the construction of truth itself.

Pigpen

By Zakaria Khafagy

Pigpen is a psychological thriller that explores the horrors and struggles of being impoverished. Claudius is homeless and struggling to survive on the streets of New York City, making ends meet on bottle collecting and panhandling. At night when Claudius has nowhere to go he turns to the subways where he is stalked and hunted by pig creatures in police uniforms. With his mental space deteriorating by the minute Claudius faces a confrontation with the pig people as they attempt to arrest and brutalize him.

i had swallowed mirrors for you

by Irisdelia Garcia

Using images and lore of specifically Puerto Rican and Caribbean culture, i had swallowed mirrors for you is a meditation between two sisters and their relationship with each other. Using the idea of mirrors and reflections, it is a recorded performance piece of the two creating an altar space that links them in sisterhood by building their table themselves. An introspection of love, loss, and the hardships of siblinghood, i had swallowed mirrors for you becomes a window for hard truths and healing.


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