Eclipsing, Curated by Amina Ross


A celestial body is eclipsed when another larger body passes, floats, or drifts into this celestial body’s source of illumination, submerging the smaller body in shadow; in darkness. An eclipse can also be defined as a reduction or loss of status, reputation or power. Those lacking power are cast into darkness. The concept of the eclipse exposes common associations with night and darkness, and may reveal the way dark and night spaces provide a place to challenge dominant and oppressive systems, structures and ways of seeing.

Artists within the Eclipsing series possess the ability to cross boundaries between mediums and mobilize darkness within their works, harnessing darkness’s metaphorical and metaphysical qualities. In dealing with darkness these artist, performers, musicians and healers dissect power. Power as it is defined and perpetrated by the systems that be, and a deeper power that may reside in the depths of a dark night sky or the pitch black pupil of an eye. They show us that there is something hidden there. In true darkness there is tremendous power. These artists shed light on the marginal, mysterious, spectacular spaces of night.

Opening & Closing Ritual

The Participatory Music Coalition began as the sonic subcommittee of the MB Collective, a theater, performance, visual and community collective of artists integrating diverse performative traditions, especially with respect to the South Side Community Art Center and its founder, the great spirit Margaret Burroughs. Musicians of the MB collective began participating in the weekly “Sonic Healing Ministries Free Jazz Sessions” organized and headed by composer/instrumentalist and educator David Boykin. Finding fulfillment and growth through these sessions members began to meet in each others homes to experiment, compose, and practice new music.

Day 1

Joelle Mercedes

Joelle Mercedes is a Pájaro Afrodescendiente originally from The Bronx NYC, currently situated in Chicago. Joelle’s work is a flight interrupted by a chaotic thirst for departures. In this detour a circular path unearths, the tart nectar of saudade. A curiosity with distance.

Patricia Nguyen

Patricia Nguyen is an artist, educator, and scholar who was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. As a child of refugees, her performance work is grounded in her family’s stories to critically engage with issues of forced migration, notions of freedom, inherited war trauma, memory, home, and healing. She has performed at the Nha San Collective, the Mission Cultural Center, Jane Addams Hull House, Oberlin College, Northwestern University, University of Massachusetts, and Prague Quadrennial. Patricia is a Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at Northwestern University and a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans.

Day 2

Gabrielle Civil

Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist and poet, originally from Detroit MI. She has premiered over forty original solo and collaborative performance art works around the world, including a year-long investigation of practice as a Fulbright Fellow in Mexico and a trilogy of diaspora grief works after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

A.J. McClenon

AJ was born and raised in “D.C. proper,” where they learned to fish and wander. AJ holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in creative writing from the University of Maryland College Park. AJ has also studied at Eugene Lang College. AJ has performed and shown work throughout the US. AJ is currently the co-director of Beauty Breaks, an intergenerational beauty and wellness workshop series for black people along the spectrum of femininity. AJ is also a co-founder of F4F, a domestic venue that cultivates a femme community, centers blackness, and expands upon understandings of what domestic space can be.

Day 3

Danny Giles Lyric

In “Lyric”, participants enter into a darkend space, lit by the flashing blue lights of a modified Police Observation Device box, devices used around Chicago to surveil citizens in “high crime areas”. The device, which typically is capable of capturing a large amount of data based on video footage mounted below a blue light, is reconfigured with poly-rhythimic strobes, creating the atmosphere of a darkened night club. Participants take part in the installation through dance. Everyone is asked to bring headphones to listen to their own music and dance to their own beat.

Jared BrownUntitled (Views from the 12th House)

Untitled (Views from the 12th House) explores my complicated relationship to the night and darkness. Using sound, text, video, aroma and performance, I invite the audience to embark on a cathartic experience with me while I bridge together my fears that only exist during the night with the salvation I feel while I live in pure darkness.


FUPU is the white male patriarchy’s reckoning. It’s dressed in an all-Black, femme punk band, but it’s the war for reparations incarnate. FUPU does not represent the same ol’ coy request for equality, it’s a declarative statement: we have BEEN understanding and humble to the point of detriment, so new rules-FUCK U PAY US and SUCK MY NAPPY BLACK PUSSY.