Fred Wilson: “Mind Forged Manacles/Manacle Forged Minds” programming | George Emilio Sanchez
George Emilio Sanchez
Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2022 (day-long performance culminating in evening)
Location: Columbus Park / Fred Wilson sculpture site
Medium: Spoken word/performance.
Presented by More Art
Sanchez’s performance is a site-specific, 12-hour durational performance performed on the day Columbus “Saw America” for first time in 1492. The piece acknowledges the geographic location of the public space of Columbus Plaza, and the ancestral homelands of which they lie upon/over. Sanchez will spend the day stationed on a park bench in the plaza at Columbus Park, at times silent and observing passers-by, other times he will be seemingly sleeping. During active moments he will address each of the three historic figures acknowledged by the park: Christopher Columbus, Henry Ward Beecher and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He will speak directly to the monuments regarding the history and legacy of each historic figure, as a counterpoint to Fred Wilson’s sculpture work, and draw parallels and contradictions between the legacies and realities of these figures, against that of underrepresented people and cultures who are more likely to experience the cages of captivity on view in Fred Wilson’s artwork on public display.
George Emilio Sanchez is a writer, performance artist and social justice activist. He was born in Los Angeles, raised in Orange County, California, and became a New York transplant in 1978. He began making original pieces in 1992 and has continued making performance work and social justice projects to this day. He is currently in the process of crafting a new performance series titled “Performing the Constitution.” The first installment of the series, titled XIV, premiered at Dixon Place in 2019. This work melds autobiography and history in a performance that gives narrative to the injustices racialized communities face as they fight for “equal protection of the laws.” The second performance in the series, titled In the Court of the Conqueror, confronts the over 200 year-old history of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have diluted the Tribal Sovereignty of Native Nations. This second installment premiered at Abrons Arts Center in the spring of 2022. As the Abrons Social Practice AIR he works with youth groups on the Lower East Side to use the arts as a restorative tool while addressing the reality and trauma of gun violence. For the past two years, he organized and facilitated BANG BANG GUN AMOK, a 24-hour performance filibuster on gun culture. George has been collaborating with More Art and the Center for Court Innovation/Brooklyn Justice Initiatives (CCI/BJI) on a series of workshops and performances for participants in CCI’s/BJI’s alternative to incarceration program.