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Project Premiere: PearlDamour's "How to Build a Forest" at The Kitchen in New York

June 9, 2011

How to Build a Forest
June 17–19 and 24–26, 2:00–10:00pm
The Kitchen
New York, NY

2009 Performing Arts grantees Katie Pearl and Lisa D'Amour (PearlDamour) premiere How to Build a Forest this week at The Kitchen in New York.

"We build it, it's gorgeous, it's gone." How To Build A Forest is a durational performance installation in which D'Amour and Pearl build and dismantle an elaborate, simulated forest over the course of an eight-hour work shift. Addressing the disconnect between urban dwellers and the natural world, the installation, made primarily of fabric, small gauge steel and found materials, was created with visual artist Shawn Hall, working with a team of young artists in New Orleans. After the build team assembles for six hours, the "complete" forest will fill The Kitchen's theater space from floor to ceiling and wall to wall for a mere 30 minutes before being whisked away again, boxed and bagged up in preparation for the next assembly. The performance includes subtle spectacle, moments of text written by D'Amour (a recent Pulitzer Prize finalist for Detroit), and repeated, isolated interactions amongst performers, objects and viewers. Audience members can come and go throughout the performance, entering the installation for a close-up look, or remaining in their seats for a distanced perspective. Self guided tours that take audience members outside through the neighborhood and onto the High Line round out the experience.

How To Build A Forest is inspired in part by the loss of 100 trees at D'Amour's family home in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina and was subsequently informed by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A field guide that tracks the source of materials used in the installation will be given to everyone attending, and a pamphlet of text and images is being created in conjunction with the work.

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