WE LOVE MATCHING GIFTS!!
We're now in our final hours, and have received another offer for a matching gift! We're so very grateful to all who have supported so far, and hope you'll be able to watch us cross the finish line tonight.
Another gorgeous anonymous backer has offered a $500 matching gift toward our project, but we need to unlock it first! Help us reach $8,000, and our campaign will leap forward to $8,500! In other words, every dollar you pledge means two dollars toward this project.
WE’RE MAKING SOMETHING NEW FOR YOU
PASSION is a new performance created by Zoe Aja Moore and Rachel Jendrzejewski that extracts the close-ups from the iconic silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc to question the fraught relationship between feminism, emotion, and felt action.
The work is scheduled to premiere at The Theater at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles in Fall 2019.
Our ensemble work--which to date has included collaborations with Mireya Lucio, Dorothy Dubrule, Gabriella Rhodeen, Brighid Gallagher, Jessica Emmanuel, and Jenny Greer--has been centered in amplifying a multiplicity of individual experiences. Text is being informed by the sharing of personal memories, associations, and experiences (for example, being sent to Camp Jeanne d’Arc, a summer camp for girls), as well as through embodied research on the framing of emotion and the gendered politics of emotion. We recall where we were when we heard Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, noting the singular moment when her voice cracked. We research the microscopic differences in the many types of tears cried. We consider the many associations with ‘passion,’ from sufferings of Christ to sexual desire.
The structure that holds this material comes from The Passion of Joan of Arc, the landmark 1927 silent film by Carl Theodor Dreyer. We are studying, dissecting, and reconstructing Dreyer’s 534 iconic close-ups of Renée Falconetti (who plays Joan), building a “micro memoir” in which Joan/Falconetti is pulled out of Dreyer’s gaze and into a new map for a highly intimate performance. In the spirit of silent film tradition, the piece also includes recorded excerpts of a live score by Julia Holter for Dreyer's film, performed by Julia, Corey Fogel, Devin Hoff, Dina Maccabee, and Tashi Wada.
We have come together through our shared interests in socially-minded contemporary performance, an investigation of feminist aesthetics and processes, disrupting habitual modes of meaning-making, and non-traditional treatments of space.
For PASSION, we share a commitment to creating space for feminine modes of thought and performance-making. We understand words like “female,” “feminine,” and “feminist” to be fluid and expansive, not limited to a single definition, and we’re interested in exploring new ways to crack open how we engage these ideas and their histories. Specifically, we are exploring feminist approaches to narrative and strategies for decision-making as we collaborate. We also are responding to other contemporary interpretations of Joan of Arc that continue the tradition of male-directed framing of feminine emotion. PASSION reclaims the framing of these felt experiences away from the male gaze and toward our own empowerment.
Our PASSION is decentralized, embodied, and cavernous. Ours embraces the mundane daily work of reclamation passion in our lives, as in the range from suffering to sexual, We are considering the value of rehearsing perseverance, of embracing the immensity of felt experience and the embodied work of change--and of inviting audiences to feel something in their bones, to put something in their muscle memory that informs how they move through the world after they leave the theater.
RESEARCH & CONTEXT MATTER
Using The Passion of Joan of Arc as an initial score for this work, we are questioning the fraught relationship between feminism and emotion, including the long history of women and girls being punished as “witches” or “hysterics,” language that we hear resurfacing on the political stage today. We are curious about how movements for social change are shifting away from the expectation of a single charismatic leader and instead embracing the uncertainties of decentralized, collaborative processes. We are examining the unglamorous, durational, slow daily work of real change--often carried out by women--and how an artistic invitation to empathize with or participate in this work might require a departure from traditional dramatic structure.
We draw from the many references of Joan of Arc as feminist icon in politics and popular culture over time, and how she resonates today. Our touchpoints range from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 concession speech, which was described as “a political death, live on television… Joan of Arc in a gray and purple suit of armor” (Huffington Post) to March for Our Lives co-organizer Emma González being widely compared to Joan, perhaps most notably in Rebecca Mead’s “Joan of Arc and the Passion of Emma González” (The New Yorker) to 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has been compared to Joan of Arc frequently as she leads the “school strike for climate” movement.
PASSION will premiere in the grandeur of the former United Artists Theater, now The Theatre at the Ace Hotel, in Los Angeles, and presented as part of the seventh edition of the LAX Festival. This 3-story, 1600-seat space is vast and decadent. We are interested in embracing the immensity of the space while creating an intensely intimate performance for only 100 audience members at a time, seated exclusively in the balcony.
In its heyday, silent film often was seen as a congregation – a gathering of an audience for a nonverbal event that led to a spiritual experience. PASSION gathers a congregation in a former silent movie palace, but with no film and no iconography, leaving those gathered to face each other and themselves. PASSION explores the space that our desire and longing inhabit while rehearsing perseverance.
YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS
Your backing on Kickstarter is critical in bringing this project to life! Our overall budget is around $75,000. We’re depending on support from our community for at least 10% of the overall cost. Your support will directly benefit our ability to offer fair and equitable compensation to the female-identifying artists involved in the project.
We can't wait to share this work with you, as well as updates along our journey this summer!
Risks and challenges
The scale at which we are dreaming of this project is far beyond the resources we currently have available to us. Your support will help us meet our baselines of artist compensation. We're raising additional funds to help cover the production costs in the theater, costumes, and sound design.
The largest challenge we face is that of producing adventurous new work in Los Angeles. This challenge means we are putting everything we have into the project, without being fully funded or having major institutional support. This is of course risky, but it's a risk we're willing to take. Thank you for being along for the ride, and helping us in this critical moment!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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