Who am I? Why am I using Kickstarter?
I'm Duriel E. Harris. I'm a black feminist artist, poet, scholar, and performer based in Chicago, Illinois. I've recently developed a performance called Thingification.
Selections from Thingification have already been featured in performance at the Babylon Theatre (Berlin), the MCA (Chicago), Estrada Poznanska and The Blue Note (Poznan), and The Luggage Store Gallery (San Francisco). I'm really excited to bring it to New York City next as part of the 11th Annual Fresh Fruit Festival – “New York City’s grassroots, disciplinary international festival of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer arts and culture.”
About the Show-ification!
Scene after scene – whether from an intimate urban music venue, the porch of a Deep South plantation mansion, a townhouse’s garden apartment bedroom, a hole-in-the-wall tavern, a dimly lit tenement kitchen, or a gay dance club – Thingification moves from trauma to transcendence, challenging the way we define difference. The play transports audiences through time and space by enacting a collective ritual participation in the struggle against thingification – the annihilating objectifying force at the core of all oppressions.
Thingification is a show featuring characters that expand from the personae of an original series of performance poems called “Phaneric Displays” (nos. 1-5). It includes published works from Drag (Elixir Press) and Amnesiac: Poems (Sheep Meadow Press), original music, and blues and house music classics.
Two performances of Thingification are scheduled as part of the Fresh Fruit Festival. They will take place at The Wild Project on Thursday, July 18 at 9pm and Saturday, July 20 at 2pm.
What does the term "thingification" mean?
The term "thing-ification" originates in Discourse on Colonialism by Aimé Césaire, where he explains that colonization diminishes the humanity of both colonizer and colonized. There he states: colonization = thing-ification.
Understanding that all oppressions are linked, I offer my one-woman show as one way to restore ourselves, celebrating our collective human potential.
Thingification was inspired by a desire to celebrate the bounty of African American literary and expressive arts and culture. It was also inspired by my experience of the life-giving force of human resilience and triumph over adversity.
I’m really passionate about the show because it allows me to share my talents and passions across disciplines with a wider public in a multifaceted way. Tapping into the catharsis that is fundamental to performance work, it has the potential to really transform audiences and offers an experience that changes the way they feel in their own bodies, empowering them to go out into the world free to be themselves. Thingification invigorates me because it celebrates the body, the voice, the word, word play, invention, and the joy at the backside of suffering – giving voice to people who've been marginalized and speaking truth to power.
Why does Thingification need funding? Where is my money going?
Your funding will be used to cover expenses related to the production, such as: a site visit to tour The Wild Project and meet with NYC-based staff; rehearsal space in Chicago & NYC; design and technical support; wigs (really!) and costume modifications; props, set, marketing, and promotion; equipment rental and/or purchase for the production; studio time for professional mix down of Thingification tracks; rights, licenses legal, and retainer fees; and getting to NYC, food, and housing for the performer and director.
With your assistance, we can make this production happen. If you are unable to make a monetary contribution, you can still support Thingification by spreading the word – share this with your friends, family, colleagues, social networking communities, and even your mailcarrier!
Thingification on the web:
Official Thingification Website
Thingification on Facebook
Thingification on Twitter
Thingification on Tumblr
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
Considering the nature of the one-woman show and my role as producer of the show, if I'm not careful the business of the production may impact my ability to focus on delivering the best possible performance.
And perhaps I’ll be so amped by community support that my creative genius will be out of control and I won’t be able to be still long enough to get into character, or more likely, that my characters will take over and it will take months to find ME in the mix. Subsequently, I will lose my job as a professor and wander about the streets speaking lines of poetry from the play.
Should setbacks arise, my unique challenges will be to:
** trust my creative intuition and modify plans to allow for innovative solutions – recognizing that within every problem is an opportunity for growth.
** not sweat the small stuff and solicit help whenever needed.
** be flexible and patient with myself and others, trusting in the integrity of the work.
- (30 days)