FRAGMENTED BODY PERCEPTIONS AS HIGHER VIBRATION FREQUENCIES TO GOD
Across the center of the space, a riverbed lined with stones and filmed with algae and moss trickles water across rocks and into a rectangular trough. A soft bed of soil snakes across the ground, encircling sculptures of stacked rock from the crags of which new grasses grow, then continues, serpentine, around the brook. There is the sound of wind through chasms, and it smells like spring and new earth.
"FRAGMENTED BODY PERCEPTIONS AS HIGHER VIBRATION FREQUENCIES TO GOD,” Precious Okoyomon’s new installation at Performance Space New York, is an aquarium for grief. In a year of disease, loss, and disproportionately Black death, visitors are enticed to linger in a space of contemplation and mourning, instead of devising ever-more-destructive mechanisms to cope, ignore, deny, and survive. The media of the space is varied—moss, soil, ladybugs, wildflowers, and anoles are all to be found here—but one of the most poignant and unusual materials is kudzu ash. The Japanese kudzu plant was imported to the U.S. to counteract soil erosion from the over-cultivation of cotton due to slavery; instead, the invasive species ravaged the south, doubly devastating it. Grown for another of Okoyomon’s exhibitions, the artist incinerated the plant for this one—here, wet ash drifts softly from the ceiling, a mark of destruction, and resurrection.
Installation View, Precious Okoyomon, FRAGMENTED BODY PERCEPTIONS AS HIGHER VIBRATION FREQUENCIES TO GOD, Performace Space New York, 2021.