Work in Progress:
How does it feel to look at nothing
Holland Andrews and yuniya edi kwon
photo credits: DJ Shaler and Hannah Turner Harts
Using a new language of deconstruction, Holland Andrews and yuniya edi kwon present an in-process performance of How does it feel to look at nothing, a pre-origin story and collaboratively developed opera about a deity of namelessness. An opera of the elemental, of pre-deities, and illusions of containment, How does it feel to look at nothing is an embodied, interdisciplinary performance emerging through a story of transitional states. Composer-performers, multi-instrumentalists, and extended technique vocalists Andrews and kwon co-create this work through composition, improvisation, dance, physical theater, and ritual.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Holland Andrews (they/them) is a vocalist, composer, producer, and performer whose work focuses on the abstraction of operatic and extended-technique voice to build soundscapes encompassing both catharsis and dissonance. Frequently highlighting themes surrounding vulnerability and healing, Andrews arranges music for voice, clarinet, and electronics. By blending together live processing of voice and clarinet along with synth and based electronic music produced by Andrews, they create a realm of live performance that is boundlessly present and expansive. Notable musical collaborations include Nils Frahm, Son Lux, Christina Vantzou, William Brittelle, West Thordson, Peter Broderick, and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste. Andrews also develops and performs soundscapes for dance, theater, and film, and their work is toured internationally with artists such as Bill T. Jones, Sonya Tayeh, Dorothee Munyaneza, and Will Rawls.
yuniya edi kwon aka eddy kwon (b. 1989) is a violinist, vocalist, poet, and interdisciplinary performance artist based in Lenapehoking, or New York City. Her practice connects composition, improvisation, movement, and ceremony to explore transformation & transgression, ritual practice as a tool to queer space & lineage, and the use of mythology to connect, obscure, and reveal. As a composer-performer and improviser, she is inspired by Korean folk timbres & inflections, textures & movement from natural environments, and American experimentalism as shaped by the AACM. Her work as a choreographer and movement artist embodies an expressive release and reclamation of colonialism’s spiritual imprints, connecting to both Japanese Butoh and a lineage of queer trans practitioners of Korean shamanic ritual. In addition to an evolving, interdisciplinary solo practice, she performs and collaborates with artists of diverse disciplines, including The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Senga Nengudi, Du Yun, Tomeka Reid, International Contemporary Ensemble, Kenneth Tam, Isabel Crespo Pardo, Moor Mother, and Degenerate Art Ensemble. She has performed alongside Roscoe Mitchell, Mary Halvorson, Nicole Mitchell, Cory Smythe, Henry Threadgill, Susan Alcorn, Carla Kihlstedt, Jessika Kenney, Lesley Mok, Satomi Matsuzaki, and others. In 2023, she founded SUN HAN GUILD, a sound and performance collective with composer-improvisers Laura Cocks, Jessie Cox, DoYeon Kim, and Lester St. Louis. She is a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Robert Rauschenberg Award in Music/Sound, an Arts Fellow at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, a Civitella Ranieri Fellow, a Johnson Fellow at Americans for the Arts, and a United States Artists Ford Fellow.
This Work In Progress is presented by National Sawdust, with the generous support of the NEA.