In January 2019, Morgan Bassichis and Ethan Philbrick embarked on a year of “musical cruising.” Each month, they improvised—with Philbrick on cello and Bassichis singing—in different spaces that matter to them. These semi-private performances responded to the acoustic, historical, and political resonances of venues such as the Sunken Forest on Fire Island and the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, and became a sustained study in free association. For Welcome All You Dragonflies, Bassichis and Philbrick invite an audience to listen to excerpts from the year-long project and the live recording of the final improvisation.
“March Is for Marches,” which presents selections from the twelve recordings, will be published by Triple Canopy shortly after Welcome All You Dragonflies. The work documents an experiment in queer friendship, historical meditation, and improvisation against the backdrop of the endlessly marketed fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion. They also capture Bassichis and Philbrick using sound and humor to navigate what the scholar Danielle Goldman terms the “tight spaces” that characterize our political landscape, imposing an ever shifting set of constraints that shape our movements and expressions. In the words of one of the improvisations, “Every time I step in that hole, I'll think of your freedom.”
Welcome All You Dragonflies is part of Omniaudience, a series that considers the role of listening, the settings in which speech and sound can have a meaningful effect. Omniaudience is being published in Two Ears and One Mouth, a forthcoming issue that examines how we speak and listen and who has the right and capacity to be heard.
This public program was made possible through generous support from Jane Hait, a founding member of Triple Canopy Director’s Circle; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts; and the Opaline Fund of the Jewish Community Endowment Federation and Endowment Fund.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to ensure that events are accessible and comfortable, we’ll open the doors thirty minutes prior to each event and strictly limit admittance to our legal capacity. Please check Triple Canopy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates, as we’ll indicate if events are sold out.
Triple Canopy’s venue is located at 264 Canal Street, 3W, near several Canal Street subway stations. Our floor is accessible by elevator (63" × 60" car, 31" door) and stairway. Due to the age and other characteristics of the building, our bathrooms are not ADA-accessible, though several such bathrooms are located nearby. If you have specific questions about access, please write at least three days before the event and we will make every effort to accommodate you.
- Morgan Bassichis is a comedic performer who has been called “a tall child or, well, a big bird” by the Nation and “fiercely hilarious” by the New Yorker. Recent performances include Nibbling the Hand that Feeds Me, (Whitney Museum, 2019), Klezmer for Beginners (Abrons Arts Center, New York, 2019), Damned If You Duet (the Kitchen, New York, 2018), More Protest Songs! (Danspace Project, New York, 2018), and The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions: The Musical (the New Museum, New York, 2017). Morgan has presented work at the Brooklyn Museum, Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.), MoMA PS1, the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, and multiple bar mitzvahs. Morgan lives in New York City and has contributed writing to Artforum, Radical History Review, Captive Genders, and the 2019 edition of The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions (1977).
- Ethan Philbrick is a composer, cellist, and writer based in Brooklyn. He holds a Phd in performance studies from New York University and has presented work in New York at Abrons Arts Center, BRIC, the Grey Art Gallery, the Kitchen, MoMA PS1, NYU Skirball, and SculptureCenter. His writing has been published in TDR, PAJ, Women and Performance, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and Movement Research Performance Journal. He is currently a visiting assistant professor of theatre and performance studies at Muhlenberg College. Recent projects include a choral setting of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Manifesto for the Communist Party and a series of participatory pieces for solo cello and audience members that engage with the legacy of cellist and performance artist Charlotte Moorman.