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About the event

This event will be livestreamed; click here to watch the livestream starting at 6:30PM.

This evening’s performances and films by Zoe Beloff, Camel Collective, Great Small Works, and Natalia de Campos / Thiago Szmrecsányi with Tracy Collins & Renata Ferreira are the live component to the exhibit at the Gallery of the College of Staten Island, entitled Playthings and Performing Objects. This event explores how objects and images can be constituted to manifest themselves and enlisted toward statements and positions that resist current political culture. The evening’s performances and films feature not only resistant bodies and voices but also explore ways in which animated objects and moving images can serve to form a phalanx against encroaching right-wing forces in the United States, Brazil, and elsewhere. This event is organized by Edward D. Miller and Valerie Tevere.


Introduction by Katherine Carl, Valerie Tevere, Brooke Christensen

Manifesto of the UAAU (pronounced wow) | performance | Natalia de Campos / Thiago Szmrecsányi with Tracy Collins and special guest Renata Ferreira

The United Artists & Activists Union manifests itself against the current social and political environment through text, sound, video, real-time human & machine interactions with objects and bodies, to unite states of being.

The Second World Congress of Free Artists | performance | Camel Collective

For this event, Camel Collective has selected two scripts from The Second World Congress of Free Artists to perform: Opening Address written by Camel Collective, performed by Valerie Tevere, and were it not for the price of desertion written by Michael Ashkin, performed by Camel Collective. In 1956, Asger Jorn and Pinot Gallizio, two members of the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus, organized The First World Congress of Free Artists in Alba, Italy. Over the course of a week, six speakers addressed the subjects of “free art” and “industrial activity” analyzing the circumstances in which industrialization and the training at the Bauhaus had become a barrier to critical thinking and creativity in the arts. Departing from this event, The Second World Congress of Free Artists dramatizes 30 speeches written by artists, thinkers, and educators that offer perspectives on collectivity, emancipation from artistic education models, and classroom power relations. The first manifestation of The Second Congress took place in 2010 at the Århus Kunstbygning, Denmark. Since then, different selections of scripts have been performed at ICI, NY (2013); Casa del Lago, Mexico City (2013); The Hessel Museum, Bard CCS, NY (2014); Trienal de Artes Frestas, Sesc, Sorocaba, Brazil (2015), and Pratt University, Brooklyn (2015).

Exile | film screening | Zoe Beloff

"Exile" is an essay film by Zoe Beloff incorporating actors, archival footage and documentary scenes that makes connections between fascism in the 1930s and what is going on in America today. The philosopher Walter Benjamin and his friend the playwright Bertolt Brecht spent time together in exile from Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. In Beloff’s film, they are still in exile, only now in New York City 2017. In the intervening years they have changed because, in our contemporary world, refugees and victims of racism look different. Brecht is Iranian. Benjamin is African American. The cast includes Eric Berryman, Afshin Hashemi, Marie Pohl, and Paul Lazar with cinematography by Eric Muzzy.

The Toy Theater of Terror As Usual | performance | Great Small Works

Great Small Works presents Episode 14, the latest in the company’s signature news serial, The Toy Theater of Terror As Usual. Great Small Works productions consistently reinvent ancient, popular theater techniques: Toy Theater, mask and object theater, parade, purimshpil, circus, and picture-show (cantastoria) to name a few. On any scale, Great Small Works productions seek to renew, cultivate, and strengthen the spirits of their audiences, promoting theater as a model for reanimating the public sphere and participating in democratic life.

Co-sponsored by the James Gallery, the Film Studies Certificate Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and the Art Gallery of the College of Staten Island.