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ABSCONDED #EjectionDay 2020

Photo: John Fego
Tuesday, November 03, 2020 12:00 - 2:00 pm (EDT)

About the Performance

ABSCONDED is a work that honors the life and legacy of Ona Maria Judge Staines through the creation of a living monument that moves through the streets of New York City. Ona Judge was born into slavery before the American Revolution. She was a seamstress and Martha Washington's body servant and "pet." During Washington’s second term, on May 21, 1796 at age 22, Judge quietly absconded from Philadelphia on a ship to New Hampshire as the Washington’s ate dinner. With the help of Free Black and abolitionist communities, she evaded capture for the rest of her life.

In the work, DRAGONFLY (Robin LaVerne Wilson / Miss Justice Jester) embodies Judge in moving-monumental form as she walks the streets, offering a meditation on the perpetual state of fugitivity as freedom and a voice from the past to unbuild the mythologies surrounding the United States’ celebrated tyrants.

ABSCONDED #EjectionDay2020 is DRAGONFLY’s second iteration of Ona Judge as a living monument. The project continues in New York City, and is also slated to be invoked at George and Martha Washington monuments and other historical landmarks worldwide. The artist’s goal is to uplift the memory of a forgotten American Founding Mother, amplify the paradox of Black freedom as fugitivity, highlight the complexities of American chattel slavery, and contribute to the ongoing conversations about who is memorialized as we push towards decolonization.

Performance Route

Meeting Instructions: Route begins at Seneca Village in Central Park. Enter at 85th St. and Central Park West. Meet SW of Spector Playground.

12:00pm — 12:20pm Seneca Village in Central Park
12:20pm — 12:30pm The Teddy Roosevelt Statue at the Museum of Natural History
12:30pm — 12:35pm Frederick Douglass Statue at the New York Historical Society
12:35pm — 12:50pm Columbus Avenue Promenade
12:50pm — 1:00pm Wickquasgeck Trail (Columbus Avenue & Broadway intersection)
1:00pm — 1:30pm San Juan Hill (Lincoln Center)
1:30pm — 2:00pm Columbus Circle & Trump International Hotel

The performance is organized and sponsored by the artist and the Hemispheric Institute at New York University, and co-sponsored by Grace Exhibition Space, with Dr. Joy Brooke Fairfield (Producer), Sabura Rashid (Director), and Ak Jansen (Costume Design).

Seneca Village to Columbus Circle Map

Watch the Performance

Watch the live performance of ABSCONDED #EjectionDay2020 on HemiTV, starting at 12:00 PM (EDT). Available on all platforms and devices.

About HemiTV

HemiTV is the Hemispheric Institute’s portal for live streaming and virtual programming, developed for the Zoom era and beyond.

About Grace Exhibition Space

Opened in 2006, Grace Exhibition Space is devoted exclusively to Performance Art, offering an opportunity to experience visceral and challenging works by the current generation of international performance artists whether emerging, mid-career or established.

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