February 12, 2010

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — E. Patrick Johnson will perform his one-man show, "Pouring Tea," at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, as the closing part of a three-hour multimedia installation and performance event, "Facing RACE," at Bucknell University.

Johnson, who is chair of the department of performance studies at Northwestern University, will lead a performance workshop for Bucknell students during his three-day campus residence.

The results of this workshop will be featured in the installation which is open to the public to experience between 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, in Room 100 of Larison Hall at Bucknell.

Unique artistic event
"We are pleased to invite the public to participate in a unique artistic event which engages the issues of race in the 21st century," said Carmen Gillespie, professor of English at Bucknell.

"The installation will include multimedia and performance works by many students from several departments including English, art, theatre and dance and music," she said.

In collaboration with eight Bucknell professors, students worked on various creative assignments, including poems, monologues, journal entries, short dance pieces, masks, photographs, first-person essays and non-fiction prose.

"All of these assignments reflected upon their perceptions of the racial constructs that voluntarily or involuntarily define them, as well as their personal understandings of and experiences with race generally. The interdisciplinary and performative nature of their conversations encouraged transcendence of the conventional discourses on race," said Gillespie.

The intention of the installation is to focus on the nuances and historical resonances of 20th-century racial paradigms, to consider what these constructs mean, and to examine their impacts and/or evolutions in the new century.

Students participating in the workshop will be identifying their subjective experiences and definitions of race in order to engage in communal, interactive, and interdisciplinary conversations about those experiences, and their relationships to American histories. Additionally, students have produced artistic and creative work reflective of these conversations and interactions. 

The installation will engage the difficult topics of race relations in the United States with the objective of creating new ways of understanding and negotiating these histories and experiences.

Contact: Division of Communications