“this house is not a home”
July 14-16, 2023 8pm
Abrons Arts Center
Tickets –> https://www.abronsartscenter.org/programs/this-house-is-not-a-home
Nile Harris, renowned for his innovative performances, returns to the stage with his latest work, “this house is not a home”, set to run from July 14-16, 2023. The performance, an energetic rant that takes the shape of online logic, will be delivered against the backdrop of an inflatable mausoleum. The central object of this performance is a bounce castle, an item purchased by Harris’ friend and fellow interdisciplinary artist, the late Trevor Bazile.
As the performance unfolds, this bounce castle transforms from a child’s plaything into something much more profound. It represents an ephemeral monument, an embattled U.S. capital, and a simulacrum of superficial liberal empathy. The bounce castle’s transformation illustrates the flexible, changing nature of symbols and interpretations, particularly when they are positioned within larger political and societal contexts.
“this house is not a home” is an extension of a previously created live-Google-document-based manifesto by Harris and Bazile. It was a metaphorical board meeting asking the bold question: will the revolution have 501c3 status? Inside and around the sound-responsive plastic shrine, “this house is not a home” situates this question within the debris of recent years—exploring bitter inheritance, elusive avatars, political theater, censored Tucker Carlson texts, and the sanitizing of funds via arts philanthropy.
The performance calls forth a variety of figures—an unsettling gingerbread minstrel, Dimes Square vape addicts, a beloved children’s movie cowboy—all of whom are haunted by the contentious question: what does it mean to be an American? Enhanced by the contributions of collaborators Crackhead Barney and Malcolm-x Betts, and featuring a sonic composition by slowdanger and GENG PTP, “this house is not a home” employs clowning and live-mixed sound scoring to stage a memorial within a whirlwind of “Incellectual” discourse.
Harris’s “this house is not a home” is an intriguing blend of performance art, political commentary, and sound design that promises to captivate its audience and spur reflection on the complex meanings of “home” in contemporary American society. Tickets are available for purchase for the 8 pm shows.
Image by Maria Baranova