Artists Space

Shala Miller
Genesis: Medley

May 11, 2023, 7pm

11 Cortlandt Alley
Free RSVP here
Due to limited capacity, one ticket per person

A black-and-white film still of hazy and ghostly tonal modulations. Within the tonal atmosphere, fragments of a person
Shala Miller, Genesis, 2023. [A black-and-white film still of hazy and ghostly tonal modulations. Within the tonal atmosphere, fragments of a person's face and body can be made out in the right half of the image.]

Artists Space is pleased to present Genesis: Medley, a performance by multidisciplinary artist, vocalist, and writer Shala Miller. An extension of their latest three-channel installation, Genesis, currently on view at Artists Space, the performance brings together a chorus of vocalists to tell the story of Obsidian’s becoming. Obsidian is a fictional character who serves as a kind of alter ego for the artist, created at the beginning of this year to process their rage as a black Femme person. For this project, Miller works closely with director and composer Tariq Al-Sabir to reimagine the installation’s three-part soundtrack for live audiences, cultivating a musical arrangement and choreography that uses voice and echo as primary material. Utilizing autoethnography, song, and the artist’s years long practice of creating fictional worlds, the work is a meditation on desire, mourning, pleasure, and pain.

Shala Miller, also known as Freddie June when they sing, was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, by two southerners named Al and Ruby. At around the age of ten or eleven, Miller discovered quietude, the kind you’re sort of pushed into, and then was fooled into thinking that was where they should stay put. Since then, Miller has been trying to find their way out, and find their way into an understanding of themself and their history using photography, video, writing, and singing as an aid in this process. Miller earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in 2017 and attended The New York Film Festival Artist Academy in 2019 and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris in 2016. Miller’s solo exhibitions include Lyles & King, New York in 2023 and Chart, New York in 2021. In 2022, Miller was included in Black Melancholia, at The Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, and in Beneath Tongues, curated by Sable Elyse Smith, at Swiss Institute, New York. In 2017, Miller was an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Composer, vocalist, music director, and producer Tariq Al-Sabir (Ensemble / Agricultural Community Patriarch) has been described as “a boundless talent” by Baltimore’s City Hall and The Examiner dubbed him “a rising musical mastermind.” He has been featured on Al Jazeera and TEDx for his innovative work that creatively and seamlessly challenges genre-exclusive expectations. Al-Sabir has premiered and performed commissioned works at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, and MoMA. Al-Sabir’s multimedia song cycle #UNWANTED, conceived in 2018 during his residency at Mabou Mines, will have its world premiere at The Shed this June among the inaugural Open Call commissions. Al-Sabir makes his LA Phil debut this season with the cast of ATLAS.

Fresh from her MoMA residency with the world-renowned Burnt Sugar Arkestra, Miss Olithea is a native New Yorker that has been singing since the age of three. By the age of 18 years old, She has performed at every major concert hall in NYC. She attended The Hartt School and received her BFA in musical theater. Olithea is grateful for the opportunity she has had to perform in various theater productions all over the country. After the passing of her father, Olithea changed gears and decided to start writing her own music. She has come out with 2 EP’s Long Day’s Journey (2016) and To Be Seen And Heard (2017). Since those releases, Olithea has deepened her practice in meditation and experimental music. With the use of vocal loops, fx, and sound bowls she channels spirit that calms the heart and eases the mind. In 2022 She released Cosmic Church, a live meditation EP. Miss Olithea also is a voice teacher and in November 2020 she started her own private studio The Vocal Journey. Olithea finds true delight in training singers in evidence-based techniques for a lifetime of healthy singing.

Dorothy Carlos is an experimental cellist and electronic musician working in improvised performance and multi-channel sound installation in New York City and Chicago. Her work utilizes randomized effect pedals and programmed electronics to explore themes of intimacy, ephemerality, and imaginaries.

Samantha Feliciano is a cross-genre vocalist, harpist, composer, and educator based in Brooklyn. She has completed a Master’s of Music from New York University with a dual degree in vocal performance and an advanced certificate in vocal pedagogy. She has also earned a Bachelor's of Science in music education from Western Connecticut State University studying jazz and classical voice. Since 2015, Samantha’s career focus has been music education through public schooling, private and collegiate level instruction, and choral directing. As a freelance musician, Samantha continues to challenge her artistry by crossing through jazz, opera, orchestral music, and film. Her performance practice has given her freedom to become a vessel for storytelling. Samantha’s most recently projects include debuting an original suite composed for the film “The Future Dream” by Diego Martinez Chacon at The Tank NYC, as well as an original score for the play “What Happens to Brown Girls Who Never Learn How To Love Themselves Brown" by Shenny De Los Angeles at Mabou Mines Theater. She plans to continue her practice in harp and voice in pursuit of becoming a full-time recording and touring artist.

Singer, songwriter and composer Jonah Graves has formed his style of music around a diverse realm of current and past artists. The native 26 year old New Yorker has strong ties to the arts, always adding and adapting his sound. Due to his experience of performing at a young age, he has become a natural showman on stage and has the ability to easily captivate an audience. With a powerful voice and skillful songwriting, Jonah proves himself to be a true artist. Through his musical talents, he's found himself performing along side some of the world's most talented musicians. Performing at venues such as The Apollo, Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, The Rainbow Room, and others.

Exhibition support is provided by an Anonymous Donor and Courtney Dailey.

Support for Artists Space’s exhibitions and programs is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Cy Twombly Foundation, The Teiger Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, Imperfect Family Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, The Fox Aarons Foundation, Herman Goldman Foundation, The Destina Foundation, The Luce Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, The David Rockefeller Fund, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Jill and Peter Kraus Foundation, The Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation.