Artists Space

devynn emory
Grandmother Cindy

Performance
May 18, 2022, 7pm

with Elisa Harkins & Joseph M. Pierce

Presented in collaboration with Frieze New York

Currently both in-person performance dates are at capacity. If you would like us to add your name and email address to our waitlist, please email rsvp@artistsspace.org, and we can contact you when/if space does become available.

To register for our livestream presentation, RSVP here. Please specify May 8th or May 18th livestream, and number of tickets requested.

The artist devynn emory in their grandmother
Photo: Reily Horan [The artist devynn emory in their grandmother's fleece jacket covered in polar bears, standing in front of a silver sterile table. In the background is collaborator Joseph and cinematographer Jorge discussing where the ancestor forms draped in yellow fabric should be placed.]

Artists Space is pleased to present Grandmother Cindy, a newly commissioned multi-media performance work which introduces part 2 of devynn emory's #mymannykinfriends trilogy.

Cindy, our collective Grandmother, is a medical mannequin in transition. She invites you to join her care team in supporting her during a treatment session. Cindy's futurist indigi-kin care team of devynn emory, Elisa Harkins, and Joseph M. Pierce offer medicine amidst a blossoming immersive visual installation at Artists Space.

This performance and care is offered in reciprocity of Cindy sharing with us a collection of stories holding wisdom on the topics of LOVE, LOSS and LAND this June (more info below).

Please join us for two live performances at Artists Space:
May 8th, 7pm ET
May 18th, 7:30pm ET (in collaboration with Frieze New York)

To register for free tickets for in-person performance or livestream, RSVP here.
Please specify May 8th or May 18th, in-person or livestream, and number of tickets requested.

For live, in-person performances at Artists Space proof of vaccination and masks are required. This show will be filmed and accessible by livestream during performance times for audience members who are unable to attend in-person.

Access check:

The livestream broadcast will include CART captioning. If you are attending in-person or over livestream, please indicate any additional access needs including ASL and audio description with your RSVP or by emailing info@artistsspace.org. Artists Space will make every effort to provide these services with 14 days notice.

Artists Space is fully accessible via a wheelchair lift and automated door in front of the entrance on 80 White Street. The cellar gallery can be accessed via the ground floor elevator. If you use the elevator, the distance from the entrance of the building to the elevator is 50 feet. The distance from the elevator to the performance space is 30 feet. If you are using the stairs to access the performance, the entrance to the building is roughly 40 feet from the performance space, accessed by 20 7-inch stairs. Artists Space welcomes assistance dogs, and has wheelchair accessible non-gender-segregated toilet facilities. For access inquiries please contact Artists Space at info@artistsspace.org or 212 226 3970.

choreography, direction, text
devynn emory

performance
devynn emory, Joseph M. Pierce, Cindy the mannequin, Elisa Harkins

sound in order
original score by Fatima Adamu
“Faith’s Hymn” by Beautiful Chorus
“Muscogee (Creek) Hymn“ by Elisa Harkins

cinematography and editing
Jorge Cousineau

cinematic audio production
Jorge Cousineau

mannequin audio production
Michael Ryterband

sound consultant
M. Rodriguez

mannequin embodiment
Reilly Horan

production/stage management
Reilly Horan

projections/ancestor design
Quinha Faria (her work “Supply and Demand” (2021) is projected on the back wall)
(ancestors reimagined by devynn emory)

scenic support
Dulce Izaguirre

Grandmother Cindy was commissioned as a virtual film by The Poetry Project in 2022. It is created as a live performance with residency and production support from Artists Space and with support from the Leslie Lohman Museum of Art. This work will evolve into 3 new feature films which will premiere as Cindy Sessions at Gibney Dance on June 9, 10, 11, 2022. You may have witnessed Part 1 deadbird and its touring public grief altar, can anyone help me hold this body. This work can now be accessed online at deadbird.land. The film is available for home rental or institutional purchase, and the altar practice is available to engage online, at any time.

devynn emory is a choreographer/dance artist, dual licensed bodyworker, ritual guide, medium, educator and registered nurse- practicing in the fields of acute/critical care, hospice, COVID and integrative health in NYC. emory's performance company devynnemory/beastproductions finds the intersection of these fields, walking the edges of thresholds- drawing from their multiple in-between states of being, holding space for liminal bodies bridging multiple planes of transition, finding reciprocity practice as a constant decolonial pathway. they are currently working on a trilogy centering medical mannequins holding the wisdom of end of life experiences. they run private practice offering various healing modalities since 2002. born on Lenape Land, emory is a reconnecting descendent of mixed Lenape/Blackfoot/settler ancestry. more about their work can be found at devynnemory.com and deadbird.land.


Elisa Harkins is a Native American (Cherokee/Muscogee) artist and composer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work is concerned with translation, language preservation, and Indigenous musicology. Harkins uses the Cherokee and Mvskoke languages, electronic music, sculpture, and the body as her tools. Harkins received a BA from Columbia College, Chicago and an MFA from CALARTS. She has since continued her education at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited her work at Crystal Bridges, documenta 14, The Hammer Museum, The Heard Museum, and Vancouver Art Gallery. She created an online Indigenous concert series called 6 Moons, and published a CD of Creek/Seminole Hymns. She is also the DJ of Mvhayv Radio, an Indigenous radio show on 91.1FM in Tulsa, OK and 99.1FM in Indianapolis, IN. Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ is a dance performance that features music and choreography by Harkins. With support from PICA and Western Front, songs from the performance have been collected into a limited edition double-LP which can be found on Harkins’ Bandcamp. Harkins resides on the Muscogee (Creek) Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.


Joseph M. Pierce is Associate Professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on the intersections of kinship, gender, sexuality, and race in Latin America, 19th century literature and culture, queer studies, Indigenous studies, and hemispheric approaches to citizenship and belonging. He is the author of Argentine Intimacies: Queer Kinship in an Age of Splendor, 1890-1910 (SUNY Press, 2019) and co-editor of Políticas del amor: Derechos sexuales y escrituras disidentes en el Cono Sur (Cuarto Propio, 2018) as well as the forthcoming special issue of GLQ, “Queer/Cuir Américas: Translation, Decoloniality, and the Incommensurable.” His work has been published recently in Revista Hispánica Moderna, Critical Ethnic Studies, LARR, and has also been featured in Indian Country Today. Along with SJ Norman (Koori of Wiradjuri descent) he is co-curator of the performance series Knowledge of Wounds. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

This project is made possible with funds from the NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: MAAF Forward Fund, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

Support for Artists Space is provided by Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Cy Twombly Foundation, The David 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.