Older, But Younger features 13 commissioned projects that mobilize intergenerational collaborations between artists who seek to explore a range of topics related to questions of longevity, renewal, and memory-keeping and inheritance. Many of these artists live in the same city, but are connecting for the first time. Together, these projects offer strategies for celebrating life and extending our health-span, pollinating ideas across generational divides, and strengthening our ties to the planet, passed ancestors, future progeny and the unknown. Here are some highlights:
Memory Edit: I will never forget is a participatory project and installation by Megan Craig, Ralph Franklin, Nick Lloyd, and Kyle Goldbach that invites four residents of New Haven's Whitney Center retirement home and life care facility to collaborate on the production of four quilts that tell their stories. The details of the seniors' pasts serve as the basis for the quilts’ designs, gestures, and phrases, and the content for a sound score. During the festival, local quilters and visitors will work side by side to stitch these memories in place, evoking the histories of quilting and sewing bees.
Strange Fruit is a collaboration between Howard El-Yasin (b.1957) and Dymin Ellis (b.1997), two artists based in New Haven who are meeting for the first time through this project. El-Yasin makes conceptual sculpture using materials that reference the body (dried banana skins, brown paper bags and drier lint), and Ellis is a poet, singer, healer and painter. They share a mutual interest in exploring the intersectionality of queer identity and the contemporary Black experience through an engagement with everyday materials and language forms. Over the course of four months, El-Yasin and Ellis will develop a plan for an installation and a series of movement-based scores and experimental speech acts that will be presented and performed over the 2-day festival. Through the addition of participatory elements, their work will raise the questions: "What happens when someone or something is erased?” “Are people and their stories ever really erased?” “and, “Where do these erased souls go?”
The Body is an Archive is a dance film and live performance by Angharad Davies that explores how memory lives in our bodies. Whether we are young or old, the vocabularies of social dances such as the Hitchhike, the Watusi, the Waltz, the Floss, the Dougie, the Prep, the Stanky Leg, and more recently, the the Macarena, the Electric Slide, and the Cha Cha Slide, the Harlem Shake and the Wobble, stay with us, and we make them our own. Davies interviewed and recorded 30+ people of all ages, who live across the city of New Haven, inviting them to share the stories and movements of their youth. She edited these interviews into a 30-minute video, art installation, and a live original performance, which was performed at 1pm and 5pm daily.