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re:imagining collections Opening Reception

and artist performance with NIC Kay

About the Event


Jan 26, 2023, 6 – 8pm



Come celebrate the opening of re:imagining collections with the debut performance of Before and After (Object Lesson) by artist and choreographer NIC Kay.

Before and After (Object Lesson) is one of four new commissions by Tufts University Art Galleries (TUAG) for re:imagining collections, a group exhibition that reconsiders the university’s antiquities collection through the work of contemporary artists Ali Cherri, Nicole Cherubini, NIC Kay, and SANGREE. Each artist was invited to reconsider and readdress the collection of relatively understudied antiquities from the Americas and the Mediterranean to pose new questions about the histories and narratives that extend beyond the objects into the very formation of the collection.

Before and After (Object Lessons) is a performative installation in which three “figures/objects/sculptures/antiquities” from ancient civilizations make an appearance in a contemporary gallery to have a conversation about identity, time, ownership, and desire. Rooted in the artist’s interest in the history of the human form on display, the installation and performance are centered on sculptural costumes that question the legacy and role of historical objects and collections within the institution and beyond, merging historical forms and contemporary bodies.

About the artist:

NIC Kay is an artist, performer, and choreographer who explores relationality and yearning through movement. They employ choreography to excavate relationships between spaces, bodies, and objects in order to shift meaning and change perceptions of place. NIC works site-specifically, informed by the architecture and inner workings of performative spaces—theaters, galleries, nightclubs, sidewalks, and the internet—to create moments of glitch, interruption, or pause. In the course of their practice, NIC has made durational performance, evening-length dances, experimental theater, performance for the internet, an artist book, sonic interventions, installations, and sculpture. Recent projects include #blackpeopledancingontheinternet, a residency at the New Museum, New York (2021); Sloth-ish: Where Does It Hurt?, an immersive performance at MoMA PS1, New York (2019); and pushit!!, a site-responsive performance at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2018); as well as the projects Deep-Time Construction, CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco (2018); AMERICAN REALNESS Festival, Abrons Arts Center, New York (2018); and Risk Pool, Triple Canopy, New York (2018).