SunSet is an improvised work of movement, voice, experimental video, and music that honors the creativity, collective energy, and community memories that came together with power and resonance in the sculptural installation Material Memory. Performing artists Jungwoong Kim, Germaine Ingram, Marion Ramirez, Merian Soto, and Bhob Rainey respond to the exhibit’s messages of remembrance and renewal as the constructions and materials find new lives and locations.

On Tuesday, February 7, we gather to honor and ceremonially close the Material Memory exhibit in North Philadelphia.

During the creation of Material Memory, our artist team intersected with another group of performing artists creating a dance called SaltSoul, also exploring themes of memory and loss. We found deep harmonic chords playing across the textures of our exhibit and their dance piece, and we resolved to work together if possible.

Now the SaltSoul artists are coming to the exhibit space to help us say goodbye to this phase of the Material Memory project, through dance. The dance will take place as the sun sets over the Fairhill Apartments behind the Village of Arts and Humanities, illuminating the exhibit.

Public tickets are limited to 25 for this performance due to the constraints of the site-specific performance. After the dance, there will be a public closing ceremony featuring poetry, prose and words from project participants at 6:00 p.m.

Closing schedule:

4:30 p.m. SunSet dance by SaltSoul dance company (ticketed only)

6:00 p.m. Gathering and nourishing (Treats by neighborhood artist Sherita Dill)

6:30 p.m. Readings by Future Memory group

7:00 p.m. Closing remarks by visiting artist Olanrewaju Tejuoso and Executive Director Aviva Kapust

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Material Memory is the result of an 8-month collaboration between Nigerian sculptor Olanrewaju Tejuoso and neighborhood artists at the Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia.

Olanrewaju’s (Lanre) artistic practice involves collecting (and cleaning) discarded materials and creating new, visually stunning objects through tying, wrapping, and stapling the materials together. His process transforms the materials into complicated tapestries that reflect global issues of environmental degradation and economic decay.

When Lanre arrived in North Philly, he surveyed the streets for materials, often coming across candles, bottles, and teddy bears assembled into temporary memorials by people in the neighborhood grieving the death of a loved one. The material quality of the memorials provided inspiration for a conversation with the community.

For this project, Lanre worked with the two groups of community artists to produce a collective “memorial” for the neighborhood. Through “sewing circles,” dinners, meetings, and field trips, the groups considered the material quality of memory, the significance of loss, and the shape of resilience.

The resulting exhibition operates as a single memorial and many memorials. With over 10,000 square feet of exhibit space, this is a major art exhibit nestled in the heart of North Philadelphia.

SPACES International AIR is supported by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

Neighborhood artists: Sherita Dill, Tamara Dill, Bruce Giddings, Margaret Waters, Anthony “Ant” Carr, Will Reid, Nick Brown, and Stanley Ward.

Photographer: Breanne Furlong.

Community Organizing Mentor: Grimaldi Baez.