Jill Sigman, Weed Heart. Photo: Anice Jeffries
Jill Sigman's Weed Heart project will culminate in four performances starting this Wednesday, September 7th, 8pm, at Gibney Dance (280 Broadway, enter at 53A Chambers Street). Tickets are just $15 - $20 and booking is recommended as seating is limited.
Weed Heart has been years in the making. I first met Jill when she booked a private weed walk with me when we were still living in Harlem. Since then she has joined several of my walks, including the Frrrrrigid New Year's Day Forage (we drank mushroom soup in the cold on a hill in Central Park). A couple of months ago I joined a 'brain trust' round table discussion of weeds and what they might mean, at Gibney Dance, where Jill is an artist in residence. The group was as multicultural and diverse as a New York group could possibly be, and included an American-Israeli activista mortified by her government's treatment of Palestinians, a white fish biologist, a black community garden founder and artist, and a young black dancer. Jill arranged a series of such intimate talks, and the one I participated in generated one of the best conversations I have ever enjoyed. Thought-provoking, challenging, uncomfortable, stimulating.
It reminded me that an inquiring mind is the antidote to the achievement-obsessed and selfcentric New York conversations that can dominate one's perception of social interaction, at least in this city.
Some of Jill's questions included: What are weeds? What associations do you have with weeds?
How are weeds related to the urban landscape? How are weeds related to industrial agriculture?
Do you perceive connections between weeds and race? Weeds and slavery? Weeds and Holocaust?
Weeds and immigration? Weeds and labor?
The result of Jill's explorations are these four performances. If you want a taste of what dance, art, foraging and philosophy (Jill holds a doctorate in philosophy from Princeton) produce, book now.
Weed Heart dates: 7, 8, 9, 10, and 14, 15, 16, 17 September.
Show time: 8pm
Tickets: $15 - $20
More information and booking at Gibney Dance.