Welcome to Common Ground, a year-long international program focusing on the politics of land and food.
Common Ground began last fall and now continues in the growing season. We invite you to experience four newly commissioned works from artists whose practices engage with food sovereignty, climate change, and land rights. Their work gives us an opportunity to imagine together a more equitable, sustainable, and healthful future.
Common Ground is the fourth edition of the Fisher Center LAB Biennial, a thematic festival that invites and commissions artists to create new works that grapple with some of the most pressing questions of our time.
Tickets for the second installment of Common Ground are on sale now.
COMMUNION: a ritual of nourishment and commemoration
SOSNOFF STAGE RIGHT
A participatory blues Eucharist inspired by Kenyon Adams’s early experiences in the Black Protestant churches of his childhood. Created in collaboration with chef and artist Omar Tate (featured in the Netflix series High on the Hog), food and culture writer Osayi Endolyn, and visual artist Ambrose Rhapsody Murray. The ritual layers poems, movement, art, music, and food.
Photo by Chris Kayden
Tara Rodríguez Besosa
Architect, activist, and farmer Tara Rodríguez Besosa introduces the public to OtraCosa, an off-grid DIY queer homestead in the rural, mountainous community of San Salvador, Puerto Rico. Inspired by the Drake Manuscript, Rodríguez Besosa is creating their own decolonized version of a living manuscript—of the different human and non-human exchanges that provide nourishment, healing, and life at OtraCosa.
Photo c/o Tara Rodríguez Besosa
Memory of Birds
Tania El Khoury
INTERACTIVE SOUND INSTALLATION
MAPLE TREES ON MANOR AVENUE
Memory of Birds is an interactive sound installation in trees, in collaboration with a trauma therapist and migrating birds. The work explores political violence that literally and figuratively gets buried in contested lands. A guided somatic experience, Memory of Birds is a work that eats itself, designed to be forgotten.
Photo c/o Polina Malikin
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS • RED HOOK POST 7765
30 ELIZABETH STREET, RED HOOK, NEW YORK
Sharing cakes at funeral wakes is a practice common amongst the Lakhóta people. Kite MFA ’18, an Oglála Lakhóta artist, explores this tradition in a performance in which she decorates funerary cakes made from local Indigenous ingredients while speaking with friends, relatives, and elders about traditions, kin, land, and species they have lost.
Photo c/o Blaine Campbell
An International Festival
Supported by the OSUN Center for Human Rights and the Arts at Bard (CHRA), three Network Projects related to the Fisher Center LAB Biennial are happening across the globe.
Common Ground‘s network projects feature curatorial programs in Colombia, Palestine, and South Africa, in partnership with Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Al Quds Bard in the West Bank, and University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. These international curatorial projects are site-responsive and in collaboration with local students and faculty in the Open Society University Network.
Photo by Nelisiwe Xaba
More Common Ground
Explore the themes and artists of Common Ground, including a festival syllabus, interviews with the artists, digital resources, and more, by visiting blogs.bard.edu/commonground.
in Colombia, Palestine, and South Africa
LUMA Theater Lobby
Common Ground also includes three international programs, curated by Juliana Steiner (Colombia), Emily Jacir (Palestine), and Boyzie Cekwana (South Africa), supported by CHRA in collaboration with students and faculty at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotà, Al-Quds Bard College in East Jerusalem, and University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Documentation from these programs will be on display at the Fisher Center during the festival.
Common Ground Curators Panel
with Boyzie Cekwana, Tania El Khoury, Gideon Lester, and Juliana Steiner
May 6 at 1 pm
CHRA Video Commissions on Food Politics
Works from Ama Josephine Budge, Brian Lobel with Season Butler, Alexandre Paulikevitch, and Emilio Rojas with Pamela Sneed
LUMA Theater Lobby
CHRA has commissioned international artists to create digital commissions on the politics of food. First released online in 2022, these four videos will be on display during the festival.
Read the Common Ground program before the festival, or, download it to your smartphone and take it with you to all of the offerings!
Read/Download the Program
Photo c/o Tara Rodríguez Besosa
Fisher Center LAB
Fisher Center LAB is the Fisher Center’s artist residency and commissioning program, providing custom-made and meaningful support for innovative artists across disciplines.
Since its launch in 2012, Fisher Center LAB has supported residencies, workshops, and performances for hundreds of artists, incubating new projects and engaging audiences, students, faculty, and staff in the process of creating contemporary performances.
Photo by Julieta Cervantes
Support for this Fisher Center LAB season has been received from members of the Live Arts Bard Creative Council, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Educational Foundation of America, the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, and the Fisher Center’s Artistic Innovation Fund, with lead support from Rebecca Gold and S. Asher Gelman ’06 through the March Forth Foundation.
Kite is a 2022 Artist-in-Residence for Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck, a Mellon Foundation “Humanities for All Times” Initiative.
Photo by Juliana Steiner
The Performing Arts are Essential
Support the creation of innovative work by adventurous artists.