Ramp 2017: Justin Hicks

PS122 Ramp 2017: Justin Hicks

Free Public Showing: Thurs, March 16th at 9pm
RSVP here: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/10150580

Residency Dates: March 6-19
In partnership with Park Avenue Armory
Showings will take place in Company I, Thompson Arts Center at Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue at 67th Street, Manhattan

Justin Hicks’ Ramp 2017 residency will take place at the Park Avenue Amory on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He will use this time to work on a new music piece, “House or Home,” in collaboration with director Charlotte Brathwaite. Starting with a series of vocal meditations on ownership and the American dream, Justin draws inspiration from Toni Morrisonʼs novel “Home”, the experimental writing of French author Georges Perec, and iconic characters from children’s stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

The subtly racialized and under-breath utterances of a community in “flux” becomes a census built of inherited language, the layered vocabularies of gentrification, and conversations on the concept of progress. In what comes across as a funk-operatic, punk-gospel playlist on shuffle, the work aims to mix banality and familiarity with the disturbingly alien.

Justin Hicks (composer/performer) explores various themes such as identity, economics, marriage, labor, and religion in compositions and performances that range from singer/songwriter-style presentations, recordings, and sound installations, to collaborative works involving movement and set design. His work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Baryshnikov Arts Center, PS122, The Japan Society, The Knitting Factory, Jack, Bowery Arts and Science, MoMA, Dixon Place, and La Mama. He was a member of Kara Walkerʼs 6-8 Months Space and was a performer and sound designer for Kaneza Schaalʼs Go Forth, as well as the Obie Award-winning (Abigail Deville, design) production of Prophetika: An Oratorio by Charlotte Brathwaite. His vocal tribute The Odetta Project: Waterboy and the Mighty World was featured during Jackʼs Freedom Songs Festival: Which Side Are You On, Friend? (Jack 1015). Most recently Justin was a contributing songwriter and performer in Meshell Ndegeocello’s Can I Get a Witness?” (Harlem Stage 2016).

Performance Space 122’s Ramp residency program is designed to foster the creation of ambitious, new work from three New York City-based emerging artists working across genres, perspectives and cultures. With this residency, PS122 not only provides the space needed to work but also technical assistance, commissioning fees, marketing support as well as the confidence to make bold moves in new directions. ps122.org/ramp


Part American palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory is dedicated to supporting unconventional works in the visual and performing arts that need non-traditional spaces for their full realization, enabling artists to create, students to explore, and audiences to consume epic and adventurous presentations that can not be mounted elsewhere in New York City. Since its first production in September 2007, the Armory has organized and commissioned immersive performances, installations, and cross-disciplinary collaborations by visionary artists, directors, and impresarios that defy traditional categorization. The Armory also offers robust arts education programs at no cost to underserved New York City public school students.

Built between 1877 and 1881, Park Avenue Armory has been hailed as containing “the single most important collection of nineteenth century interiors to survive intact in one building” by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, with an 80-foot-high barrel vaulted roof, is one of the largest unobstructed spaces in New York City. The Armory’s magnificent reception rooms were designed by leaders of the American Aesthetic Movement, among them Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White, Candace Wheeler, and Herter Brothers. The building is currently undergoing a $210-million renovation designed by Herzog & de Meuron.

Justin Hicks’ work is being developed through Performance Space 122’s Ramp 2017 residency program with commissioning support from the Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


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