Thursday, November 21st, Rena Anakwe presents the third and final work of her 2019 ISSUE residency with the premiere of Ogwu (the healing), an immersive purification ritual sculpted through a visual, sound, and scent bath inspired by the element of fire. Staged in collaboration with lighting designer Kelley Shih, the ritual follows The Cosmology of Water and Fast Forward to Silence, recent commissions that explored the elements of water and air, respectively.
Ogwu (the healing) is the third in a series of rituals that excavate connections between the five elements of nature (water, air, fire, earth, and aether/void) in Anakwe’s development of a sensorial, diasporic healing practice. These rituals take into consideration a holistic approach to blending analog and digital creative technologies with spirituality.
Rena Anakwe is an interdisciplinary artist and performer working primarily with sound, visuals, and scent. Exploring intersections between traditional healing practices, spirituality and performance, she creates works focused on sensory-based, experiential interactions using creative technology. She is based in Brooklyn, New York by way of Nigeria and Canada. Rena is a graduate of: the Interactive Telecommunications Program (iTP) at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (MPS), The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University (MFA) and New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business (BS.) She is a 2019 ISSUE Project Room Artist-in-Residence, a 2019 Abrons Arts Center (AAC) Sound Series commissioned artist, a 2018 Signal Culture Artist-in-Residence and has collaborated, produced and shown audio/visual/scent work at: ISSUE Project Room (NYC), CultureHub (NYC), NY Live Arts, Nublu 151 (NYC), Pioneer Works (NYC), Montez Press Radio @ Mathew Gallery (NYC), H0L0 (NYC), Mount Tremper Arts (NY), Green Space (NYC), Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), La MaMa E.T.C. (NYC), Danspace Project (NYC), MAD Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), TCC Chicago (CHI), MINKA [BAX/Submerge] (NYC), Knockdown Center (NYC), NY Art Book Fair, MoMA PS1(NYC), Les Nubians ‘Up Close & Personal’ Tour (VARIOUS), The Tank (NYC), CTM Festival (GER), the Museum of the Moving Image (NYC), Europe’s Capital of Culture in Turku (FI.) And was a guest curator for Knockdown Center’s ‘Sunday Service.’
Kelley Shih is a NYC based lighting designer for theatre, live events, music and fashion/retail. Music: The Internet (HiveMind Tour 2018, Laneway Tour 2018), KYLE at Madison Square Garden, Syd (Always Never Home Tour. Theatre: Biloxi Blues (Curtain Call Theater), Fit to Kill (Curtain Call Theater), Bullet Catchers (Clutch Productions and Josiah Grimm), The Blast (AmandaPlusJames), Capriccio (Apotheosis Opera), La Fancuilla del West (Apotheosis Opera). NYU Alum. kelleyshih.com