Tigre Bailando is a multi-disciplinary artist born and raised in Philadelphia, now based out of Oakland, California.
Tigre’s work spans the visual, ritual, and performative arts, drawing on the deep reservoirs of mystery and magic impregnating the world and characters that surround us.
He is inspired by mythology, music, trickster gods, mountains, love, death, graffiti, cartoons, old folks, poetry, decaying wood, rust, spirits, stillness, bones, folktales, the vast complexity of emotions, the simplicity of lines, wind, children, the human and non-human figure, trees, the ritual practices of people throughout the world, and the cosmic impulse to play. Tigre Bailando is a core member of the butoh inspired performance company Bad Unkl Sista. His installation & performance work has been featured at festivals and events around the world, from California to Costa Rica to Tel Aviv.
I am proposing to offer at Lucidity 2016 an intimate interactive art installation called Memory House. This installation sculpture includes both an interactive, ritual element, as well as a performative element.
Memory House will be a house-like structure approximately 7′ wide x 10′ long x 9′ tall, built of wood, paper mache, found objects, branches and other natural materials collected on site. With roots and branches climbing up and around the walls, Memory House will appear to be an ancient, witchy house caught between growing out of the Earth and receding back in to it.
When a visitor enters the house, they will be faced with an ancestral altar housing an illuminated Ancestor Mask and a collection of sculpted hands, candles, and other sacred trinkets. The ceiling will be adorned with hanging dried flowers and herbs so that the intimate space will have a heady, ancient fragrance.
Within the space, visitors will be invited to take a slip of paper tied to a string and write down a memory of theirs – this could be anything: a sweet childhood moment, the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, a long dormant memory newly remembered, or simply something that happened to them earlier that day. They will then hang their memory from the ceiling and walls among the dried flowers and the memories of previous visitors. Gradually over the course of the weekend, the little House will be filled with these recorded memories.
Once each day, I will come to the Memory House and read through the memories that have collected. I will take in those myriad memories and emotions, and then perform them – not a reenactment or interpretation, but an expression of how those memories inhabit my own body and heart.
The performance will be just outside and around the House, through my personal improvisational movement style, incorporating elements of butoh, popping, afro-latin, and ritual dance lineages. My current work has been focused on transcending the Self to embody Archetypal Narratives through concentrated presence, extensive use of stillness and “near-stillness”, and deeply embodied expressions of emotion from the dark to the sublime.
I see this work as deeply connected to the Crossroads theme of Lucidity 2016, as the work is an exploration of the liminal space between memories, dreams, and the present moment. It is about standing in the Now, reaching across the veil to those who have passed from this world before us and then reaching forward to cast our visions into the future world of possibility. It is about slipping into the inner worlds of others, sewing these silent stories together. It is about honoring where and who we have come from, and using this to catalyze our next steps forward with strong roots and open hearts.