VIDEO: Pioneering art exhibit at Princeton leaves some students ‘shocked’, leads to prayer against ‘evil spirits’
“It was a parade of everything that was perverted in the extreme progressive worldview,” one attendee said.
PRINCETON, NJ â A groundbreaking art exhibit at Princeton University on Tuesday left some students in the audience “shocked,” and even led to a Catholic prayer of protection by a group of students.
Princeton’s “Intro to Radical Access” dance program and community scholarship program hosted the “anti-technical” performance, which featured three performers with self-diagnosed disabilities, Christopher NÃºÃ±ez, Kayla Hamilton, and an interpreter that goes through âx.â
“x” is also a self-proclaimed “agender and disabled black person of Chinese-Jamaican descent” who uses “neutral gender and neo-pronouns such as they/themme, ze/hir, and fae/faer,” according to the website. of x.
âx is an African-Asian, light brown, oily, hyper mobile, non-binary, agender person with superior surgical scars,â said the AV performer who opened the performance. Throughout the performance, a performer referred to x with the pronouns “they/them”.
âThis is the first time that we experience in a more pragmatic and practical way what access, accessibility and the art of access mean,â NÃºÃ±ez said at the event. NÃºÃ±ez is a Princeton Arts Fellow who is a âvisually impaired choreographer, educator, and accessibility consultant,â according to his website.
NÃºÃ±ez currently teaches the Princeton Dance class”Introduction to Radical Access: Disability Justice in the Artswhich is “designed for all students interested in radical accessibility” and takes “an embodied approach to disability justice”.
Each class includes “self-care practices to ground us in our bodies”. The course description advertises that “students with and without disabilities, d/deaf, chronically ill and immunocompromised, whether new or experienced in disability justice, accessibility and/or artistic creation practices, are strongly encouraged to register.
x danced to music and techno-vocal readings of the performer’s personal medical records documenting mental illness. x was hospitalized and diagnosed with âbipolar 1 with psychosisâ after a âdrug inducedâ âmanic episodeâ. x remembers taking “a million drugs that never worked” and “ignored by all the psychiatrists and psychotherapists”. x explained “my neurodivergence is even more complicated than the DSM can provide” and described being “self-diagnosed autistic”. x expressed a “want to be held and touched at all times” but suggested “maybe that’s just the abandonment of childhood talking.”
college correction contacted the Autism Research Organization to ask if he had any comments on the practice of self-diagnosis of autism. He received no response.
x’s previous performances included “sheer phagotia of plastic accessibility” and “content warning: THERE WILL BE BLOOD”, during which x wore lingerie, angel wings and fake blood while as the audience shouted instructions such as “blood dance” and “drink more water,” according to x’s Instagram.
The Fix asked NÃºÃ±ez if Princeton arts events should incorporate mental illness themes more often. He did not answer.
Kayla Hamilton followed x with the performance âHow to Bend Down, How to Pick it Up,â which explored âthe use and medicalization of cotton as a historical thread between blackness and disability,â she said. declared during the performance.
Questions the performer explored in the performance included ‘how does cultural specificity drive access’, ‘how does the process of normalization impact and work across disability and âin what way or how does white supremacy reproduce itself in disability space?â
Hamilton has described herself as a “disabled black choreographer, producer and educator” who seeks to “elevate the marginalized voices that exist [sic] across multiple intersections â especially black people, women and people with disabilities â and illuminate their untold stories in society at large to build empathy and (hopefully) ignite equality,â according to the professional website. of Hamilton. Hamilton is a visually impaired choreographer who exploresseeing.â
Hamilton began by singing the nursery rhyme “Miss Mary Mack”, a song supposedly about Mary Touvestre, “a freed slave who risked her life to protect the Union army from a disastrous naval attack”, according to Digital Grinnellan online archive hosted by Grinnell College.
Hamilton walked around the audience and said “I see you” to various attendees. Hamilton held out a hat and members of the public tried to throw foam globes into the hat. Hamilton danced around the stage.
After concluding the dance, Hamilton explained that she had come across a story about a “paralyzed enslaved person” in her “research”. The slave master “drove [the slave] in the water as a form of punishment” and “started throwing stones at the cripple”. Then “the cripple took off his hat” and tried to grab the rocks, treating it like a “game”. The angry master stepped into the water and “the cripple dipped the master’s head in the water and he almost drowned”, but a neighbor stepped in to save the master, Hamilton said.
The anecdote was published in 1842 by the The anti-slavery standarda weekly of the American Anti-Slavery Society.
There was an audiovisual interpreter and two sign language translators who alternated during the event.
Participants expressed confusion and concern
SSeveral students in the audience questioned the value of the performance.
âI was shocked. I have no idea how seriously any adult person could take anything that happened there. It was a parade of everything that was perverted in the extremely progressive worldviewâ , said an undergraduate student, who asked to comment anonymously. college correction.
“I refuse to believe that reasonable people can attend an event like this and take it seriously,” said attendee Sebastian Quiroga, who recently completed his bachelor’s degree in engineering at Princeton and stayed for a master’s degree.
“Watching the first performer, x, left me deeply saddened. They offered an account of their struggles with mental health, a rebuke of care from knowledgeable mental health professionals, and even self-diagnoses of disorders (including mental illness). ‘autism). Modern, interpretive dance is not classical ballet. Nor should it be,” Quiroga wrote in an email to The fix.
âEven so, this performance was something else altogether. x describes their approach to movement as “anti-technical”. At least they are honest,â Quiroga said.
“In today’s world, thrashing around on the floor and exclaiming that your diagnosis of bipolar 1 psychosis is wrong since you’ve only been manic once while stoned on mushrooms makes you an artistic genius worthy of being invited to the best university in our country,â he said.
Some students were clearly concerned about the representation and stayed to pray to Catholicism pray to Saint Michael the Archangel. The prayer asks the archangel “to protect against the wickedness and snares of the devil” and St. Michael to “drive into hell Satan and all the evil spirits that roam the world for the ruin of souls”, according to EWTN, a Catholic. briefing.
PICTURE: Abigail Anthony for The College Fix