What Could Happen

Dorse Brown, Elisheba Israel Mrozik & Aaron Mrozik


About the Exhibition:
Our guest curator Omari Booker presents What Could Happen, a selection of video works which utilize the mediums of dance, performance and sound to thematically investigate the subject of historical trauma while challenging racial stereotypes and creating space for future possibilities.


Statement from the Curator:
I feel that it is hugely important to investigate the history that created our current circumstances, and I reflect on the words of Orland Bishop, lecturer, healer, and spiritual teacher
who said, “History is not only what happened, but what could have happened and didn’t, because we weren’t willing,” and I contemplate this idea from many possible angles within the works I selected.

What Could Happen provides me an opportunity to interrogate the past and make a statement that has the power to enact change. If the black male body had not been vilified, what could have happened? If racist comments had been challenged, what could have happened? If we dealt with the discomfort of integration rather than segregating by other means, what could have happened?

So, here we are now, and what will the historical narrative of this moment in time consist of? The country watched a man slowly be killed by a police officer, and I’m again asking, What Could Happen?  I know the things that will give some honor to that horrible event will not be easy, they won’t be comfortable, and we will have to be willing to sacrifice something if we want to begin to honestly correct so many things that have been ignored.

– Omari Booker

Dorse Brown
with Shabaz Ujima, Gerald Watson, Michael West
The MisEducation of Me
Performance Video
2020

Dorse’s performance work explores historical trauma dating back to 1619, while attacking stereotypes surrounding black male vulnerability. The act of feely moving and experiencing in a black male body is revolutionary in itself. Dorse Brown graduated from the University of Memphis with a bachelor’s degree in music and a minor in Dance. While training, Brown received a Young Artist Talent Scholarship to attend the American Dance Festival and also had the opportunity to appear and compete on the 5th season of the television show, “So You Think You Can Dance”.  He is so honored to have trained and danced with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Dayton, Ohio from 2011- 2015. After Dayton, Brown moved to Nashville, TN where his traveling opportunities continued with Guest Artist Residencies at various Universities and companies. Since moving, he has had the opportunity to work for Royal Caribbean Cruise line, Cirque Dreams Production and Fall. Brown enjoys teaching at Nashville School of the Arts and Vanderbilt University.

Video production credits: Phalcon, Michael Mallicote, Abrasive Media, Michael Weintrob Photography, Jamal Sheats and faculty of the Carl Van Vechten Gallery

Elisheba and Aaron Mrozik
Blood at the Root
Installation, video documentation, 7m 6s
2020

Our worldviews; our paradigms are built slowly, over time, in direct and passive actions. One of the most influential areas this happens is within our homes. This is an exploration of the vulnerability within the great American home to be exposed to covert and overt displays of racism and white supremacy. 

The images, the sounds, the immersion is meant to cause question, create awareness, and spur reflection on how we interact and experience the systemic problem of race with people we love. Systemic racism is not an easy or comfortable issue to confront as it speaks to the very fabric of the American way, embedded within families, and passed on generation after generation through our upbringing consciously or unconsciously. This worldview built and maintained over time must be confronted and recognized first, within ourselves. Then, from awareness comes action into our lives, where we can lay a new foundation to a truly great American existence and paradigm of equality.

Link to Extended Work Statement
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uoqInD8_NVqmO6474Fr16Np32zjUipi2SAq0tqLi8-0/edit

Additional resources to contextualize the work, Blood at the Root:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OoD06E5A4A08s-JrqRS0Zj1zP5jCNAOLbHEcE7Tb8bs/edit

Dorse Brown
with Shabaz Ujima, Gerald Watson, Michael West
The MisEducation of Me
Performance Video
2020

Artist Talk

Please join us Friday August 14, at 2pm for a Virtual Artist Talk, featuring the participating artists and an interview with exhibition curator Omari Booker via Zoom.