It's Not Purple, 2015
Performance / Installation: sewing machine, cotton, thread, rigging, lavender incense, microphone, speakers, sound, lighting.
duration: 5 hours.
It's Not Purple was a collaborative performance by Canadian artists, Ryan Josey and Brendan Fernandes. The performance was curated by Melinda Wang, as part of the LILAC Art Series and was a response to a 3 month mentorship Josey and Fernandes participated in through the New York Arts Practicum.
"It's Not Purple is a denunciation, but also a corrective."
The work explored the dynamics of Josey and Fernandes pedagogical relationship; the history of the Lighthouse Tender LILAC (the vessel on which the performance took place); and the queer history of New York's West Village, where the LILAC is currently decommissioned.
In the performance, Fernandes teaches Josey to sew on his grandmother's sewing machine; while Josey teaches Fernandes to rig with his grandfather's rope. Through this intergenerational exchange their efforts spell out a poem in honour of the lesbian activist group, the Lavender Menace. An audio installation accompanied the performance, in which recorded sounds of waves lapping were mixed with a live recording of the sewing machine amplified throughout the space.