Genius Loci: Free Advice

Sur Rodney Sur performs Free Advice

a real time collaboration with Hope Sandrow


Saturday, November 10, 11AM – 4PM 2012

Sunday, November 11AM – 12PM 2012

Sur Rodney (Sur) sits at a wooden card table with two chairs (one for him, and one for a guest). An easel adjacent to the table reads “Free Advice.” Guests are invited to take a seat and ask one question, to which Sur Rodney (Sur) will respond with genuine and perceptive answers. Performing as a modern day soothsayer, Sur Rodney (Sur)’s performance recalls ancient practices of planning for the future by seeking out the wisdom of an oracle or diviner. In this instance, the performer uses his intuitive ability as an artist, writer, and poet to offer sincere and pragmatic advice about one’s future.

Free Advice, a collaborative project first sited in Sandrow’s ON THE ROAD performance series at her Open Air Studio Shinnecock Hills (Southampton) in 2008. Sur’s recognition as a performance artist is represented with Sandrow’s film in the survey exhibition Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (November 17, 2012 – February 15, 2013) at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston (CAMH); NYU Grey Art Gallery (September 10 - December 7, 2013 includes live performance); Studio Museum in Harlem (November 14, 2013 - March 9, 2014)  Walker Art Center (July 24, 2014 - Jan 4 2015) Grey Art Gallery; Studio Museum in Harlem. 

About the Artists

Sur Rodney (Sur) is a poet, artist, performer, community activist, archivist, and curator, renowned for his pioneering efforts with the East Village art scene as co-director of the Gracie Mansion Gallery (1983-88) with his partner Gracie Mansion. The gallery garnered its reputation with establishing international profiles for young emerging artists, including Sandrow.  At the end of 1988, Sur decided to leave the gallery to work with artists who were affected by the AIDS crisis. His involvement with this crisis led to his working with Visual AIDS and the Archive Project, and launched his curatorial collaboration with his life partner Geoffrey Hendricks. He helped establish the Archive Project of Visual AIDS to assist artists with HIV/AIDS and their estates. The archive has been used to curate numerous exhibitions and catalogs since it’s inception and provided an invaluable resource for curators and publishing projects while producing a monthly on-line web gallery by invited curators internationally.

Hope Sandrow

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