Taking Up Space

Sunday June 6th
6pm to 8pm


Taking Up Space is a New Orleans style procession through the streets of North Park by artist Jessica Sledge. Music composed by Philip Skaller.

On Sunday we will gather at 6:15 pm in the alley between University Ave + Lincoln Ave and 30th St + Ohio St. The performance begins in the alley at 6:30 pm. We will start walking at 7pm along the procession route (see map below). The procession ends with a musical performance at the vacant lot between Lincoln Ave + Polk Ave and Georgia St and Florida St. Wear red, black and silver.

Map of the procession route (3 MB)

Great website for masks:
Mardi Gras Outlet

Here are some thoughts from the artist:

Lately my work has revolved around impressions of captivity and restraint and the inherent tension in the relationship between wildness and our seemingly ancient, anxious urge to control it. How do we deal with our complicated yearnings regarding nature, culture, and the body? We seem to want to engage with our natural world, possibly even lose or endanger ourselves, go wild. I climb a tree to feel young, he climbs to get closer to God, you climb to experience vertigo and so on. Yet there is also an overwhelming compulsion to control these forces, to strip and rape. Trees are carnival giants, ripping up sidewalks, crashing through roofs and windows. They are also old folklorists with roots entangled and entrenched, and we are afraid of some of their stories. We must snap their necks, cut out their vocal cords, pull their hearts up out of the ground. Sometimes this urge to tame even becomes cannibalistic. We see the threat of wildness in the circus daredevil, the voodoo queen, the psychic, the exhibitionist, even the poet, the artist, the musician.

Taking Up Space is something of a wake for wildness. I hope to explore the friction between containment and expansion, immobility and mobility, the tamed and the turbulent through the buildings and landscape along the procession route and through spectacle and the act of processing itself. When voodoo gatherings in New Orleans were banned, practitioners decided to skirt the law (a Louisiana specialty) by simply walking together instead of standing still in one place. For them the act of processing not only aided in inducing the collective joy and fervor at the heart of these gatherings, it was also an act of resistance.

"Is it only the sun that shines once for the mind, only the flash of existence,
      than none ever was?
Nothing beyond what we have - what you had - that so pitiful - yet Tri-
to have been here, and changed, like a tree, broken, or flower - fed to the
      ground - but mad, with its petals, colored thinking Great Universe,
      shaken, cut in the head, leaf stript, hid in an egg crate hospital, cloth
      wrapped, sore - freaked in the moon brain, Naughtless.
No flower, like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the
      knife - lost"

- Allen Ginsberg, excerpt from Kaddish