NYPAC, the New York Performance Artists Collective, is excited to present Stranger Suite, three interrelated, durational performances by Jonathan VanDyke. Stranger Suite is the second work in this summer’s I <3 Fire Island performance series. 

Stranger Suite revolves around a charged notion of “looking.” It takes its title from the Albert Camus novel The Stranger, which features a protagonist increasingly alienated from society. The works transpose this existential framework onto Fire Island settings like the beach and the Meat Rack, inflecting the term “looking” not only with homosexual desire, but more symbolically with searching – both for oneself and for others – calling out, finding a path, losing track, making contact. Sites are marked literally with glances, wandering figures and accumulated paint, which oozes from a totemic sculpture, a woman’s purse, and the costumes of two dancers as they engage each other in both tender and rough physical play.

Stranger Suite is variously performed by VanDyke, David Rafael Botana, Bradley Teal Ellis, and Laryssa Husiak, who have been collaborating with the artist for several years. Each intervention employs paint to symbolize something spreadable, like a virus, or something highly charged, like sexuality itself. The medium marks both time and space before succumbing to the elements. Stranger Suite is a continuation of VanDyke’s longstanding interest in painting as a performative and relational medium, where he casts painterly abstraction in queer, bodily terms. 


Figure of a StrangerSaturday, July 19th, 4:00-9:00pm, Harbor Walk Beach (VanDyke). For Figure of a Stranger, VanDyke stands in the sand for five hours, located just beneath a structure that constantly drips paint down his back. He gazes out at the horizon as stains of color grow across his torso and paint collects upon his clothes. He bears witness to passersby, indexing them in silence.


Wild Combination, Saturday, July 19th, 4:30-7:30 pm, Harbor Walk Beach (Botana and Ellis). In Wild Combination, two men encounter one another on a rectangle of canvas laid out in the sand. For three hours they perform a physically rigorous game of contact. Their positions with one another shift rapidly – at times they are interlocked in intimacy while at other moments they face off in conflict. Paint seeps from their costumes, tagging one another’s bodies and marking the canvas below. 


Self Portrait as My Mother, as an Actress, as a Prostitute, as a Painter, as a StrangerMonday, July 21st, 2:00-5:00pm, various locations in the Meat Rack and beach (Husiak). A woman emerges from the forest and wanders along the beach, her face made up as if for the evening. She carries a large purse from which paint is dripping, leaving a trail of drops of color that accumulate in the sand and are covered by the wind. 


Jonathan VanDyke is a New York City-based artist who received an MFA in Sculpture from Bard College in 2005 and attended the Skowhegan School in 2008. Recent solo exhibitions include Oltre l’oblio at 1/9unosunove in Rome and The Painter of the Hole at Scaramouche in New York, both in 2013, and Traunitz at Loock Galerie in Berlin in 2014. Major performances include the forty-hour works The Long Glance at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo in 2011 and With One Hand Between Us, part of Performa 2011. His performance work and installation Obstructed View was commissioned by The Power Plant in Toronto as part of their 2011-2012 exhibition Coming After. His durational performance work Cordoned Area, made for the dancers David Rafael Botana and Bradley Teal Ellis, has appeared at The National Academy Museum, New York (2013), Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2012), and Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2011). His work has been reviewed in ArtforumModern PaintersArtReviewTime Out New York, and Art Papers, among other publications. His work has appeared in group exhibitions at On Stellar Rays, the Islip Art Museum, Y Gallery, Columbia University, and PS122, all in New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee; Luis de Jesus Los Angeles; Rutgers University New Jersey, University of Nevada, Texas State University, and the University of Wolverhampton, England; and Exile Gallery, Berlin, among others. He has received grants from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, has served as a resident at Yaddo, New York, and at Qwatz Residency, Rome; as an Emerging Artist Fellow at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, and as a Visiting Artist Fellow at The University of Chicago, Illinois State University, and Krabbesholm Art Academy, Denmark, where he will also present a solo exhibition in 2014. VanDyke is represented by Scaramouche, New York, 1/9unosunove, Rome, and Loock, Berlin. http://www.jonathanvandyke.com/

David Rafael Botana is a Cuban-American artist and improviser. Currently a cast member of Sleep No More since 2011. Botana was a member of the Repertory Understudy Group for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company 2009 - 2011. He has also worked with Jonah Boaker, featured in On Vanishing performed in the Guggenheim Museum's rotunda, and FILTER which premiered at Festival Les Hirvernales in Avignon. Botana also collaborates with Leslie Satin and they have shown their work in NY and New Mexico. Botana, Ellis, & Van Dyke have been working together for 3 years. 

Bradley Teal Ellis is a Brooklyn-based improviser. Originally from North Carolina, he received a BFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. Bradley has studied and practiced Contact Improvisation for 15 years. Bradley is a faculty member of Movement Research and currently teaches at NYU/Tisch Experimental Theatre Wing and the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY- Purchase.  Bradley has been a guest teacher at 100 Grand Studio, Gibney Dance, Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), The New School for Dance, University of the Arts, Temple University and UNC-Greensboro.  He has presented work at Dance New Amsterdam, The Tank and Rooftop Dance Festival and frequently collaborates with other artists. 

Laryssa Husiak is an actor, writer and performance artist currently living in Des Moines, Iowa with her roots in New York City. In January 2014, Laryssa premiered She Is King, a performance reenacting the words of tennis trailblazer Billie Jean King at the Incubator Arts Project. She has been awarded grants from the Iowa Art Council Grant, Art Matters and The Yip Harburg Foundation and fellowships from Mac Dowell and Yaddo colonies. Beyond her original work, Laryssa is a member of the Obie award-winning theater company Two-Headed Calf and a founding member of their Dyke Division.  

Stranger Suite was made possible with the generous support of Morty Newburgh and Michael Crisafulli.