February 2 - May 15, 2015
James Leonard grapples with themes of memory, time and impermanence through the lenses of mortality and climate change. At the BCA, he will continue an ongoing project that involves consulting psychics, diviners and spiritualists about death, its impact and the world we leave behind, and invites the public to join in and raise their own specific climate-change related concerns.
James Leonard is a Brooklyn-based artist who works across a range of media, including performance, installation, video, drawing and painting. He received a BFA in 1996 from Syracuse University with concentrations in painting, video, and philosophy. In 2004, he received an MFA with a concentration in complex systems theory from the University of Michigan. Over the past ten years, Leonard has exhibited work in numerous art spaces and established festivals, including Fuse Works, Photoville and the Front Room Gallery. In his work, he explores themes of climate, impermanence, the physic and memory.
At the BCA, Leonard plans to continue progress towards on his ongoing process-based performance 99 Ways to Die, in which he consults psychics and other diviners about his death, its impact and the world he will leave behind. He will further develop the project in collaboration with local sources, and will invite the BCA community to participate in his research and to raise their own questions about impermanence and climate change.
"I am very pleased to announce this coming spring, I will serve as the 2015 Boston Center for the Arts Artist Resident. While there, I will continue developing a new body of performances and socially-engaged art events, including my forthcoming 99 Ways to Die--a process based performance in which I collaborate with numerous psychics and seers.
Building on last year's performance A Kiss For Luck, which explored themes of loss and material memory, I turn my attention to the intersections between foresight and impermanence.
Adopting a series of familiar structures including fortune-telling readings, group therapy sessions, and scholarly summits, I will work with psychics, academics and members of the public to explore the art of projective storytelling--how we talk to one another about the future--as we grapple with the coming impacts of climate change."
Image: James Leonard, SeekingDiviners3475642660, street campaign, 2014-ongoing