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Deciphering the Roots

To me the art practice is an ancient practice that may have had other words ascribed to it.

My practice provides me with a place where I can explore something that I have come to see as ancient. This practice finds a wide scope, including sculpture, music, sound, woodworking, working with dogs, shoe making, drawing, video, martial arts, and writing. I have used the genre of performance art to explore my practice. The avant-garde with its open ended definition allows what ever is needed to explore.

About Butoh

In 2010 I started studying with Koichi and Hiroko Tamano. In sharing their Ankoku-Butoh with me I saw more and more that the butoh is already there in us. It is not learned. It is awakened. With them there is always a lesson to be learned, that is also the butoh. Ever changing always elusive, butoh is a dance that encompasses all of human existence and the phenomena surrounding us. These phenomena span the spectrum of human emotions: stillness, chaos, tenderness, darkness. Our internal universe is just as colorful and varied as the features of our external world. In butoh, I found the same freedom that I saw in the avant-garde performance art scene and the ritualistic endeavors of the spiritual.

The butoh method can be a mode of learning from the world, seeing with the body. Studying Butoh has allowed me to further explore my inner self, but also, in doing so, it opened me up to the external world and the way I perceived it.

There is a certain contradiction in Butoh that appeals to me. It seems to me that in the “in between” there's a lot to learn. Butoh traditionally invites the participation of non-dancers and dancers alike, which I find interesting.  Butoh found light in dark issues; it has its birth in the underbelly of daily life. This movement practice holds up the misfits, the outcasts, the others and gives them a voice in their body. Hiroko Tamano once told me that the dancer’s body is dangerous. The dancers body is dangerous, it is alive, active, awake and aware. To me, Butoh has an inherent subversion, a need to purge the colonized self, much like my own practice. Watch the birds, their ancient bodies. Meditate on the heaviness of a beast like a tiger, then watch it move like light. Feel a grasshopper leap from your hands, a small explosion in its legs. Watch any wild being comfortable in its own space and skin, gracefully moving, governing itself. I find something powerful there.

Raze the Whitebox

Raze the Whitebox is an umbrella term that includes my art practice and philosophies. It explores art space beyond the white walls of the gallery and museum. It sees art as a continuum that existed before modern ideas of art. As much as it wants to dismantle limiting ideas of what art is, it also wants to widen the spectrum of what is considered high art and meaningful art.

When my practice is presented in a solo form, I use the title divinebrick. This project is a mixture of music, objects, sound, and movement.

Corporeal Reformation

Remembering is a form of empowering. As it pertains to this experience that includes the body I use the term corporeal reformation. It is a way of saying at this moment my body needs a reevaluation, a reorganizing, a re-shifting that is deep and spiritual. A remembering of something that came before that is so embedded in ourselves that it is a part of well being. It is a daily practice that by no means will be complete. Weekly I hold space for others willing to explore this idea.

During these sessions we explore the Ankoku-Butoh method, other methods I use in my practice, as well as techniques other artists are willing to share. These methods include working with dichotomies, open eye imagining/ meditation, theories of flow, metamorphosis, athletic conditioning (endurance for ecstatic dance), sensation work (meditations to awaken body and mind sensitivity), play (playing with forms {playing within parameters})

Sessions are open to people wanting to start a voyage through their body to transform it to a greater potential than once was realized. It leans heavily on the avant-garde but strives to make the avant-garde approachable and obtainable. Not specifically for dancers or non dancers it welcomes and challenges people willing to use the art forum as a way to grow spiritually, philosophically and physically.

Contact for more info: info@razethewhitebox.com

Meditative Plays

Plays as in the verb not the noun.

CR sessions at times will be geared to collectively develop meditative plays. If you come to CR sessions you are not necessarily required to be part of the meditative plays.

Meditative Plays are collective experiences to facilitate growth and exploration of themes and concepts directly related to individuals involved. The goal is not only to create a work that affects viewers but also shifts the present and personal experience and growth of participants. Concepts span the personal to the political. These happenings would be presented in theaters, galleries, and public spaces to name a few possibilities. You may call it a ritual, a resistant action, a cleansing, a purging, a ceremony, a trial by fire, and ancestral need to play with something to further understand it...it's a deeper approach that values experience over aesthetics and spirituality over quantification.

-josie j

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