Walk with us 2020

(2020) painted banner

I felt compelled to respond to the conflicts between Black Lives Matters marchers and the violent provocations of the police. Inspired by seeing a few police officers in different cities choosing to walk with demonstrators as they marched. I aimed to tell Seattle Police officers to embrace the community and its vulnerabilities, stand up for the underserved, walk with us and choose to hear the voices of the people.

 

XEIGAA LATSEEN 2019

(2019) poster collaboration

Created with my best friend Nahaan. This poster speaks to the sad reality that indigenous women continue to be murdered and go missing. Inadequately investigated, this heartbreaking reality pulls at the backbone of culture and strength in native families, communities, and ceremonies. The words XEIGAA LATSEEN in Tlingit  translate to “TRUE POWER”, true power and wealth come from strong women.

 

Rent Control 2017 film

(2017) video, with New Mystics collective

Collaboration between Wizdom (beats/rhymes), DK Pan (video/editing), No Touching Ground (helping hands) and myself. The location and color choice of this poster aimed to confuse viewers into thinking this was an officially sanctioned message provided by 7/11 management.

 

Photo DK Pan

La Boca 2012

(2012) Mural, Neighborhood of La Boca, Buenos Aires Argentina.

Mural painted as a gift to the neighborhood of La Boca. Walking through Buenos Aires I was approached and asked if I was a painter (my pants had paint splatters all over them). When I said yes, I was presented with this wall and asked if I wanted to paint something, of course I said yes. For three days I painted on a very precarious ladder, while kids blew up firecrackers, little grandmothers fed kittens, and the whole neighborhood collected by me to watch this mural take shape. It was an amazing experience.

 

Slow Walk 2007-present

(2007-Present) Public art performance.

I began playing with Slow Walking as a durational performance experiment in 2007. The idea to bring performance into public space presented a chance to interact with the public through their choices. 

 

 

The structure of a Slow Walk is not a set in stone idea, so far it has consisted of 1-4 performers taking three hours to walk the length of a busy city block. For some audience/passersby it’s a chance to participate, for others it’s a reason to look away. None of the Slow Walkers ever talk to the public while walking, but the public speaks to us through words and gestures. One man observed that a Slow Walker’s nose was running, the passerby pulled out a tissue and stuffed it in the hand of the Slow Walker. Watchers/audience actively dissuade others who show signs of messing with the Slow Walk, one man was heard to say “i’ll fuck up anyone who messes with these folks”. The first Slow Walk revealed an experience to us that was an overflowing of sensation. The focus needed to move at such a pace creates a total distortion of one’s normal relationship to a habitual pace. 

 

 

The seed idea came from a previous experiment in public performance around 2005 with two male performers standing in heavily trafficked public space, face to face on a flat piece of wood, motionless, roughly three inches from nose to nose for forty-five minutes. In this experiment, the two performers had ongoing conversation between them about the experience of close proximity and the reactions of the public as they observed this interaction. The performers did not answer questions posed by passersby. The choice not to talk to the public was made with the intention of helping to keep the performers focused on the task. We wanted to see what narrative the public would see playing out without any input. The observed public response to the performers was that an altercation was about to take place. Individuals shouted at the performers “let me know if you want me to call the cops”, “don’t fight” and “kiss and make up”.

 

 

From the first experiment came the idea of shaping and playing with bystanders’ focus in public space: a group of women and men walked around pretending they were being dive bombed by non-existent birds. All the while the group was observing the passersby’s reactions as they tried to figure out the group’s reaction to the nonexistent situation. Next came the idea of a public clothing exchange. Two people would meet in public, exchanging all the clothing on their bodies except for their underwear and walk away as though it was a normal activity. As this test was being performed, duration began to be played with.

 

Slow Motion by Rachel Gallaher City Arts

 

Slow Walk. (2016) Commissioned public art performance. Bellevue Bellweather Art Walk. Bellevue WA
Sun Rain Hail / Slow walk. (2011) Site-specific public art performance. Zocalo. Mexico City DF
Sun Rain Hail / Slow Walk. (2012) Film screening. Velocity Dance Center Big Bang. Seattle WA 
Sun Rain Hail / Slow Walk. (2012) Film screening. Fall Free For All. Tacoma WA 
Finish Start / Slow Walk. (2012) Commissioned public art performance. Fall City Days. Fall City WA
Children / Slow Walk. (2011) Commissioned public art performance. Fall City Days. Fall City WA
Each / Slow Walk. (2010) Commissioned public art performance. Moore Inside Out. Moore Theatre. Seattle WA
Slow Walk. (2009) Site-specific public art performance. Cal Anderson Park. Seattle WA
Slow Walk. (2008) Site-specific public art performance. Westlake Center. Seattle WA
Slow Walk. (2007) Site-specific public art performance. Heathrow Airport. London UK
Slow Walk (2007) Commissioned public art performance. Gallery 154. Seattle WA

Mother for you I made this 2013

(2013) Performance Premiere 

Part performance and part activism, Mother for you I made this is aimed at activating a conversation about the failed mental health care system in America through memories of my childhood as I lived with and unknowingly cared for my schizophrenic mother. This hour-long solo is built from a series of performances I made as gifts for my mother over a seven year period.
Audiences were guided through forgotten public spaces by ushers and given a personal audio sound score composed by Paurl Walsh. Weaving conversations between myself and my mother with sounds from the actual landscape.
Mother for you I made this was commissioned and produced through Velocity Dance Center‘s Made in Seattle dance development program with support from 4Culture, ArtsFund, and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.
Collaborator credits: 
Paurl Walsh Sound/composition. 
Christopher Stewart Sound Tech. 
Christian Swacker Stage manager. 
Kim Lusk Tech Director.

Mother TEDX Rainer:

Tonya Lockyer + Ezra Dickinson TEDX Talk Macaw Hall 2014

Gifts for my mother, interview with Ezra at TEDX

Mother press reviews:

Seattle Dances: Ezra Dickinson Quietly Provokes

Seattle Star: The Art of Changing How We Talk About Mental Disorders

Seattle Times: Haunting look at mental illness, laid bare on the streets

City Arts: Ezra Dickinson Triumph and Tribute

The 12th Avenue Project: EZRA DICKINSON DANCES A DUET WITH SEATTLE

The Stranger: No Two Performances Will Be the Same

Mother press quotes:

Seattle Dance Annual: Reviewers recall highlights of 2013

Mother press preview/interview links:

The Stranger: Q&A with Ezra Dickinson
Seattle Met: A Fiendish Conversation with Ezra Dickinson
Kiro Radio: In “Mother For You I Made This,” a Seattle Dancer Finds a Stage in the Streets
KUOW Interview: Weekday & Weekday With Steve Scher (Interview starts at 38:30)
Seattle Channel: Art Zone with Nancy Guppy (Interview starts at 6:30)

Mother press photo essay of performance:

City Arts: Ezra Dickinson Takes to the Streets with an Emotional Tribute to His Mother

 

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Photo Dan Hawkins

Photo Tim Summers

Photo Dan Hawkins

Mother performance excerpts:

Pacific Northwest Performance Platform. APAP, Gibney Dance, NYC. (2019)
For this showcase I chose to perform the section from “Mother” where I wrap a 150’ foot block printed cloth poem, pulled from my stomach around a grove of trees, in this showing I asked audience members to stand onstage in place of trees as I wrapped the length of the poem around and in between them. I was quite pleased with the result, as the length of the cloth poem filled the stage to complete capacity and used the space and the audience in a way that no other performers did during the showing.
Velocity Bash. Velocity Dance Center, Seattle WA (2019)

 

Pacific Northwest Performance Platform. APAP, Gibney Dance, NYC. (2018) 
The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human exhibition. City hall, Seattle WA (2015)

 

The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human exhibition. Highline College, Dem Moines WA (2015)

TEDX Rainier. Macaw Hall, Seattle WA (2014)
“My”. Art Share. Centennial Hall, Sitka AK (2005)
“My”. Cornish Benefit Concert. Poncho Theatre, Seattle WA (2005)
“My”. 12 Minutes Max. On The Boards, Seattle WA (2005)

Dinosaurs And Sea Hawks 2014 film

(2014) Video, short film.

Sleeping under a bridge is a man and his dinosaur mask. Waking up, he walks into the heart of the city and puts on his mask. A friend, a stranger, a kindred soul emerges and the mask is passed off and traded. The man watches and then walks away with a Sea Hawks hat.
Inspired by creating performance gifts for my schizophrenic mother Dinosaurs and Sea Hawks is another story in my ongoing performance works. The dinosaur mask is intended as a reminder of childhood and quite literally a mask to hide from the harsh reality of the world through my mother’s eyes. 
Directed, filmed and edited by Linas Phillips. 
Written and acted in by Ezra Dickinson. 

Featuring Melinda Fraizer.

 

Screenings:
(2015) In Flight Film Stream, Alaska Airlines. 
(2014) Film Screening, Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle WA 
(2014) Film Screening, Milwaukee Film Festival, Milwaukee WI 
(2014) Film Screening, AMFEST, Moscow Russia
(2014) Film Screening, Next dance Cinema, Seattle WA
(2014) Film Screening, Jaipur International Film Festival, Jaipur India 
(2014) Film Screening, Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival, Mumbai India 
(2014) Film Screening, Shorts Premier, Chile

Mother Father 2019

(2019) Commissioned public art mural, Mosquito MT, Leadville CO. 

Painted with the assistance of artist NKO while in residence at Artville in Leadville CO. 13,000 feet up in the mountains on an old abandoned radio shack, this message speaks to past generations asking them how have they cared for the world that is being handed off to younger generations? Painted with Enamel paint, the message will stand as a visual voice in the cold high land of the mountains. 

 

Bring Back The Salmon 2019

(2019) Commissioned public art mural, Art in Parks, Seattle WA. 

Working together, Nahaan Edie and I designed a native formline salmon, as a rain-activated, ground stencil. Working with the Office of Arts and Culture Art in Parks, we settled on Alki Beach Park as our project site. We used RainWorks to stencil a temporary non toxic clear coating which is only visible during Seattle’s rainy weather. The stencil design we created was roughly 4’ long and 2’ tall. This installation is meant to bring attention to the loss of native salmon in this region as a result of overfishing, dam’s blocking salmon runs and pollution. We possess the power to change the fate of the northwest salmon.
 

Ol’Burgdishy 2018

(2018) Commissioned public art mural, Seattle Center Sculpture Walk, Seattle WA. 

For this mural I received a public art grant from the Office of Arts and Culture and Seattle Center Art Interruptions. Initially I wanted to work with a rain activated clear coating that would break down over the course of four months to a year and is biodegradable in the Seattle center fountain. I could not get clearance for the location, which kicked off a lengthy back and forth regarding what location could be used. Ultimately, we settled on the steps of the Key Arena and I got to work on a draft. The final design took into consideration the shape of space and how color would cascade down and direct the eye of the observer while traveling over the massive work. I painted the whole mural using rollers over the course of two days with the help of Taylor and Natan.