Collecting Ourselves is a collaborative creative process, a performance, and as of last week, also a traditional, ink-on-paper artists’ book. Alexa J. Rittichier and her ensemble People On a Stage embarked on an eight-month journey through a frontier in thinking and acting, and the fruits of their interdisciplinary explorations and discoveries will have their premiere at the annual InterArts MFA Thesis show, opening April 26.
The work is the result of the direction and vision of Rittichier, with the collaboration of a small and tightly-knit team of performers and artists: Lydia Feuerhelm, Jenny Garnett , Emily Rose, Courtney St.Clair, Michael Chad St. John, and Don Widmer. Their emerging and fluid performance work, Collecting Ourselves, addresses the individualism of our culture, and fosters a collective lifestyle that builds community and addresses creativity as a group process.
The newly completed companion artists’ book is a collection of the journals, workshop writings, and images produced by the group in the course of their creative process. Says Rittichier, “The book object is a concrete representation of the ephemeral time and space we spent together during the past year, providing a window into the conversations, complications, and negotiations we traversed during the creative process.” The book opens with a forward by performance artist and critic Nicolas Shawn King Ruley.