Tuesday 4 May 2010

Dawn Weleski

Dawn Weleski is a multi-disciplinary artist that activates and broadcasts the stories of individuals and groups in experimental public performances, where conversation is her process and people are her medium.

I re-purpose found systems, such as newspapers, public transportation commutes, and meals with family, as transformative social stages where play can thrive and new culture can emerge. My work often acts as a political and social stress test, measuring the health of routine within shared cultural behavior. I encourage relating to the other by embedding collaborative rules within the work and reanimating defunct connections between seemingly disparate people and places in a state of transition. In Bus Stop Opera, I collected conversations from almost a thousand people on public transportation. The libretto detailed why people utilize public transportation and, more significantly, who they were and where they were going, echoing the lives of the audiences across race, economic class, and lifestyle at the bus stop. Featured by The New York Times and NPR’s Weekend Edition, the operas will travel to Portland, OR this May as part of Open Engagement, a symposium for socially engaged work.
Dawn Weleski

Other projects by Dawn Weleski:

Conflict Kitchen  - Pittsburgh

Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries that the United States is in conflict with. The food is served out of a take-out style storefront, which will rotate identities every 4 months to highlight another country.  Each Conflict Kitchen iteration will be augmented by events, performances, and discussion about the the culture, politics, and issues at stake with each county we focus on.

The current iteration, Kubideh Kitchen, serves Iranian kubideh from a stylish pop-up facade. “The sandwich is packaged in a custom-designed wrapper that includes interviews with Iranians both in Pittsburgh and Iran on subjects ranging from Iranian food and poetry to the current political turmoil.”

Conflict Kitchen is a project by John Peña, Jon Rubin, and Dawn Weleski and is funded by the Sprout Fund, Waffle Shop, and the Center for the Arts in Society.