Turning the Tide

July 12, 2018 - August 23, 2018


July 12 – August 23, 2018

2nd Annual ‘Siren Arts’ Summer Residency & Exhibition Program for Emerging Visual Artists

Performance Art Events every Thursday evening at Sunset on the 2nd Avenue Beach, Asbury Park, NJ

All Audiences Welcome; Presented Free of Charge

Turning the Tide marks the 2nd year of Siren Arts, an innovative summer residency & exhibition program based in Asbury Park, NJ to support emerging visual artists throughout the northeast corridor of Washington, DC to NYC. Created by Victoria Reis, Executive & Artistic Director of Transformer – a 16-year-old non-profit visual arts organization based in Washington, DC – Siren Arts is an expansion of Transformer’s mission to connect and promote emerging visual artists, build audiences for their work, and advance them in their artistic careers.
Taking a different theme and format each year, Siren Arts 2nd year, Turning the Tide, is a social practice-oriented residency program that will consist of a series of consecutive micro-residencies for seven emerging visual artists and artist collectives, resulting in Thursday evening sunset performance art events on Asbury Park’s 2nd Avenue beach July 12 – August 23, 2018. Informed and inspired by the work of the Plastic Pollution Coalition and their Asbury Park area partner Clean Water Action, each performance art event will focus on themes of ocean conservation.
Highlighting a diverse range of artists based within the northeast corridor of DC to NYC, Turning the Tide will provide urban-based artists an opportunity to get out of their respective cities, enjoy creative time at the beach, and advance work they are currently pursing. Transformer’s goal with Turning the Tide is to empower the participating artists and engage audiences in positive action around ocean conservation through contemporary art.

All events will take place at sunset, beginning at approximately 7:30/7:45, on the 2nd Avenue Beach in Asbury Park, NJ. Performances will last approximately 30-60 minutes and are open to all audiences free of charge. In the event of rain, performances will take place in the lobby of The Asbury Hotel at 8pm.


Thursday, July 12 - Rex Delafkaran

Thursday, July 19 - Stephanie Mercedes

Thursday, July 26 - Flatchestedmama Trefsger

Thursday, August 2 - Naoko Wowsugi

Thursday, August 9 - Tamar Ettun & The Moving Company

Thursday, August 16 - Ed Woodham / The Keepers

Thursday, August 23 - Hoesy Corona


Rex (Alexandra) Delafkaran
the way you say i miss you

Dynamic and opposing movements, set on the beach with the sound of the ocean's waves as the score. How does one body long for another? How do you miss something you've never had? How does the body experience the tension of distance? Using landscape, color, sound and dance, the performance moves along with an absent score of bilingual poetry, creating an abstract sculptural duet. The performance embodies illegible moments in a time of tension and uncertainty - capturing longing for a distant home, desire for physical connection, and the mythologies of a culture just beyond reach. 

Rex (Alexandra) Delafkaran is an Iranian-American interdisciplinary artist, dancer and curator from California, currently based in Washington, DC. She uses movement and objects to explore the rich tensions between bodies, intimacy, language and identities. Upon receiving her degree in Ceramics and Performance Art from the San Francisco Art Institute, she has now exhibited in Southern Exposure Gallery, Diego Rivera Gallery, Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Panoply Performance Lab, Transformer and others. While working at Hamiltonian Gallery as Gallery Manager and teaching at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Rex continues to perform, write and exhibit, making sculpture out of Red Dirt Studios, Mt. Rainier, MD.


Stephanie Mercedes

Through poetry, repurposed materials, and using the “sail” as metaphor this live public performance will reflect on the future and history of New Jersey's waterways and beaches. Plastic trash bags collected from Asbury Park beach will be re-purposed into large-scale sails. The performance will reflect on the need for environmental sustainability, as re-cycled materials, performers and land blend together into a work of live art that equally balances the natural world and human intervention. 

Stephanie Mercedes is an Argentinian/American artist, who through live art, installation and photography attempts to transcend trauma, revealing missing violent histories and creating space for reconciliation. Mercedes is a Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow, was a 2017 Artist in Residence at the Bronx Museum, and a 2016 Art and Law Fellow. Mercedes has been funded by Open Society Foundation and Light Works. She lives, works and performs across the Americas. 


Flatchestedmama Trefsger
Semaphore at Sunset by the Seashore 

Flatchestedmama Trefsger invites audiences to experience poetry spelled out via semaphore - a maritime communication system that uses hand held flags to relay individual letters. Follow along with provided pamphlets to fill in the missing words from  short poems on ocean conservation as they are flagged. After the poetry is performed, audience requests will be taken, allowing people to create and share their own Optical Telegraphs.
Flatchestedmama Trefsger creates time-based and conceptual works. On September 18, 2004, she made a Public Declaration of Commitment to Her Creative Self. The event paralleled a wedding to display her lifetime commitment to the continued exploration of ideas. She was a founding member of an all female, adult double dutch team; OntheDouble (2003 - 2010) and is an avid mail artist. For more info visit: flatchestedmama.com.


Naoko Wowsugi
The Umami Taste Development Center

Umami (/uˈmɑːmi/) is one of the five basic tastes. Umami was first identified by Japanese scientist, Kikunae Ikeda in 1908. He found that glutamate was responsible for the palatability of the broth made from seaweed. For The Umami Taste Development Center, each participant will get Umami training through a group meditation. Through the experience of stimulating our taste buds and epiphanic realizations, we can then channel other senses opening new avenues of appreciation for the universe. 

Naoko Wowsugi is an artist of Korean-Japanese descent, based in Washington, DC, exploring the intersectional nature of identity and belonging in her community based art projects. Through a multidisciplinary practice including visual art, local lore, horticulture, and participation, she celebrates human connections by toying with interpersonal and sociopolitical norms. Using art as a form of communication, her work depicts the individual in cultural economies and challenge habits of self-perception.


Tamar Ettun & The Moving Company
Mauve Bird with Yellow Teeth Red Feathers Green Feet and a Rose Belly part: BLUE

Part BLUE is a moving installation consisting of vast colors, everyday object assemblages, sound and a live performance to create a psychological changing landscape commenting on stillness and primal empathy. By composing sculpture with dancers, this piece creates a sense of what Ettun calls a “handheld history” examining the transformation of cultural and psychological narratives through the lens of personal accounts and perspectives. This body of work is a teratology; A new installment will premiere each year until the completion of the project in 2018. Each part will be based on a color and an emotion – Blue/empathy, Pink/aggression, Yellow/desire, Orange/euphoria. 

Tamar Ettun is a Brooklyn based sculptor and performance artist, who is the founder of The Moving Company. Ettun received her MFA from Yale University in 2010 where she was awarded the Alice English Kimball Fellowship. She studied at Cooper Union in 2007, while earning her BFA from Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem. Ettun has had exhibitions and performances at The Watermill Center, e-flux, Transformer, Madison Square Park, Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, Uppsala Art Museum in Sweden, Fridman Gallery, Braverman Gallery, PERFORMA 09, 11 and 13. The artist has been honored by organizations including The Pollock Krasner Foundation, Franklin Furnace, Macdowell Fellowship, RECESS, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Art Production Fund and Socrates Sculpture Park. She is currently preparing for a solo exhibition at the Barrick Museum of Art in Las Vagas, which will open in 2018.


Ed Woodham
The Keepers / Asbury Park

The Keepers appear when life is out of balance with nature. This durational public performance is a ritual action advocating that the natural environment has been disregarded. The Keepers are protectors who maintain the balance of nature and appear when the environment – in this case the ocean – is threatened. The Keepers are life forms living on the border between animal and plant consciousness giving them special otherworldly powers. 
Ed Woodham has been active in community art, education, and civic interventions across media and culture for over thirty-five years. Responding to the constriction of civil liberties, Woodham created the project Art in Odd Places, presenting visual and performance art to reclaim public spaces in New York City and beyond. Woodham is on the faculty of Wilson College’s MFA program and teaches workshops in politically based public performances at NYU Hemispheric Institute for EMERGENYC and at the School of Visual Arts in NYC for City as Site: Performance and Social Intervention. In 2016, he was commissioned to create a socially engaged work for Jamaica FLUX at The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning in Queens, NY. In 2016-17, he was an artist-in-residence at the Department of Art, Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and was the 2017-18 UVA Arts Board artist-in-residence at the Department of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.


Hoesy Corona

Climate-Immigrants is a performance and series of colorful art ponchos that consider the impending plight of climate-immigrants worldwide. The clear raincoats feature vinyl cutouts depicting silhouettes of traveling immigrants against colorful floral backgrounds. These two-sided artworks are ephemera from “Alien Nation”, 2017, a temporary large-scale site specific performance at The Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden that considered similar themes.

Hoesy Corona (b.1986. Mexico) lives and works in Baltimore, MD. He is a multidisciplinary artist who has shown compelling works and inventive sculptures fitted to the human body extensively at various institutional, private, public and underground venues including among others: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; The Baltimore Museum of Art; The Walters Art Museum; The Peale Museum; Transformer DC; Decker Gallery; Delicious Spectacle; The Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival; VisArts; The Creative Alliance; and the Transmodern Festival. In addition to maintaining a prolific studio practice Corona is the founding co-director of Labbodies, an arts organization that creates opportunities for new media and performance artists to exhibit their work. Recent honors include a Halcyon Arts Lab Fellowship 2017-2018 in Washington, DC; an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant administered by The Contemporary in Visual Arts 2017; a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation's Ruby's Project Grants in Visual Art 2016-17; and a Light City public art commission in 2017.

Turning the Tide is being presented in collaboration with Monmouth Arts, who are providing community outreach, promotional support, as well as locally based artist participation. Turning the Tide is generously supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts’ Creativity Connects program, and by The Asbury Hotel, Siren Arts exclusive Hotel Sponsor. Special thanks to the City of Asbury Park for its support of Turning the Tide.

MONMOUTH ARTS is a leading, independent, 501c(3) arts advocacy organization that delivers needed programs and services to artists, member organizations, and art affiliates to ensure the arts thrive in every corner of Monmouth County. Assistance and support from Monmouth Arts is accessible in the form of advocacy, programming, policy development, leadership, funding, outreach, promotion, information, and knowledge-based expertise. Guided by our mission and goals, and with the help from our partners, we collectively undertake actions that reflect our core values ad we seek to elevate the visibility of the arts in the community, increase and diversify membership, and expand our influence on behalf of the arts.  www.monmoutharts.org

Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals, waterways and oceans, and the environment. www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org

CLEAN WATER ACTION is a non-profit organization working for clean water, environmental justice, and healthier communities, jobs and businesses. Our strength comes from one million nationwide members and more than 100,000 in New Jersey. Our ReThink Disposable program prevents waste before it starts by working with local governments, businesses, institutions, and consumers to minimize single-use disposable packaging in food service to conserve resources, prevent waste and ocean litter pollution www.cleanwater.org/nj & www.rethinkdisposable.org