Conceived by Maya Gurantz; Generated in Collaboration with the Performers
A recent article in The Atlantic describes recently confirmed links between hot weather and suicidal anxiety; certain studies are predicting a sharp increase in climate-related suicides in the coming decades. Ritual for Mass Suicide investigates, through performance and video, emotional and psychological reactions to climate change, investigating human response to impending catastrophe—from wish fulfillment to despair—and asking what it might take to create change on an unprecedented human scale. It continues a longer body of Maya’s work, Mystery Cult, videos and dances that enact the occult rituals of a fictional matriarchy.
Source material for this iteration includes: monarch butterfly behaviors, Solid Gold Dancer routines from the late 70s-early 80s, 1960s radical feminist spiritualism, 19th c. homosocial lodge ceremonies, the Heaven’s Gate cult, Kubler-Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief, and other ways of managing group anxiety, fear and ecstasy.
This project is currently in-process. This will be an informal performance.
Maya Gurantz interrogates social imaginaries of American culture and how constructions of gender, race, class and progress operate in our shared myths, public rituals and private desires. She is the recent recipient of the inaugural Pieter Performance Grant for Dancemakers. Her work in video, performance, installation and social practice has been shown at: (solo) Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Grand Central Art Center, Greenleaf Gallery, Pieter PASD, (group) the Museum of Contemporary Art Utah, Angels Gate Cultural Center, the Oakland Museum of California, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, Navel LA, Art Center College of Design, The Goat Farm Atlanta, The Great Wall of Oakland, High Desert Test Sites, Autonomie Gallery, and Movement Research at Judson Church. She has written for This American Life, The Frame on KPCC, The Awl, Notes on Looking, Avidly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Acid-Free, Baumtest Quarterly, RECAPS Magazine, and an anthology, CRuDE, published by the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art, Bourges. She has taught at UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, and Art Center. She has a BA from Yale and an MFA in Studio Art from UC Irvine.