Katya Grokhovsky, Slow Dance, 2013, photo: Peter Gynd
What does “FREE” mean to you?
To me, FREE is an all encompassing notion, which seems to be resistant to definitions, somewhat elusive and extremely seductive at the same time. I want to be FREE, but what does that actually mean? Is my life-long strive for freedom of choice and creative expression futile in the end? Does it matter? How free am I? As a human being, as an artist, as a woman? Am I forever bound by my biology, anatomy, appearance, age, race, ethnicity, social, parental, institutional and gender conditioning? The boundaries are never conclusive and that is what FREE is to my understanding. I cannot clarify it, yet I am able to recognize in an instant, when degrees of freedom have been taken away. Do we treasure it only, once we have experienced it’s absence or assume what it’s deficiency will do? I am specifically interested in exploring the idea of free will. How can I, as an artist, who facilitates invitational experiences, interact with the freedom of refusal or acceptance of my offerings? As our free wills co-exist in the world, where does our freedom truly lie?
Why is 14th Street a compelling site for creative response?
14th street, one of Manhattan’s crosstown veins, is exciting, busy and full of possibility for creative output. The foot traffic itself creates an instant audience and an opening for an adventure and dialogue. The various locations and difference in demographic presents a challenge and an active, moving, ever changing platform for exploration of artistic ideas, specifically involving invitation and a live action. The immediacy of the street provides a clearing for experimentation, participation and collaboration, as well as possible difficulty in the exchange. How can we connect in 2014 along 14th street in Manhattan, in New York City? I am compelled to expect the unexpected and anticipate to learn a great deal from the experience.
What reactions are you hoping to draw from the public?
I am hoping to engage the public in a free-falling, somewhat intimate dialogue and an old-fashioned, simple ritual of slow dancing and connection. I am interested in slowing the heartbeat and the energy of the city down, even if for a brief, fleeting moment. I am hoping to touch you and talk to you, even if you have never met me and most likely, will never meet again. Let’s talk, whilst we dance. About anything, about nothing, about the dance, about the world, about freedom, about loss of freedom. You are free to not dance. You are free to dance, to look, to watch, to refuse, to reject, to stare, to be rude, polite, anxious, welcoming, guarded and unwilling. I am hoping to break some barriers, some boundaries, I possibly won’t. Perhaps the public will like dancing with me. Perhaps the public will not. Possibly, you will remember this moment in your New York City day, maybe not. I’d like to create a private experience in the public domain. I’d like to get to know you. In person. Face to face. You are FREE. Let’s slow dance!