Nikita Gale’s first live performance OTHER SEASONS takes the iconic concerti The Four Seasons as a point of departure, combining light, live sound, and atmospheric conditions, to bring Vivaldi’s exploration of weather’s ephemeral nature into our era of climate anxiety.
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OTHER SEASONSPerforma Commission
For Performa, Nikita Gale will consider the role of the season as an increasingly arbitrary unit of measure in the artist’s first live performance, OTHER SEASONS, combining light, live music, and atmospheric conditions in a meditation on labor, visibility, and the weather, performed by New York-based The Unsung Collective. Gale will reimagine Vivaldi’s iconic work The Four Seasons—a now-ubiquitous work that was considered groundbreaking when first performed in Amsterdam in 1725—as a compositional root, chosen as the classical equivalent to contemporary pop music.
OTHER SEASONS will explore how a unit of measure that once provided a sense of stability—a structural flow led by the natural world, one intrinsic to most society’s patterns of behavior and economic functioning—has become increasingly unpredictable and erratic due to climate change’s volatile effect on the weather. Patterns that were once predictable can no longer be used as a reliable measure, instead continually surprise and confuse us. In conceiving OTHER SEASONS, Gale has also considered the use of a season as a structuring device for media and the influence this has had on the audience’s relationship to, and emotional expectations of, narrative.
OTHER SEASONS will take aspects of Vivaldi’s composition and abstract them, reconfiguring the piece’s familiar musical phrases and combining acoustic performance — including choral, strings, wind, and percussion— with amplified sounds, to create an experience that conjures the ever-changing nature of the weather in both its banality and its drama.
Curated by RoseLee Goldberg and Kathy Noble
About Nikita Gale
Nikita Gale is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, California and holds a BA in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeological Studies from Yale University and earned an MFA in New Genres at UCLA. Gale’s work applies the lens of material culture to consider how authority is negotiated within political, social, and economic systems.
Gale's work employs objects and materials like barricades, concrete, microphone stands, and spotlights to address the ways in which space and sound are politicized. Gale’s broad-ranging installations blur formal and disciplinary boundaries, engaging with concerns of mediation and automation in contemporary performance.
Through approaching reproduction as a mechanism that connects humans to a desire for extension and amplification through both biological and industrial processes, the artist’s work points to the ways that technology not only functions as an extension and amplification of the body but also as a means by which labor and violence are displaced and concentrated. By engaging with materials that are simultaneously acoustic and protective like foam and terrycloth, Gale’s recent work considers the role of audience as a social arena and examines the ways in which silence, noise, and visibility function as political positions and conditions.
Gale’s work has recently been exhibited at Chisenhale (London); LAXART (Los Angeles); 52 Walker (New York); MoMA PS1 (New York); Kunstraum Kreuzberg (Berlin); Swiss Institute (New York); California African American Museum (Los Angeles); Cubitt (Los Angeles); The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York); and in “Made in L.A. 2018” at the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles).
Supported by the Ford Foundation. Performa Commissions are supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.
The Unsung Collective
Directed by Tyrone Clinton, Jr., The Unsung Collective is a 501(c)(3) organization devoted to celebrating people of color in Western art music in New York City. The collective performs music that navigates stories of both historic and current events, with aims to stretch the confines of music of the Western canon. The collective is committed to fostering relationships through collaboration and sharing art with its audiences.
The Unsung Collective collaborates with some of the world’s most prolific artists. Most recently, The Unsung Collective opened New York City’s new Center for Art, Research and Alliances (CARA) in a six-month residency as part of South African artist Neo Muyanga’s first solo exhibition in the United States, entitled A Mass of Cyborgs. As part of her America: A Hymnal series, The Unsung Collective collaborated with Bethany Collins at the historic 15th Street Quaker Meeting House in New York City and at Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA). Last fall, The Unsung Collective Chamber orchestra led a riveting performance of Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons at Harlem’s Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church. In summer of 2022, The Unsung Collective made their Lincoln Center debut, becoming the first predominantly Black ensemble to perform for the Mostly Mozart Festival in its fifty-plus year history. In June of 2021, The Unsung Collective pioneered the World Trade Center’s first Juneteenth Celebration the same year Juneteenth was proclaimed a Federal holiday by President Biden. The Unsung Collective rehearses in Harlem, and calls Mother AME Zion Church home, the oldest African-American religious institution in New York City.
Performed by The Unsung Collective:
Conductor, Music Director: Tyrone Clinton
Solo Violin: Josh Henderson
Violin: Savion Washington
Violin: Frederique Gnaman
Viola: Matthew Beauge
Cello: Zachary Brown Jr.
Bass: Carlos Barriento
Soprano: Asha Lindsey
Mezzo: Michelle Trinidad
Tenor: Darian Clonts
Bass: Guanchen Liu
Orchestration, Arrangements: Lisa Liu
Sound Design Daniel Neumann
Lighting Design: Josephine Wang
Set Design : Prairie T. Trivuth
Senior Curator: Kathy Noble
Performa 2023 Producer: George R. Miller