“Many times we appeal to the brain and not the heart,” says Michael Namer casting his soul over his cognac,”I had a realization five years ago,” he says, “to build green.” From this realization came not only the immaculate condominiums but also the newly renovated gallery and partnership with New York artists committed to inspiring the community to embrace a sense of renewal.
“We hear about climate change, about global warming. We’ve been talking about this issue through science. But not all of us are scientists. This series is going to be talking about this in a different way.”
Jennifer Muller’s “Bench” which just ten minutes prior confounded guests in its relation to ecological housing, serves as an artistic extension of the green theme intending to reach NYC communities of artists during a time of earth’s natural degradation.
“Some artists are mirroring many of these thoughts of hopelessness and despair,” says the placard lining the gallery’s entryway. “However these times also allow artists a unique opportunity to overcome this negativity and its repercussions.” Namer has invited artists such as Jennifer Muller into his own community in hopes of intermingling the artists and viewers in a united vision of a better future, to “redefine responsible 21st century living.”
Muller, who has been choreographing since the mere age of seven, sits here in Gallery 151 behind the row of undulating bodies in black clothes to promote Bench – her fourth environmental dance piece.
“Bench is about a need for galvanization in terms of taking care of ourselves, our earth and each other better and the apathy that precedes it,” says Muller. In a time of growing panic surrounding the lives of both earth and mankind, The Urban Green Initiative at Gallery 151 and Muller’s groundbreaking work of poignant universal issues represent the change necessary to our already changing world – a change of attitude.
“You’ve got this over-layering of different things happening,” says Muller when decoding her choreography for the gathered crowd. The empty space conjured emotionally through the dancers’ expression in tandem with the wooden bench symbolize the earth element. Each dancer then represents one of the seven deadly sins and, through Muller’s ingeniously delicate and simultaneously strong arrangements, embarks on a journey through time, ultimately revealing the desecration of earth and the human spirit alike.
“There are relationships that break apart, come together, there are jealousies, there are envies,” says Muller in her booming voice and perfectly postured frame “There are people that come in, catalysts…passionate people who try to change it for the better. There’s all these different characters and of course this is all done for dance. In my heart I believe that dance doesn’t have to be just decorative. It is our first language.”
Muller’s choreography astounds with vibrant and raw feeling pulsed through firm limbs and tensed features. No longer separated by age or societal circle, the present viewers have vanished into the realm of all inclusive vigor for life and for the future, determined to mirror Muller and Namer in their efforts to inspire.
The Urban Green Initiative, Muller and artists alike, have convened to tell you a thing or two about science without so much as mentioning the word.
What are you going to do? That’s what these fine, future-minded citizens have gathered at Gallery 151 to tell you this evening. To break through the apathetic haze and fight to renew art, to renew lifestyle, to renew life.
To get off the bench. And do something.