Akeema-Zane and A. Sef
Void Spa aims to challenge and subvert the extractive and appropriative use of Black and Brown spirituality within the luxury wellness industry. Drawing on the archaeological notion that ritualistic mourning in early human societies signified the emergence of significant cultural epochs, the artists posit that feeling into immense grief–rather than luxuriating in comfort–can prepare us for new social forms. To design Void Spa, they draw from familiar rites in their own Afro-Caribbean and Midwestern Great Migration lineages, as well as scientific research on sonic frequencies used for healing human tissues.
Inspired by the church-like sanctity of underground clubs (ex. music, drag, dungeons, contact sports) for racialized, queer and Disabled people, the artists hope to challenge dichotomies between "noble" pursuits of spiritual transformation and "wild" pursuits of subcultural catharsis. They challenge the idea that recreational or risky activities are meaningless, unholy or hedonistic. Within the Judeo-Christian and imperial context of the United States, the cave is a site of resurrection, excavation and theft. The artists ask what happens when we spend more rather than less time touching death, disorientation and mystery in the cave.
Their Session space will encompass three zones: Rubble Grid, Noise Bath, and Trash Burial. Rubble Grid is an intentional collection of New York City detritus drawing on the practice of geomancy. Noise Bath is a black box where visitors can recline in total darkness or near darkness and experience intense sound or vibration, consisting of a 20-minute sound piece composed by Akeema-Zane that will continue to evolve with visitor feedback. Haptic transducers and headphones will be used to create “big” sound and intense vibration, while preventing hearing loss and offering precision to d/Deaf & HoH participants. Trash Burial is a debriefing space where the artists or docents will assist visitors to reflect, regulate and exit the experience through comforting tactile props and conversation.
Access Note: The space of Void Spa is designed to feel intense, like a rite of passage, but the emphasis remains on psychological safety and physical comfort. In order to gauge access intimacy with a wide variety of visitors, those who RSVP for individual or couples sessions will engage in an intake process with the artists before entering the space. Void Spa will attempt to conform to the access needs of each individual.
Individual/Couples Spa Treatment Thursday-Sunday 10 am-1 pm, 3-6 pm Reserve your 1-hour slot for a private visit during open hours. The artist(s) will guide you through the full sensory installation adapted to your needs. Followed by conversation to explore their evolving practice.
On view: November 11, 2023–January 25, 2024
Marcela Torres and Assembly
September 14–November 10, 2023
KING COBRA and Hue Hallums