Live socially distanced performative installation examines breath control and life-saving.
September 12 - October 17 at Invisible Dog Art Center

Get tickets HERE.

the american vicarious in collaboration with The Invisible Dog Art Center proudly present the New York Premiere of STATIC APNEA (2020) a socially distanced performative installation beginning performances on September 12, 2020.

Conceived and directed by Founding Artistic Director, Christopher McElroen, Static Apnea features text by Julia Watt and is performed by Isabella Pinheiro and Jenny Tibbels. The design team includes Troy Hourie (Installation Designer), Zach Weeks (Lighting Designer) and Andy Evan Cohen (Sound Designer).

The discipline of holding one’s breath underwater, motionless - static apnea. Breath has been taken away. By a virus. By a knee. By the uncertainty. The struggle to restore it has rendered us motionless, collectively holding our breath.

Do you know how long you can hold your breath? Would it be long enough to save yourself? Would it be long enough to save someone you love?

One audience member, surrounded by a tunnel of blue light, descends towards a single performer behind a wall of glass. In a 9 minute and 2 second performance – the female record for static apnea - this performative installation explores how far one might be willing to go to save a life.

STATIC APNEA (2020) is staged in a 40’ storage container that has been designed specifically for this production. It is open at both ends, has high powered fans and air purifiers to ensure proper air flow. Each audience member will be required to wear a face mask and a plexiglass wall will separate them from the performer.

Christopher McElroen is a Brooklyn based media producer and director. Most recently, Christopher directed (A)loft Modulation, a world premiere play from Jaymes Jorsling . He developed Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation in collaboration with four-time Grammy Award nominee, Gerald Clayton. Christopher received a 2013 Helen Hayes Award for his direction of the world premiere stage adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s iconic novel Invisible Man. Alongside visual artist Paul Chan and Creative Time, Christopher co-produced and directed Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, a yearlong community development through the arts initiative in post-Katrina New Orleans. The project was recognized by the New York Times as one of the top ten national art events of 2007. The archives from the production have been acquired into the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and were on exhibit at MOMA May 2010 through September 2011. Christopher had the honor of directing the world-premiere of 51st (dream) State, the final work of poet, musician and activist Sekou Sundiata. 51st (dream) State was a multimedia exploration of American empire that premiered in New York at The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival before touring internationally. Christopher co-founded the Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) where from 1999 – 2009 he produced 41 productions yielding 18 AUDELCO Awards, 6 OBIE Awards, 2 Lucille Lortel Awards, a Drama Desk Award and CTH being named "1 of 8 theatres in America to Watch" by the Drama League.

Julia Watt is a Brooklyn based theater artist. With Christopher McElroen and Troy Hourie, she created the performance piece Static Apnea (2017) for the Performance Arcade and Deep Anatomy Festival New Zealand. Other collaborative theater projects include the site-specific, Chaos Manor (Invisible Dog, Brooklyn); Living in Exile (The Public Theater/Under the Radar Festival); Hurricane Sleep (Iati); 116: A Shakespeare Play (Ohio Theater); and her own adaptation of Jane Bowles’ novella, Two Serious Ladies. She holds an MFA from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and a BA in Theatre from the University of Southern California.

Isabella Pinheiro is a Brazilian actress, producer and director based in New York. Her first lead role was for Jim Finn's Trilogy Chums From Across The Void premiering at the New York Film Festival (Official selection NYFF) 2015. She co-founded the international award winning Evoé Collective and was the producer for their latest short film Stand Clear of the Closing Doors. Her latest film Iona delves into the traumatic world of child immigration in America and is due out next year. She is the creator of the Instagram short series Her Story is My Story based on letters from women around the world.

Jenny Tibbels is a theatre artist and educator. Performances include Creative Time's Doomocracy, SITI Company's Lab's MOTUS Empathes by Arantxa Araujo, the World Wide Lab's Agamemnon at Irondale, and The Chocolate Factory's Audit by Brian Rogers. Jenny has independently produced Sentinel by Danielle Russo Performance Project at Brooklyn Historical Society, A South African Play Festival at Baltimore’s Theatre Project, and co-produced Caborca's Zoetrope at the Pueblos-Escena festival in Cuba and Octopus's Garden at Target Margin Theater. Jenny earned her MFA in Acting at Columbia University. She teaches Public Speaking at St. John’s University and is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

the american vicarious, under Artistic Director Christopher McElroen, Producing Director Erica Laird and Executive Producer Tony Micocci, was formally incorporated in 2018 and is committed to producing creative content across disciplinary boundaries that aspires to reflect on America’s ideals and realities, and that which unites and divides its people. Recent projects include Jaymes Jorsling’s (A)loft Modulation, Gerald Clayton’s concert installation Piedmont Blues: A Search for Salvation, and Sherief Elkatsha’s documentary film Far From the Nile. Upcoming projects include Static Apnea and debate: Baldwin/Buckley, a restaging of the 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, October 2020.

The Invisible Dog Art Center is housed in a three-story former factory building in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Built in 1863, our 30,000 square foot facility has been the site of various industrial endeavors, most notably a belt factory that manufactured the famous Walt Disney invisible dog party trick, after which our center is named. The building remained dormant from the mid 1990s until 2009, when our founder Lucien Zayan opened The Invisible Dog.The Invisible Dog is dedicated to the integration of innovation in the arts with profound respect for the past. In 2009, the building was restored for safety reasons, but special attention was given to the preservation of its original 1863 form. The rawness of the space is vital to our identity. The ground floor is used for exhibitions, performances and public events featuring visual artists, performers and curators from around the world. This floor also includes our pop-up shop, a home for independent and commercial designers in various fields. The second and third floors are divided into over 30 artists' studios and are integral to the vast creative community of the Invisible Dog. Here, art and architecture feed off each other organically. The artists who walk through our doors infuse our space with their creative energy and make The Invisible Dog Art Center a unique home for the arts.

STATIC APNEA premiered at the Performance Arcade, New Zealand in 2017. Sam Trubridge, Artistic Director.

STATIC APNEA (2020) runs September 12 - October 17, Thursday - Saturday from 1pm – 7pm and Sundays from 1pm to 5pm at The Invisible Dog Art Center (51 Bergen Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn). Tickets are free. Reservations for specific entry times can be made at Walk ups will be accommodated if entry times are available.