Socially distanced performance installation exploring famed essay by British philosopher Isaiah Berlin debuts.
March 18 - April 18 at The Invisible Dog Art Center

Free tickets HERE.

Following-up on their most recent collaboration, Static Apnea 2020, the american vicarious and The Invisible Dog Arts Center proudly present the world premiere of Negative Liberty / Positive Liberty, a socially distanced performance installation exploring famed British philosopher Isaiah Berlin’s historic 1958 lecture/essay: Two Concepts of Liberty: Negative & Positive.

Negative Liberty / Positive Liberty is an artistic distillation of Berlin’s lecture, in which he points out that when concepts of liberty are used rhetorically to control and repress individuals in the name of liberty itself, it will eventually, and inevitably, lead to violent conflict.

Inspired by recent events - events that were fueled by an artificial rhetoric that eventually, and inevitably, become participatory, real and violent - a single viewer is offered an experience. In less than ten-minutes, it is delivered to them in artificial fashion. What follows is an invitation to participate; to lend the actual to the artificial, thus making the experience real. All of this is done in the name of exercising one’s Liberty…but whose?

Negative Liberty / Positive Liberty is created by Christopher McElroen, the Founding Artistic Director of the american vicarious, and was developed in collaboration with performers Sarah Ellen Stephens and Olivia Gilliatt; scenographer Troy Hourie; video designer Adam J Thompson; sound designer Andy Evan Cohen; and lighting designer Lucrecia Briceno.

Negative Liberty / Positive Liberty opens March 18 and runs through April 18, 2021, Thursday through Saturday from 1pm – 7pm and Sundays from 1pm to 5pm at The Invisible Dog Art Center 51 Bergen Street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Tickets are free. Reservations for specific entry times can be made at Walk ups will be accommodated as entry times are available.

Christopher McElroen is a Brooklyn based media producer and director. In 2020, Christopher directed Debate: Baldwin -v- Buckley, a live recreation and broadcast of the historic 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley. He also created the socially distanced performance installation, Static Apnea 2020, which explored breath, or the lack thereof in 2020. Christopher directed (A)loft Modulation, a world premiere play from Jaymes Jorsling. He developed and directed 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, Creative Time and actor Wendell Pierce, 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.

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 Debate: Baldwin -v- Buckley, the acclaimed Static Apnea 2020, 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.

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.