Projects and Public Programs
Selection of Denniston Hill Programs, 2009-present
We commission, produce and present a wide range of programs in New York City and the Catskills that bring together artists, scholars, activists, intellectuals, and cultural leaders to discuss and explore thematic issues and questions. Our programs respond to some of the most pressing social and political issues of our time.
Denniston Hill develops its programs in thematic cycles, identifying a topic of particular urgency and broad resonance. Complete descriptions thereof and lists of related projects are on the pages linked below. Click on a theme below to explore, or view the complete program history.
Index of Past Programs
Denniston Hill alumni, NIC Kay, will present a site responsive performance on and around the theme of exodus in relation to the office environment of Triangle Arts.
Artists Dolores Zinny and Juan Maidagan have installed public art around the world and will discuss some of their current works with art historian and cultural critic, Aimé Iglesias Luki.
In ‘terra, breathing’, Tigue collage hypnotic percussive compositions, sculptural sound objects and experiments with the physical nature of sound into an evening length performance that investigates our personal desires toward a greater ecological empathy.
Artist, activist, writer and educator, Morehshin Allahyari, a Denniston Hill 2019 artist in residence, looks critically at the political and social underpinnings of the everyday, examining human relations through the lens of the digital. Allahyari is specifically interested in what she has coined “digital colonialism,” the tendency for information technologies to be deployed in ways that reproduce colonial power relations.
Each summer we open the farm house, surrounding garden and river paths to our alumni, friends and supporters to celebrate the year's Distinguished Performance Artist award recipient. This year’s recipient was Robbie McCauley. Attendees enjoyed performances, lunch and summer drinks in honor of Robbie McCauley on a summer afternoon in the Catskills.
As artists are increasingly reflecting on modes of institutional knowledge production to make their work the role of the curator is shifting. This workshop thought through how these changes are shaping artist-curator dynamics, engagement and relationship to institutions, and community; as well as possibilities for curators and artists to work together to create contexts for performance in museums without dedicated performance departments.
"Find Out Where They At" uses text, sound, and sculpture to think about exodus as it exists in the psyche and the residue this type of departure leaves in those left behind. The title is derived from a line within Douglas Turned Ward’s play Day of Absence wherein a town wakes up to find that all the black people have disappeared without a trace.
Paris-based Tarik Kiswanson, a visual artist of Palestinian descent, and Jesi Khadivi, a Berlin-based curator and writer, were in conversation to discuss Tarik's practice within a post-Diasporic context.
An afternoon of performance, local fare, and drinks in honor of Xaviera Simmons, 2018 recipient of Denniston Hill's Distinguished Performance Artist Award (DPAA).
Laura Raicovich, Itamar Mann, and Carlos Motta gathered at Dedalus Foundation for a discussion organized by Denniston Hill to address today’s pressing questions of culture, migration, identity, and authority.
Denniston Hill and the Dedalus Foundation presents a conversation between Autumn Knight, whose work is interested in Black interiority in relation to coerced public spectacle and Nana Adusei-Poku, a Ghanian- German scholar whose current work focuses on cultural shifts and afro-pessimist aesthetics in Black Cultures.
Cherie Dre is a work-in-progress solo performance about the showgirl alter ego of Yanow’s grandmother who suffered from bipolar disorder before the invention of modern treatments. Set in the 1950’s, the performance unfolds in two places simultaneously: her grandmother’s bedroom in the Bronx and a ballroom at the Concord resort hotel in the Catskills.
Clifford Owens was the recipient of Denniston Hill’s second Distinguished Performance Artist Award. During his month-long residency, Owens led Seminar: Denniston Hill: A Performance Art Seminar with Clifford Owens, our first residency within a residency.
Organized by Denniston Hill, Dedalus Foundation presented a conversation between DH alumni Adrienne Edwards, whose work focuses on artists of the African Diaspora and Global South, and Bessie-Award-winning Okwui Okpokwasili, a Nigerian-American artist who works across performance disciplines and genres.
We gathered at St Thomas the Apostle Church in Harlem, NY to celebrate our growing community of artists, supporters, and partners. The afternoon featured former residents Brenda Shaughnessy and Cathy Park Hong and special guest, writer & photographer Timothy Gerken.
Artist Yoshua Okón, 2016 Denniston Hill resident, spoke about his multidimensional, politically engaged practice with Renaud Proch and Paul Pfeiffer at Independent Curators International.
Denniston Hill inaugurated its Distinguished Performance Artist in Residence program in 2016 with Okwui Okpokwasili and her collaborator Peter Born.
During his residence at Denniston Hill, Martiel worked with staff members to transform the dying pear tree into stocks. On June 25, 2016, Martiel had his legs locked into the stocks for eight hours.
Cordova and De León's installation includes a reclaimed police cruiser cut in half with the passenger side left intact. Text written ont he exterior of the police cruiser references civil disobedience or subversive means of expression that evolved in New York in the early 1970s by Black and Latino youth.
"Trout Spots" opened up an aperture to examine the ways "site" has been re-defined by artists working in a variety of different media, including sculpture, sound, text, and painting. The project, at Denniston Hill, moves from specific works that deal with “landscape” into an entire exhibition coping with this idea.
In the spring of 2011, artists Andy Ness and Matt Philips executed their first mural in the Denniston Hill pool. Andy had been one of Denniston Hill’s first residents and we are delighted that his first collaboration with Matt Phillips is a part of Denniston Hill’s growing landscape of permanent work.
The sonic artist Juliana Snapper has staged operas that take shape around the material tension between water and air and the parallel spectors of drought and drowned, or ruined, cities. Maximizing bone conduction and controlling bubble output as part of a new vocal fabric, Snapper sings directly into the water, probing our shifting relationship to water and to each other in moments of crisis and emotional overwhelm.
Curated by kara lynch and Joshua Druckman, "Swim Drink Eat Camp Listen!" was Denniston Hill's first public exhibition project. Over 30 sound artists and musicians, including Sabrina Artel, Sanford Biggers, free103point9, Kenta Nagai, and Stephen Vitiello, transformed the landscape through installations, performances, and recorded walks.