One day in the summer of 2010, Amber deserted her shared Columbia Heights apartment without warning, never to return. Months later, her diaries were discovered by her roommate, Josef Palermo, as he tried to make sense of this person who had quite literally left her life behind.
Pieces of Amber, DC's first immersive art experience, is intended to enable an audience to uncover, identify, and question the many complex identities of Amber through artistic multidisciplinary presentation of the fugue in her diaries. The audience (of no more than 15) will enter and interact within an exploratory set of artifacts and other personal effects installed as an abandoned domestic space, and the abstract representation of Amber will be presented via experiential engagement of her diaries to build a character while framing inquiries of storytelling versus performance, narration versus enactment, and conceptual art installation versus theatrical set design – while questioning to what extent one is capable of assembling a cohesive story and/or character from the abandoned pieces of ephemera that once constituted a life.
As the lead generative artist behind Pieces of Amber, actor/director/producer Josef Palermo has spent nearly three years developing this work. Joining his creative team for the show are co-director Jennifer Restak, producer James Alefantis, and production designer Andrew Herndon — in addition to conceptual artist Bahar Jalehmahmoudi, genderfuck performance artist Jason Barnes, and first-time performer Blaire Boston.
Pieces of Amber opens at doris-mae on November 8 and will have a limited run through November 17.
doris-mae is a new curatorial project by Thomas Drymon that allows outside curators to program exhibitions in the space. The website was relaunched to include a content-rich blog featuring information about the exhibitions in the space, interviews with artists and curators, reviews of local and national shows, and analysis of the art market and art practice. Its contributors come from a variety of disciplines and is overseen by an editorial board that reviews content.