Multiple Artworks Fuel Chinese New Year Tale ‘Greenolicious’

January 29, 2009
Torkwase Dyson

Torkwase Dyson

Hybrid performance, a new genre that mixes multiple types of art, will come to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Feb. 6-7 with “Greenolicious: And the Dragon Goes Ding.”

New York-based performance artist Torkwase Dyson will unveil the work, her newest, at 8 p.m. both nights in Gerrard Hall off Cameron Avenue.

The shows, free to the public, will be the fourth installment of the 2008-09 Process Series at UNC, which presents works in progress to illuminate ways in which artistic ideas take form, and to follow artists and performers as they bring new works to the public. Dyson will participate in post-show discussions with the audience to gauge reaction to her still-unfolding work.

Dyson describes “Greenolicious” as a “multimedia, hybrid performance creation” that focuses on environmental justice by conceptualizing and re-forming popular images. Sculptures, video, photographs, drawings, images projected on screens and performance on stage all will be part of “Greenolicious,” she says.

The plot follows two women – Marquita Blackman, a Chicagoan, and her Nigerian-born partner Pi Wu – on a journey to create a black-identified Chinese New Year parade. The couple sculpts two dragons from a medley of popular urban fashions.

Besides the mixture of art forms, the performance will invoke a smorgasbord of ideas and cultural mores designed to be thought-provoking for audience members. “In the end, the audience is invited on the stage to walk into what is now a gallery space,” Dyson says.

“‘Greenolicious: And the Dragon Goes Ding’ will be a fascinating hybrid that challenges us and brings us to new reckonings,” says Joseph Megel, Process Series director and an artist-in-residence at UNC. “It will explore new reaches of art and its potential. Bringing the Chapel Hill audience to this work is the next step in its development.”

Dyson holds a master’s degree in fine arts from Yale University and has received awards including a Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists from the Nancy Graves Foundation in New York. Last year her visual art solo exhibit, “Hereinafter,” was displayed at the Meat Market Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The Process Series is presented by the Office of the Executive Director for the Arts at UNC.

Seating for “Greenolicious: And the Dragon Goes Ding” will be general admission. For more information, call Jennifer Cox at (919) 843-7776.

Note: For more on Dyson, visit

Process Series contact: Joseph Megel, (919) 843-7067

News Services contact: LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589