Caroline Garcia: I Woke Up and Chose Violence

May 20 – June 25, 2022

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, I Woke Up and Chose VIolence will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

Ways to Experience the Project

Events are subject to change. With the exception of drop-in hours, we ask the public to reserve a time online for one or more of the following public engagements. Since slots are limited, we ask that visitors commit to attending and cancel in advance if their plans change. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

 

Design Your Weapon with the Artist (time-variable) – No RSVP needed
Fridays & Saturdays 2-6 pm

Check out the Session installation with the artist, hit a punching bag, and design your own weapon prototype through drawing or using modeling clay.

Private Studio Visits with the Artist (60mins, For Groups of 1-4)
Tuesdays 2-6 pm

By appointment only, sign up no later than 10am the same day at recessartscheduling.as.me.

Drop-in Hours (time-variable) – No RSVP needed
Fridays & Saturdays 2-8 pm

Experience a guided tour of the Session installation led by a Recess Assembly docent. Please note* The artist will not be present during these hours.

Self-Defense with Guro Kristen Cabildo
Friday June 3 & 17, 5:30-7 pm and Saturday June 4 & 18, 12-1:30 pm

Learn more about the physical skills necessary to escape an attack with Guro Kristen Cabildo. Cabildo and Garcia will teach participants to read body language and orient to danger in their environment. By drawing on techniques and concepts from Filipino Martial Arts, participants will learn how to optimize their chances of survival in a dangerous confrontation. This workshop is designed to give people with no previous martial art experience an introduction to a practical set of self-preservation tools that can be used for immediate application. This workshop centers the needs of Asian & Pacific Islander women, girls, and gender nonconforming femme community members. BIPOC women & femmes are also prioritized and welcome to join. Please respectfully consider whether you identify with this demographic before signing up.

Please wear sneakers and comfortable clothing. A waiver will need to be signed before commencing the workshop. Registration is necessary as each workshop will be capped at 10 participants.

Register for Self-Defense with Guro Kristen Cabildo

Guerrilla First Aid: Herbal Medicine with LUYA Healing and Herbs
Saturday, June 11, 12-2pm

Inspired by Filipina Guerrilleras, who were not only remarkable warriors and frontline resistance fighters, this workshop honors their critical contribution as exceptional healers and resourceful leaders in times of violence and need. Combating political disaster under the context of heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and advanced capitalism, Guerrilla First Aid aims to provide the basics of healing strategies.

Learn introductory herbalism concepts to navigate through high stress and to heal post-conflict (present day and generational) with Princess Manuel, founder of LUYA Healing and Herbs. This workshop draws from materia medica of various plants and will involve making plant medicine preparation to treat cuts, bruises, and swelling by way of salves, oils, and poultices, as well as an engagement in somatic practices that can support short and long term healing.This workshop centers the needs of Asian & Pacific Islander women, girls, and gender nonconforming femme community members. BIPOC women & femmes are also prioritized and welcome to join. Please respectfully consider whether you identify with this demographic before signing up.

Register for Guerrilla First Aid: Herbal Medicine with LUYA Healing and Herbs

Guerrilla First Aid: Improvised Medicine with Kristi Tran
Saturday, June 25, 12-2pm

Inspired by Filipina Guerrilleras, who were not only remarkable warriors and frontline resistance fighters, this workshop honors their critical contribution as exceptional healers and resourceful leaders in times of violence and need. Combating political disaster under the context of heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and advanced capitalism, Guerrilla First Aid aims to provide the basics of healing strategies.

Learn about how to provide and improvise medical care in austere conditions with Dr. Kristi Tran. Borrowing techniques and knowledge from wilderness medicine, this workshop aims to share accessible and basic methods to treat wound care and assess trauma, as well as offer makeshift ideas for splinting and mobilization, improvising tourniquets, and attending to police-inflicted injuries which may occur at protests. Please note that this workshop is to prepare participants to handle critical emergencies when medical assistance is not available. We encourage seeking medical care first and foremost. This workshop centers the needs of Asian & Pacific Islander women, girls, and gender nonconforming femme community members. BIPOC women & femmes are also prioritized and welcome to join. Please respectfully consider whether you identify with this demographic before signing up.

Register for Guerrilla First Aid: Improvised Medicine with Kristi Tran

I Woke Up and Chose VIolence

Drop-in Hours

Thursdays 2-8pm

Fridays & Saturdays 2-6pm

Private Studio Visits with the Artist

(60mins, For Groups of 1-4)

Tuesdays, 2–6pm. By appointment only.

To make an appointment, sign up no later than 10am the same day at recessartscheduling.as.me 

While we do not require proof of vaccination, use of KN95, or N95, or KF94 Masks (age 2+) are required for all visitors. One will be provided if other types of mask are worn.

 

I Woke Up and Chose Violence is a response to the murders and deaths of BIPOC people inflicted by the hegemonic systems that continue to oppress our communities. This project centers the emotions of rage and anger often felt by non-hegemonic bodies that are constantly forced to navigate personal and institutional loss. As an artist of the Philippine diaspora, Garcia intends to use her Session program to specifically acknowledge and mourn a long history of anti-Asian violence and its proliferation since COVID-19. This project confronts racial, ethnic, and gendered stereotypes and ideologies to explore the possibilities of meeting force with force – to oppose white/colonial violence with tropical dissent.

Garcia’s project is part of a five-year reexamination of the narratives around the Indigenous practice of headhunting in the Philippine Islands. Historically, these practices functioned as a moral rationale for civilizing missions by Western imperial powers. Garcia is interested in symbolically recuperating headhunting’s role as a psycho-spiritual ritual for processing and dissipating profound personal grief, whilst extending this notion of grief to the burdened histories of colonial erasure that persist in our present day. I Woke Up and Chose Violence, therefore, leads with an unconventional ethos and flirts with transgressions in dealing with the subject of violence.

Garcia will segment the Session gallery into two distinct areas. The first to be activated will be an evolving installation made of reimagined weapons based on period and improvised weaponry traditionally used in headhunting expeditions, (such as daggers, swords, axes, spears, etc.) and self-defense training tools. These weapons will undergo a facilitated process of re-rendering through an intersectional feminist and diasporic intervention, decoupling the objects from hyper-masculinized, patriarchal affiliations. This work will involve an interactive design session to create a personalized weapon through a process of sketching and/or making small prototypes with visitors. She will then translate a selection of these designs into 3D-printed objects at the scale desired.

The second area will be fashioned into an arena for Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) training and somatic research. Participants are invited to use this space to explore what it is like to wield training weapons with the aim to activate and physically think through their design strategies or simply to experience striking a punching bag (or two). In addition, the artist has invited her own martial arts instructor to lead self-defense workshops that draw on techniques and concepts from Filipino Martial Arts through an introduction to a practical set of self-preservation tools that can be used for immediate application.

Garcia hopes the experience will benefit and center the needs of Asian and Pacific Islander women, girls, and gender-nonconforming femmes (as well as BIPOC women and femmes). By leaning into the emotion of rage as well as a critical engagement with violence – an approach historically imperative to women warriors and female fighters – a deliberate tool for political warfare and self-preservation can be determined. This project is an act of ethnographic refusal and resistance to the commodification of trauma by exploring self-defense, attack, and healing. It not only preserves indigenous rationales, but also honors and modifies them to our current survival needs.

I Woke Up and Chose Violence is part of Recess’s program, Session, which invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.

 About the Artists

Caroline Garcia is an interdisciplinary artist working across performance, video, and installation through a hybridized aesthetic of cross-cultural movement, embodied research, and new media. Caroline’s most recent body of work draws from Indigenous Philippine practices of headhunting and Filipino Martial Arts, all as a way of processing grief, specifically that of matriarchal loss, as an individual and in the postcolonial Filipinx diaspora. Caroline is a 2021 New York Artadia Awardee and has presented work at The Shed, Creative Time Summit X, New York Live Arts, Lincoln Center, Smack Mellon, The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, The Sydney Opera House, Manila Biennale, Art Central Hong Kong; among others. She has completed residencies at Pioneer Works, ISCP, MASS MoCA, Institute for Electronic Arts, Wave Hill; among others.

Recess is supported, in part, by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Art for Justice Fund; The Pinkerton Foundation; ELMA Philanthropies; The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; The Tikkum Olam Foundation; The Visionary Freedom Fund of Common Counsel Foundation; The National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council; Prospect Hill Foundation; The Salomon Foundation; The Horace Goldsmith Foundation; VIA Fund; New York Community Trust; ArtMatters; Frank E. Clark Charitable Trust. In-kind support is provided by Materials for the Arts.