Sydney King & Ogemdi Ude: Living Relics

January 5 – February 16, 2021

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, Living Relics will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.


Events are subject to change


Remote participation via mailing kits

To receive a kit fill out this form.


January 16th & 23rd:

Speed Natal Chart Readings with Stephanie George

Ready to grow and glow? Dive into the themes of your birth chart with a quick 15-minute astrology reading from astrologer Stephanie George.

Registration pending

January 30th & 31st:

I Am Not OK: rituals as expression through grief and grieving with Brooke Herr

This two part series will explore ways that ritual can honor the unique language of our grief & help us to express/physicalize new understandings within the process of unfolding change, loss, or endings.

February 6th:



Dance artist and death doula, iele paloumpis, offers a somatic griefwork practice they’ve been developing for the past 6 years. The practice is improvisational in nature, giving gentle invitations to physicalize our collective grief and contemplate embodied cycles of life and death.

Living Relics

Visiting Hours:
Open to the public by appointment on Thursdays and Saturdays and via mailed kits. To make an in-person visiting or interactive appointment, sign up on Recess’ Calendly. To request a mailing kit please fill out this form.

Sydney King and Ogemdi Ude’s Living Relics draws out a shared sense of loss and understanding of death that hasn’t yet been physicalized in the body or manifested in thought. King and Ude’s Session examines the precarity of BIPOC bodies, amplified by instances of death and loss that enshroud daily BIPOC life. To address this shared loss, the project offers a variety of meditative spaces, from leading participants through individual dance mediations, to creating plaster molds that involve waiting and breathing, to developing their photographic images in the darkness of the darkroom. How might we allow death to be part of life? The work contends with our bodies and the weight we feel in our chests, in our shoulders, in our abdomens. In what ways does grief shape us? It’s about tracing the body and allowing those traces to gently fall away.

When visitors come into the gallery, the artists will engage them in a private movement practice, followed by a guided self-casting with plaster. By laying strips of plaster gauze and warm water onto their bodies, visitors can create molds of themselves that help to externalize the process of grieving. After visitors depart, the resulting molds will be left to dry in the space. The molds will later be photographed in conjunction with their reflections, conceptualizing an alternative method of seeing and understanding these leftover traces of the body and of personal loss. Ude and King will develop an altar space in the front of the gallery where these molds and photographs will accumulate throughout the Session. This growing collection will begin to paint a picture of our fundamental interconnection. 

Throughout the Session, Ude and King will offer kits for remote participation in the plaster casting process. The kits will contain plaster gauze, a small vaseline tub, photographic paper for making lumen prints, plastic sheeting for the floor, and QR code to a recorded movement and mold making guide. For in-person participation, visitors will be able to schedule individual appointments to meet with Ude and King at the gallery following a voluntary health screening and observing social distancing and mask protocols.

Sydney King and Ogemdi Ude’s Living Relics 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

Sydney King (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based artist working primarily in large format photography. Her work explores the physicality of photography, its relationship to the body, and its potential to create new realities and histories. King graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 2017 and attended the Yale School of Art Norfolk residency in 2016. Her work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography Museum, the Broodthaers Society of America, the Dean Collection, Chashama, Site:Brooklyn, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and others. She completed a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in July 2019 and is part of the founding cohort of Cereus Art. In Spring 2021 she will be teaching “Sensitive Cameras,” a workshop centered on establishing a topological relationship between the camera body and the bodies it represents, via the Penumbra Foundation.

Ogemdi Ude (she/her) is a Nigerian-American dance artist, educator, and doula based in Brooklyn, New York. She creates performances that investigate how Black folks’ cultural, familial, and personal histories are embedded in their bodies and influence their everyday and performative movement. She aims to incite critical engagement with embodied Black history as a means to imagine Black futurity. Her work has been presented at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Danspace Project, Gibney, Center for Performance Research, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, Lewis Center for the Arts, La Mama Courthouse, and for BAM’s DanceAfrica festival. She currently serves as Head of Movement for Drama at Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan and is adjunct faculty in the Dance MFA at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement Grantee, a member of Gibney’s 2020 Moving Toward Justice Cohort, and a 2019-2020 Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU Resident Fellow. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English, Dance, and Theater from Princeton University.

Recess is supported, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; 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; The Horace Goldsmith Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; Art for Justice Fund, Pinkerton Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies, Laurie M Tisch Illumination Fund, The Salomon Foundation, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Prospect Hill Foundation, Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation and The Tikkum Olam Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Materials for the Arts.