Victoria Bradford works in the fields of performance, video, and installation, with training in the visual arts and upbringing in theatre, dance, and voice. Awards and recognitions include: DCASE Theatre and Dance Residency for 2016, Featured Artist for Chicago Artists Month and an Affiliate Program for the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015, High Concept Labs Sponsored Artist, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also been produced in conjunction with the MCA Chicago, Governors State University, Gallery 400, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, and Decordova Sculpture Park & Museum.
Dance is for me any artistic expression in the service of setting body and mind together at work. Whether in the form of running or gesturing, dancing is about the idea that making or doing is thinking. My body as a physical presence has the power to intervene in systems much larger than itself, and brings a sense of scale to the otherwise incomprehensible paradoxes and conundrums of our times. Through the use of systems, objects, visual codes, considerations of rigor, time, repetition, I interrogate local gestures, customs, and rituals to reveal complex identities embedded in tradition and class structures.
—Victoria Bradford, Artist Statement
DURING THE LAB YEAR
A Relay of Voices: The Great River Run
As a native of coastal Louisiana, Victoria has seen the region and many of its people nearly devastated by natural and manmade disasters but also resilient and powerful in the collective efforts to rebuild and restore. When she left Louisiana for Chicago, Victoria took the passion of that community with her and it is now a major source of inspiration behind her latest project: Relay of Voices: The Great River Run (RELAY). A multifaceted, serialized performance, RELAY is designed to connect people, communities, and the nation—a curative response to the increasing isolation and division within the United States. Over the course of the next two years, she will choreograph a group expedition on foot to gather and share stories from one hundred communities along the Mississippi River’s 2,300 miles. An ambitious project, the first leg in 2018 will be an extensive year-long phase of research conducted between their base in Chicago and sites along the river. They will then apply this research to the culmination of the RELAY project in 2019. Ultimately, RELAY relies on social choreography, whole-body listening, and the use of many bodies and collective movement as a means of storytelling that connects us beyond politics and rhetoric.
Photos: Wills Glasspiegel | Video Still: Courtesy of the Artist | Video Still: Joshua Slater | Yenyen Chou