Sonic Catharsis – January issue

Sonic Catharsis – January issue
rRoxymore, Josh Johnson

Curated by REIF

rRoxymore, Josh Johnson

DE-Centered by rRoxymore embodies resistance by rejecting a fundamental element of dance music: the kick drum. Giddy arpeggios emanating from an organ tease a euphoric build-up that would normally cry out for a kick drum beat, but instead disperses the rhythms amongst searching aurora-like tones and swathes of low-end: ultimately denying us something we have come to crave, inviting a more tranquil path to ecstasy. This sound rework asks us to transcend and loop inwards through a choreography featuring performer Josh Johnson. Johnson embodies the notion of repetition, forever blowing bubbles through the pedestrian act of cutting one’s hair, drawing parallels, and further complicating the looping quality of the composition. As the lyrics vanish, the track progresses; we are reminded of the universal struggle we face in constantly trying to get back to one’s space of bliss. Hair is cut only to grow back, and to be cut again. Life cycles and common situations with individual emotional processes are made visible as the eyes take an exaggerated quality, a roundness as an acknowledgment of the coexistence of the extraterrestrial within the mundane, connecting the visual to the audio, creating an oscillating intervention and a splitting of reality.

De-Centered is a co-production by REIF and Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève for the 5th floor with the support of Nike Berlin.
rRoxymore, Josh Johnson – DE CENTERED [Rework]
Original Sound Compositio by rRoxymore – DE-Centered (Reif, 2020)
Directed by Josh Johnson & Marcelo Alcaide
Choreographed and Performed by Josh Johnson
Editing and Sound Rework by Pedro Antunes
Thanks to Andrea Bellini,  Antonio Onio, Daniel Baumann, Jan Voriseck, Kunsthalle Zurich, Lara Damaso, Max Wuchner, Richard Kennedy and Nike Berlin

Josh Johnson (b. Mission Hills, California) currently lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland. Johnson studied dance at the Robinson Project of Performing Arts, under the guidance of Eartha Robinson and Otis Sallid, and later attended The Ailey School, Ailey II and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Johnson subsequently moved to Frankfurt, Germany, to become a member of The Forsythe Company from 2010 to 2015. Since 2013, he has been the co-founder and co-artistic director of SAD Gmbh, which has created performances, DJ sets, video works, and installations throughout Europe, the United States and Indonesia. His commercial credits include collaborations with Beyonce, Usher, Harlem World, Brandy, Duracel, and Microsoft. His choreography credits include working for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Balenciaga. Johnson has performed with artists Anne Imhof, Kandis Williams, Wu Tsang, and more recently, collaborated with Julia Stoschek Collection (2020). Recent projects include: Untitled Duet, A storm called Progress- Boychild, Total Freedom, Josh Johnson – Gropius Bau, Berlin, Asmara Maroof, Patrick Belega, Josh Johnson – EMPAC – NY 2018.

rROXYMORE (b. Paris, France) is a music producer/ sound artist/ DJ who lives between Berlin and Mexico City. The musical lexicon of rRoxymore develops with frequency and pace. While her sound may radically evolve, her principles as an artist remain rooted in experimentation, community, and a committed social consciousness. This integral approach is shot through every aspect of her work: from the bands and DJ booths of her youth to her longstanding residency with the progressively influential Berlin collective Room 4 Resistance, to projects in tandem with some of the most provocative artists from the wider sphere of alternative and queer culture.  rRoxymore’s freewheeling DJ sets have taken her to some of the world’s best-respected clubs, including Berghain, Concrete, De School, Fabric and MOMA’s PS1 series, as well as electronic and experimental music festivals such as Unsound, Mira, Nuits Sonores, Dimensions, Mutek and Freerotation. rRoxymore’s raw performances allow dancers to connect with her music in a truly physical, soulful sense. Her most recent accolades include her 2019 debut album, Face to Phase, her premiere live performances for festivals Atonal (Berlin) and Festival Musica (Strasbourg). Commissioned projects in development for 2021 include collaborations with Austrian choreographers Ian Kaler and Swedens’ Stina Nyberg, original productions curated by SOS MUSIC, and Tresor’s 30th anniversary compilation.

Sonic Catharsis is a new project curated by REIF for the 5th floor of the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève. REIF, which began as a celebration, is a multifaceted cultural movement taking the form of records and community activities. The primary interest of the collective is to curate events and craft multicultural happenings which include different expressions of thought, identity, play and experience – all reunited in a safe space.

For Sonic Catharsis, a group of artists who have participated in the eponymous record label explore various cultural instigation strategies and form an investigation into how we, as a community, can reignite the fire of nighttime culture and create new ways to gather as the world slowly reopens. Through their bodies, new works and untold stories, the artists collectively illustrate how sound can be a means of resistance. Art becomes a vehicle to craft new realities, while movement and sound morph with contemporary club culture. In all works, sound is the chosen instrument for political catharsis and social change.

This program, built as four issues, will be released over the course of four months on the 5th floor and includes works by Karl Holmqvist x Tabloid Press, Isabel Lewis x Jeff Mills, Josh Johnson x rRoxymore and Labour x Richard Kennedy.

This program benefits from the support of Nike Berlin.