Screening & Artist Talk – “Black Seed: The Birth Rite”

October 14, 2017 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Join Body Count Collective for an artist talk and screening of their 2015 Detroit performance, Black Seed: The Birth Rite. This satellite event is part of the Oct 2017 Feels exhibition at EMU School of Art and Design‘s Ford Gallery.
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BCC: (Body Count Collective) is comprised of two artist activists Whitney V. Hunter and Preach R Sun to address pertinent social and political issues through art activism. Formed in 2014 in response to the killing of Michael Brown, BCC’s first action, Body Count: Counting the Dead #101, occurred on August 23 2014. BCC’s action, Black Seed: The Birth Rite, was performed in Detroit on October 25, 2015. The work was produced in conjunction with Spread Art, as part of a month long residency.

Our life blood is embedded deeply in our work actions. As artists, what we have is the work we make and the life that is lived to be able to make this work. We are a unified voice dedicated to the wake-up call.

Preach R Sun is, a U.S. based conjurer and fugitivist, an activist using performance art. He most often works on the street with guerilla actions, but also in festivals and galleries. He uses performance and video as a tool and a vehicle for social change, to further his mission of liberation. His work reflects his background of growing up as the son of a minister, and his training in dance, theater and the fine arts. In his own words, “Freedom is my creative praxis.

As such my work serves as an investigative inquiry into the nature and limits of human freedom. Thus, the work should (both) provoke questions regarding our perceptions of freedom, while also demonstrating the strength and agency of individual action – pushing limits, challenging boundaries, and negating ALL ‘BLOCKS.’ I believe such action is not only inspirational but instrumentally essential in galvanizing society in the effort towards (TRUE) universal freedom and humanity.”

Preach R Sun’s performance credits include Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn, NY), Dixon Place (NYC), Theater for the New City (NYC), The Producers Club (NYC), MoMA (NYC) and Mobius (Cambridge, Mass). Video documentation of his 2014 Ferguson performance protest action (Crucifixion of Kneeling Man) was featured, as part of the RESPOND exhibit, at Smack Mellon Gallery (Brooklyn, NY). He’s also presented installation work at JACK (Brooklyn NY), in collaboration with SHPC (Social Health Performance Club), as part of the Forward Ferguson series/initiative. In 2015 he was in a month long residency – Body Count Collectives, Black Seed project – with fellow artist/collaborator Yon Tande at Spread Art (Detroit, MI). He also performed in the 2016 Venice International Performance Art Week (Venice Italy). He will also be performing a new durational action at the upcoming 2017 Fierce Festival in Birmingham, England.

His public guerrilla interventions/actions have been executed both nationally and internationally, at locations such as, Trump Towers (NYC), Wall Street (NYC), Abyssinian Baptist Church (Harlem NY), St. Patrick’s Cathedral (NYC), Detroit Fist Monument (Detroit, MI), Ferguson Mo. at both, the site of Michael Brown’s memorial – the founding performance for Body Count Collective BCC (w/ Yon Tande and Lisa Lewis) – and the Ferguson Police Station. In the summer of 2016 he performed a public action on Staten Island – commemorating the murder of Eric Garner. (The 3 hour long durational procession, which began on Staten Island Ferry, would travel to the site of Eric Garner’s execution and culminate at Staten Island’s 120th Police Precinct.) Also in 2016 – as part of his weeklong durational in Venice Italy – Preach boarded a plane (at JFK International Airport) dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit with the words FOR WHITES ONLY boldly emblazoned across the back. Once in Venice (for an entire week) he perambulated the streets (in black face) carrying a 35 pound cinder block – to which he was also chained – while dressed in the prison uniform.

Preach R Sun, is a 2017 recipient of the prestigious Tanne Foundation Award for outstanding achievement in the arts. He has been featured in RealTime Arts Magazine, Emergency Index, Performance is Alive and Incident Magazine. Preach was also a featured artist on the highly proclaimed HBO series Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry Jam.

To learn more about Preach R Sun, and his work, visit his website or Vimeo (

yon Tande (né Whitney V. Hunter).
Dance/performance artist/culture worker committed to #cultureascatalystfor nurturing and cultivating individual and communal spirit through performance, education and curation. Recent performances: Walk the (pink) Elephant, BLACK SEED: Birth Rite, Body Count: Counting the Dead #101 (Body Count Collective: Preach R Sun and Lisa Lewis). Company performances: Martha Graham Dance Company, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, Martha Clarke, Ralph Lemon, Fiona Templeton, Daria Faïn and Robert Kocik, John Jesurun, Kankouran West African Dance Company and others. He was a Movement Research AiR (2013-15), a founding member/curator of Social Health Performance Club, and is co-director of Denizen Arts: with Jude Sandy.

His works have been presented through RISD Museum, AS220, chashama, Kumble Theater, La Mama, Grace Exhibition Space, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival and in the streets of NYC, Chicago and Detroit. His grants and commissions are numerous.

He teaches nationally and internationally at Southside Cultural Center of Rhode Island, AS220, Peridance Center, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Harlem School of the Arts, The Ailey School, Centro Nacional de Danza Contemporánea (MX), LaGuardia High School, the Martha Graham School and Long Island University. Academic degrees: B.F.A in Theatre Arts/Dance (Howard University), M.F.A in New Media Arts and Performance (Long Island University). He is presently a Ph.D. candidate and Driskell Fellow at Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.