Artistic Statement

In my work I strive to create a theater of the singing body through its most essential mechanics—the breath, contraction and expansion of the diaphragm, and the propulsion of sonic resonance. I use these simple mechanics to power both movement and sound, causing a bodily phenomenon heard and felt.

The great-granddaughter of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, my relatives worked the garment and theater industries of New York City.  I grew up regarding the tuneful stories of the Broadway theater as personal folklore. I have come to gradually understand this lineage within the violent narrative of settler colonialism. Through kinship, accountability and collective practices I have begun to grapple with ways appropriation, assimilation and the mythic frontier live inside unseen anatomies.

As an artist, my goal is to make sense of the singing body now, at a time when the compounded violence of our American history demands a newly embodied narrative. I tend the voice as a vessel of physical and cultural memory, whose analog power can transmit and materialize our inner work.  I engage the voice as both artifact and artifice; as emotion; as means for dislocation and memory; as causality; as musical vehicle; as representational object of human-ness; as magical;as material; as seductive; as transportive; as consonant and dissonant; as real.

Private Country, Photo by Brian Rogers
Private Country (2013) Photo by Brian Rogers

Oh… I know
I know I feel it often times I do
but is it more than a feeling?

-Talya Epstein as “stranger” in Private Country

To read more about my evolving consciousness, and how my work contains historical violence, read: Fault Lines Tremble: A Conversation with Tatyana Tenenbaum by Tara Sheena for Culturebot