Shawn Escarciga (Brooklyn, NY)

is an experimental performance and mixed media artist who uses his language and his body to generate objects and create new paradigms around dance. Using his formal training in Butoh and other rigid practices, Escarciga makes work that questions and subverts normative power structures and the institutions that enforce them, especially those that perpetuate strict hierarchies and value systems around class, gender, and intimacy. By showing up as a historically poor, queer person with mental illness, Escarciga seeks to establish parallel structures and queer understandings of joy, power, and control, while creating crucial space for voices like his in the art world. He uses objects that are readily accessible—mostly gleaned from part-time “rent paying” jobs—to make work about access, monotony, and struggle.

Drawing inspiration from pop and social media cultures, nihilism, and the macabre, his performance work seeks to blur, reinvent and question strict understandings of genre. He believes that allowing others to witness honesty and vulnerability in another body—whether it is mundane or violent—allows for more honesty and vulnerability to exist in their own.

Shawn believes in a process-based practice that allows individual performances to serve as experimental moments—tools for building larger generative work that is both performative and object based. He thinks a lot about classism, queer visibility, how to effectively light patriarchal structures on fire, intimacy amongst faggots, and what it would be like to live in a country that supports non-commercial artists.

His work has been shown throughout New York City (Panoply Performance Lab, Glasshouse ArtLifeLab [Performeando], Queens Museum [LiveArt.us], MIX NYC, Triskelion, Grace Exhibition Space, Chinatown Soup [Performance Anxiety], The Clemente, Real Estate Fine Art), domestically (Boston, Chicago, Lexington, New Orleans, Miami, Fayetteville), and abroad (Berlin and London).


Photo: Jun Park