Shawn Escarciga (Brooklyn, NY)

is a performance and mixed media artist who uses language and the body to generate collage and create new paradigms around movement. Using 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. Escarciga seeks to establish parallel structures and queer understandings of joy, power, and control, while pushing against the rich-kid-narrow-career-trajectory-commericalism of the art world. Shawn 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, Shawn’s performance work seeks to blur, reinvent and question strict understandings of genre in performance. Shawn 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 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.

Shawn’s 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