Toussaint Jeanlouis

What I Create is: Where, When, and How I Live.

Actor, Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Boxing Instructor.

Filtering by Tag: #Cotton

Devising New Work: Have we Enslaved the Good & Incarcerated the Bad? Whom is We?

Monday night was the first night I spent time with fellow artists devising new work in the DevisingHub at Ping Chong + Company led by Performance Artist Ryan Conarro. I met interesting people and am excited to feel the results of the next five weeks! I've already learned so much. I'll be presenting an excerpt of new work by December 10. While the process of devising can be daunting, I'm thrilled to be vulnerable and begin a conversation about subjects that have been on my mind for a few years.

One question I aim to answer is "What am I in search of as an Artist?" I have to remember that we grow and it is always a good idea to ask yourself that question again because our artistic statement can change from day to day. In regards to this new work, I have many associations based on the material and research I have done for my current work, and knowing what I'm in search of as an Artist will lead me in a direction as to how I can develop the work to be most effective. Where do I begin?

Meditation 1:
I want to know how an individual [can] transcends the physical self and lives spiritually [blind faith]. I am interested in creating a new way [news waves] of sharing humanity for the purpose of growth - reaching Our (Humanity's) full potential. We are inescapably caught in this garment of destiny - tied together*. If We are touched - opened, what can we accomplish then and together? How do you destroy competition, specifically the practice of stagnant opposition?

I am not wholly interested in what "ties us together," rather "Why are we disconnected? Why do you / have you refuse(d) to open your parachute?" There must be bad in order to recognize good. What is Good? What is God? What is Bad? What is Hell? Who is Lucifer? I am fascinated that we are circling around the same questions and behaviors that were presented thousands of years ago. Is progression a theory? As long as we "know" what this "bad" is, we can manage It, but if It is new, that's frightening - uncontrollable; a Virus. Have we enslaved the good and incarcerated the bad? Whom is We?

I want to be in Awe. Mouth agape; feeling every emotion and sensation at once. It's not a question of what I'm watching. I am experiencing something intuitively personal [by associative qualities] - my insides are stirring, then to realize We are all experiencing it by a single thread pulled from Us; that which had no name.

Example: The Starlit Night Sky. A Shooting Star Falling. There are many ways to see this event. "I ask that you lie down on your back." How will I guide you towards the least affected perspective: Shavasana. What does that fleeting moment feel like? Nirvana. IMAX Cinema.

In Meditation 2:
Awareness is not sufficient. It is for few who would commit to action, others are happy / content / immobilized and remain disengaged; especially if they cannot see how it effects them - they must be affected. What story am I informing with? Even if the information is "fact," everyone moves forward at their own pace. What is Trust without the suspension of Belief? "Pull the string to open your parachute."

Knowledge versus Violence. Violent Knowledge: "I learned about gravity while pushed out of bed."

I intend to Explore by Creating Violent Knowledge. Wisdom is ... Settled  ... Digested ... Wisdom is the Embodiment of Knowledge. Habit and Ritual form because of Wisdom and Desire. I Am Because I Believe ... I Believe in What? Do I Fight ... Who do I Fight to Believe? Who Am I?

Meditation 3:
Water flowing. Winter is coming. Frozen. Nutrients will be preserved. Make them Thirsty. Make it Hot so they Beg for Water. Violent Nature. But with Oil Spills is my Value decreasing?

I Desire to be Comfortable. What is Comfortable? [ a long list ] What is Naked? What is the opposite of Comfortable? What Makes me Not Comfortable? Restrictions.

Am I creating this new work so that I may be more comfortable in my skin? In what?

What excites me is the possibility to Transvalue Cotton and Human Beings.

* "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." - Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail


DevisingHub with Ping Chong + Co

Tonight is the first night of a five week workshop with Ping Chong + Company and Associate Artist Ryan Conarro. I will be among ten creators - interdisciplinary artists, who are all devising new works as individuals and/or groups. I've already gotten the readings for the first day and it's like I'm back in grad school which is exciting!!! 

My Project:  


"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." - Martin Luther King Jr.  Art and creation is the network of mutuality that saved my life, helping me realize who I am and what I can be while living in a world that would tell me what it thinks I should be. I am a Creator. I build skills and create situations to help others create. What I Create comes from the essential realization and acknowledgment of How, When, and Where I Live. Working with Casita Maria's Bronx community I would implement a series of generative community workshops built from my creative model of HOME B.A.S.E. combining Acting Training, Martial Arts, Dance, Writing, Visual Arts, and Music to Build Artists through Somatic Education. Through this series of workshops I would guide participants in exploring the rich theme of COTTON, this elemental and earthy thread that builds the garments that bind us. "How do you want to dye/die?  What is the history of this fabric, this essential crop that unites and yet divides us? What legacy do you want to leave behind on this thread of existence?” It is our duty to shape, stretch, color, and fashion our world. Through an exploration of COTTON, I hope to indirectly examine the racial, social, economic, sexual fibers of our contemporary lives, working with the community to arrive to build a stronger fabric of creative sustainability.