Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Funeral Party for the Living

"Funeral Party for the Living" will take place on New Year's Day at 5pm at 14 Pews. The event will include visitation and drinking, eulogy writing assistance, a funeral service open to the public to speak, sing, etc., a funeral sound procession created by the audience along with whatever instruments they'd like to bring, a funeral pyre for burning symbolic items contributed by the public, and a funeral food pot luck and recipe swap, so bring a dish!

Funeral attire is encouraged.

This event is free and open to the public. Observers are welcome.

Contact info.: emily@emilysloan.com, 713-582-1198

For more info. visit: www.thelivingwake.blogspot.com

Please feel free to re-post and share this event!

Organizer/host: Internationally unknown artist, Emily Sloan was born on April 1, 1983 outside of Beulah, Texas to John Bartholomew Sloan and Sue Nan Hoya Sloan. She presently survives and practices art inspired by healing and mourning rituals, longings, and social contexts. Outcomes include object making, performance, social involvement and spaces, and curating for unique venues including a contemporary art salon, The Kenmore: an exhibition object, and a secret gallery hidden behind a bookcase. In 2010, Sloan has had a solo show at Redbud Gallery in Houston, Texas; Napping Affects Performance (NAP), a participation and performance project at Art League Houston which is ongoing in Houston, east Texas, and upstate New York; Wash, a public, all day performance hosted by Gallery 1724 (Houston); organized a Salon des Refus├ęs; and founded the Universal Nap Church.

About 14 Pews: Located at 800 Aurora St., Houston, Texas 77009, this Houston landmark is the oldest white wooden church in the Heights. Built in 1924, it has housed the Sunset Heights Church of Christ, Aurora Picture Show, and is now home to 14 Pews. 14 Pews is a non-profit microcinema providing regular screenings of independent documentaries and feature films, along with 4 annual film festivals and several affordable film/video educational classes. For more information, please visit: www.14pews.org

The Houston Entertainicle gets involved!

Casket Transport!

Lost Staffordshire

Monday, December 20, 2010

Solstice with a total eclipse of the Moon...

This night is the first solstice with a total eclipse of the Moon in over 400 years. Astrologer Bob Mulligan states, 2011 "will be a breath of relief, the death of one way of doing things and the very beginning of something brand new." Read more here.

Also read: Darkness Births the Light by KK Ledford. KK and I grew up together. Wild Moon Wisdom is her website.

The next few months will be a very powerful time for new beginnings!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Funeral Party


Entwined is a performance of hair giving. It was performed on November 19 (the Friday before Thanksgiving) with a group I have worked with as a Healing Artist for approximately a year and a half. To bound our relationship even tighter, I offered everyone in the group a lock of hair they could cut off and keep as a memento of me and a passing on of power.

Above: We are discussing Victorian traditions of hair saving, exchanging and hair work. In some cultures and stories the sharing of hair is a sharing of power. Hair is also significant as a part of the body which will not rot.

Reading 19th century sayings such as "when this lock of hair you do see, think of me."

Above: A selection is made from the nape of the neck.

Above: A participant gives me a lock of their hair.

Photography courtesy of Crystal Owens.

Water Break

Water Break: pick-up truck, tarp, water, release
Action took place at El Rincon Social in Houston, Texas on Sunday, November 14.

Truck before:

Unidentified woman near water hose/umbilical cord as the truck is being filled with water.

Water Break:

Red Sheet placenta was released as well.


"Rebirth" is a ritual event that took place at El Rincon Social on Sunday, November 14. A truck bed filled with blessed fluid was utilized for participants to be buried/submerged in and then reborn as part of a ritual of beginning anew.

The rebirthing process...

Photos courtesy of Michael Brims and Emily Sloan.

Memento Mori---water globes

Some other connections...

Below is a series of water globes from 2009, all containing memento mori landscape scenes. These scenes were all documented within 15 miles from where I grew up in east Texas. Images included: Dead Man Road, Buzzards, a cemetery, a burnt forest, a clear cut forest, and a home destroyed by Hurricane Rita. The globes were "activated" by audience members spinning them and stirring their contents. The objects themselves referenced snow globes as collectibles and tokens of memorabilia.

Above image taken at Blaffer Museum.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rebirth / Breaking of the Water

"Rebirth" is a ritual event to take place at El Rincon Social on Sunday, November 14 from 5pm to 10pm. A truck bed filled with blessed fluid will be on hand into which participants may be buried/submerged and reborn as part of a ritual of beginning anew.

The evening will end with "The Breaking of the Water" from the truck onto the earth.

This event is open to participants and observers.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Funeral Food

Saturday, September 25 was the last day of labotanica's School of Latitudes. For the occasion, I prepared self-serve, pot-luck style funeral food (a.k.a. casseroles, cake) along with a wall of photographs from the Eulogy/Wake Workshop held privately for the latituders on Thursday, September 16. The wall was painted pink and had mirrors covered with a black cloth referencing my research into Victorian mourning rituals. Mirrors were covered to prevent the deceased's soul from becoming trapped in them and to prevent mourners from seeing their own reflections and possibly leading to their own demise.

ABOUT WAKE: Wake is an interactive performance project comprised of explorations of death rituals including the writing of (living) eulogies and hosting of (living) wakes. The mission of the project is to encourage participants to (but not limited to) review life through the contemplation of death and to connect to the present.

Texas Prison Museum

A recent visit to the Texas Prison Museum connected with me on this project. I suppose it was seeing "Old Sparky", the retired death penalty electric chair, reading about prisoners, wardens, and guards of the past and their demise, and even reading lists of last meals and last words.

Old Sparky...a visit to the chair was referred to as "Riding the Electric Thunderbolt."

Some prison art...soap carvings, matchstick sculptures, etc.

A homemade blender!...and other inventions...