Blackfish: A storytelling performance by Emily Johnson

Fri 17 Aug 2018

This is a past program.
Main Exhibition Gallery

Join us for a special storytelling performance evening with New York-based artist Emily Johnson.

From Emily Johnson’s mouth, hear the story of Blackfish – a fish that never dies. A story of survivance, Blackfish is part of The Thank-you Bar, a performance work developed by Johnson that connects ideas of displacement, longing, and language to history, pre-conceived notions, architecture, and igloo-myth.

This project is presented with Performance Space New York, as part of a wider curatorial research program established by ACCA. Emily Johnson is currently developing a Global First Nations Performance Network with colleagues in Australia, Canada and the United States.

This program is proudly presented as part of MEL&NYC, a citywide cultural festival celebrating all things Melbourne and New York City from June to August 2018. Supported by the Victorian Government.

Please note, there are four sessions for this event and capacity is limited to 30 people per session. Each session is 10 minutes in duration.



Emily Johnson is an artist who makes body-based work. A Bessie Award winning choreographer, Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award she is based in New York City. Originally from Alaska, she is of Yup’ik descent and since 1998 has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment, interacting with a place’s architecture, history, and role in community. Johnson aims to make a world where performance is part of life; where performance is an integral connection to each other, our environment, our stories, our past, present, and future.

Johnson’s choreography is presented across the United States and Australia. She is a lead collaborator in the Indigenous-artist led Healing Place Collaborative (Minneapolis, MN). Her most recent work, Then a Cunning Voice and A Night We Spend Gazing at Stars – an all night outdoor performance gathering taking place on and near eighty-four community-hand-made quilts – premiered in Lenapehoking (NYC) with Performance Space New York on Randall’s Island in summer 2017 and will tour to Chicago, San Francisco, and Narrm (Melbourne), Australia.

Read more on Emily Johnson’s website:


Emily Johnson

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