AD Projects is pleased to present, Why Can’t I Be You?, a performance by Maya Jeffereis on Friday, June 3 at 8:30 pm.
Maya Jeffereis uses the avatar or constructed identity in both her live performances and video performances to challenge issues of ethnicity, gender, and human-technological relationships. She confronts stereotypes and archetypal figures with over-exaggeration and humor. She appropriates and adapts dance forms and ritual practices from her American, Japanese, and Indian heritages, particularly drawing from pop culture, Bon Odori dancing, butoh, and Bollywood.
In Why Can’t I Be You? Maya Jeffereis takes on the role of a female entertainer through song and dance. In the format of an amateur karaoke singer, she performs The Cure song “Why Can’t I Be You?” Through the process of physical metamorphosis and dance as spiritual transformation, the self and persona are altered. She sees the body as a reliquary and seeks to give life to these relics of our other selves.
Also showing at the gallery are two recent video works entitled Bollywood Music Video and TankoBushi 9:5. In Bollywood Music Video, Jeffereis learned the dance sequence by watching YouTube, using reenactment to participate in her Anglo-Indian heritage and to reference India’s colonial history through the appropriated film medium. In TankoBushi 9:5, the “Coal Miner’s dance” is adapted from traditional Japanese Bon Odori dancing into a hybridized Japanese-American form to fit the gestures of an office employee, which plays at Orientalism and exoticism.
Maya Jeffereis was born in Sun Valley, CA. She earned her BFA in Painting & Drawing and BA in Greek and Latin from University of Washington in Seattle, Post-Baccalaureate studies in Performance Art at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is a current MFA candidate at Hunter College in Performance and Video.