NEWS AND EVENTS

Stay Tuned for future exhibition sites.

Click here or on image to view video of exhibition.

Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan’s Crossing the BLVD traveling exhibition of photographs, sounds, and stories create a multimedia experience documenting the lives of new immigrants and refugees in the most polyglot locality in the United States—the borough of Queens, New York. Ninety photographic portraits by Warren Lehrer portray the pride, beauty, struggle and colorful humanity of individuals who have crossed through war zones, borders, oceans, and cultural divides.  Audio sound stations produced by Judith Sloan enable visitors to hear the voices, sounds and music of those portrayed in the exhibition. An ambient soundscape of people praying, voices on the streets, found and composed music, bring visitors into this crossroad of the world upon entering the exhibition. The Crossing the BLVD exhibition premiered at the Queens Museum of Art in 2004 and has since traveled to 15 locations in the United States including MICA in Baltimore Maryland, Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase New York, The Hudson Museum in Orono Maine, Art Museum of the University of Memphis Tennessee, Weber State University in Utah, Urban Arts Space/University of Ohio, Columbus, Tyler Art Gallery/SUNY Oswego.

Crossing the BLVD is a powerful social record… Most of the subjects live in Queens, but their stories resonate far beyond the borders of this multicultural New York borough. What often gets lost in the national debate on immigration is the human dimension, an understanding of the lives of those people who give up everything to come here... Extraordinary people, extraordinary lives… A living work of art.” The New York Times Benjamin Genocchio

Crossing the BLVD—a multi-media installation of photography, text, and sounds  is more akin to watching a movie, because the narratives take time to unfold, and there is an inherent drama in the real life personal accounts… Crossing the BLVD offers an object lesson in the new aesthetic—how it looks, how it generates its meanings—as well as a window on the lives of people who, mostly unnoticed by the rest of us, are steadily enlarging the concept of what it means to be an American.” The Baltimore Sun Glenn McNatt


EVENTS
A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley

Sept 21, 2pm Brooklyn Book Festival Performance/Reading/Panel Borough Hall, Media Room, Brooklyn NY
Sept 26-28 NY Art Book Fair Exhibiting
with Center for Editions, Purchase College, PS1 MoMA, LIC, NY
Sept 29 Bank Square Books
Performance/Reading Mystic, CT
Nov 3-5
Visual Studies Workshop & SUNY Brockport Performance/Reading & Workshop Rochester & Brockport NY
Jan 21-22 T
he University of Memphis Performance/Lecture (21st) & Judging Student Exhibition (22nd) Memphis, TN
April 2-5, 2015
University of Minnesota & Minnesota Center for Book Arts Performance/Reading & Workshop Minneapolis, MN
Stay tuned for other dates in Tucson AZ, San Francisco CA, Halifax Nova Scotia, and more – TBA

News: A LIFE IN BOOKS Wins the 2014 IPPY (Independent Publishing Awards) OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD for “Most Original Concept.” 
They describe it as “mind-blowing… reality-bending… a laugh riot and a visual feast.”
 IPPY Award Announcement Click to view

A LIFE IN BOOKS Wins CBAA (College Book Art Association) 2014 Exhibition Prize at their Bi-Annual Conference/Juried Exhibition.

A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s protagonist—Bleu Mobley—a controversial author who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of all 101 of his books, each represented by its first-edition cover design and catalog copy, and more than a third of his books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (if ethically challenged) visionary. A LIFE IN BOOKS explores the creative process of a writer/artist, as it reflects upon a half century of American/global events, and grapples with the future of the book as a medium, and the lines that separate and blur truth, myth, and fiction.

In his funny, thought provoking performance/readings, Warren Lehrer presents an overview of Bleu Mobley’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts by the band BETTY and actress/poet La Bruja.

PRAISE for A LIFE IN BOOKS

Studio 360, Click to listen. 
“An ingenious, one-of-a-kind novel.” Kurt Andersen, STUDIO 360



“A profound commentary… A Life In Books is brilliant, beautiful, delicious for eyes and mind.” 
Andrei Codrescu, public radio commentator



“A vivid kaleidoscopic odyssey that frames one man’s life through not one, but one hundred different books—and book jackets.”
 Jessica Helfand, founding editor DESIGN OBSERVER

“A meticulously illustrated chronicle… Pitch perfect.” 
Steven Heller, THE ATLANTIC

“A book-lover’s fictional treat of books that never were. A Life In Books is ultimately about survival, and transforming the sadness of life into art. As Whitman said, ‘I contain multitudes,’ and Bleu Mobley contains 101 books and a belief in the bounty of life. Wonderful!”
Michael SilverblattBOOKWORM, KCRW

“A tour de force of graphic design, illustration and writing. Guaranteed to bring a smile.”
Ken Carbone THE HUFFINGTON POST

“In the era of cookie-cutter books and rubber-stamped stories, Warren Lehrer’s A Life in Books is fresh, original, idiosyncratic, beautiful, and important.”
Rabih Alameddine, author of Koolaids, Hakawati, and I, the Divine

“A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is a typographical and design tour de force.” Ellen Shapiro, PRINT MAGAZINE

“A genre-defying night that fuses art and literature, prose and design into a multi-media presentation unlike any other.” Skylight Books

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Scripps College Performance/Reading + Workshop Claremont, CA
Judith Sloan, Upcoming Performances and Workshops

Monday July 14, 7 PM. Crossing the BLVD at the Auditorium on Broadway 
New York Institute of Technology
1871 Bdwy, Broadway between 62 and 61st Streets.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, July 18, 19, 20, YO MISS! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide
at the KO Festival, Northampton, MA

Sunday July 27
, at The Association of Theatre in Higher Education, Scottsdale, Arizona
Tuesday September 30, 6 PM. Crossing the BLVD at Stockton College, New Jersey 

Judith Sloan is an actor, audio artist, writer, radio producer, human rights activist, educator and poet whose work combines humor, pathos and a love of the absurd. For over twenty years, Sloan has been producing and presenting interdisciplinary works in audio and theater, portraying voices often ignored by the mass media. She will be performing YO MISS! Teaching Inside the Cultural Divide and Crossing the BLVD in July and the fall of 2014.

“In YO MISS!, Judith Sloan’s art and teaching cross-pollinate. Performing with musical collaborators, she re-enacts and riffs on her experiences teaching teenagers from myriad worlds: refugee camps, struggling neighborhoods, prisons. It is a performance about performances, a story containing many stories.” New York Times

Crossing the BLVD is a whirlwind tour and love poem of what has often been called the most racially and ethnically diverse county in America. In the tradition of the playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Ms. Sloan performs “Crossing the BLVD” adopting the personae (and respectfully mimicking the accents) of the varied immigrants whose stories are in the book… The New York Times, City Room Blog, Sewell Chan

“Crossing boldly carries the tradition of oral history into the 21st Century. Electrifying!”   Eve Ensler author The Vagina Monologues

A world view that sees comedy and tragedy as two bones of the same skeleton in the closet. Superb!.”
The Scotsman (Scotland’s National Newspaper) Sara O’Sullivan (London)

“Funny and sad, topical and biting… Exquisite comic timing  best of all, Sloan can make you see your world in a slightly different way. And that’s what theater is supposed to do.” The Indianapolis Star

“In listening to what people have to say, Judith Sloan captures the essence of their lives…She is one part Studs Terkel, one part Lily Tomlin, two-parts originality.”
The Herald Bloomington, Indiana

 

Listen Here to a YO MISS story:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Past Performances:
February 28 and March 1, The Pink Garter, Jackson Wyoming
April 23, 7 pm , YO MISS!, Joe’s Pub, Public Theatre, NY, NY

EarSay Youth Voices / Transforming Trauma Into Art

Transforming Trauma Into Art
is an EarSay initiative, created and directed by Judith Sloan, born out of our partnership with the International High School at LaGuardia Community College where many teenagers have emigrated to the U.S. from war-zones and conflict-zones. The premise of this workshop is based on healing through artistic expression using a combination of music, movement, theatre and storytelling. This process helps release the stories and stressors that prevent people—who have been traumatized by war, economic or natural disasters—from moving forward. This program brings an understanding of confronting obstacles through artistic expression to communities that are poor, displaced, or don’t have access to artistic training, serving approximately 450 students. The project grows out of our commitment to creating artistic works that evolve out of individual experience and community. In this case, the community is immigrant and refugee teenagers attending school in New York City. At a time of war, global tension, and polarization, our program encourages a depth of scholarship and storytelling that shapes the experience of the participants, giving them tools to make connections between cultures, shed light on the complexity and humanity of each individual, and deepen what it means or could mean to be part of a global community.

Thanks for your support.

Video: About the History of the Project

Globalization: Preventing the Sameness of the World NEW ANIMATION

CLICK HERE OR ON IMAGE TO VISIT SCREENING ROOM PAGE

This video, directed and animated by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell, features the words of Eugene Hütz—leader of the gypsy-punk-cabaret band Gogol Bordello—sharing his views on ‘globalization’ and putting forward an alternative vision of what he calls “multi-kontra-culture.” This animation, with sound production and arrangement by Judith Sloan, is the newest manifestation of Lehrer/Sloan’s multi-media project, Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America, which documents and portrays new immigrants and refugees in the United States.


Read about it in the Huffington Post
Read about it in the Salon.com
Read about it in Imprint

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PROJECTS
1001 Voices: A new symphony / with Music by Frank London, Libretto by Judith Sloan, Visual Animations by Warren Lehrer

Over 800 people of all ages and backgrounds attended the world premier on April 29th, 2012


Music composed by Frank London
Libretto by Judith Sloan
Visuals by Warren Lehrer with Brandon Campbell

Premiered by the Queens Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, Queens Symphony Orchestra music director
Performed by full orchestra and a 190-voice chorus comprised of the Queens College Choral Society and Queens College Choir, James John, Music Director
Featured Tabla Soloist Deep Singh
Spoken word performed by Judith Sloan in English with additional translations in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic by Dailyn Despradel, Krussia, Haojie Huang, and Catherine Hanna.

Watch Video Excerpt on Vimeo CLICK ON IMAGE or CLICK HERE

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LISTEN TO INTERVIEW ON WNYC: TUESDAY APRIL 24 CLICK HERE