In 1992, mayfield brooks had a “missed connection” with queer ancestor Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson, when mayfield was 21 and Marsha 46. Based on danced and written love notes, Letters to Marsha explores the weight of bodies and history, and the artist’s own evolution as a Black, non-binary queer connecting specters of Black queer death to memory, movement, sound, humor, and pathos.
“brooks’ movements may be improvised, but the world that they create is carefully curated.” —Brooklyn Rail
From the Curator
mayfield brooks is a singular artist creating rich, experiential performance landscapes through their deep explorations of blackness, queerness, memory, text, sound, and the residue of the history of enslavement. Incorporating African Diasporic spiritual traditions such as speaking in tongues, laying of hands, and funeral processions, their work is rooted in socio-cultural practices from the Black American experience. mayfield continues this research in Letters to Marsha, paying homage to black queer ancestors and offering a meditation on love that calls on the dead to remind us how to live.
mayfield brooks improvises while Black, and is a performance artist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer. brooks was a 2017 Movement Research Artist-in-Residence and a 2018 Works on Water/Underwater New York Artist-in-Residence.
Marýa Wethers is an independent creative producer/manager, consultant and curator, Bessie Award-winning dancer, and Director of International Initiatives at Movement Research.