Sister Sylvester with Maria Baranova

Sister Sylvester regularly collaborate with the NYC based photographer Maria Baranova to create images and photographic narratives around particular performance works. Here are some of our recent projects: 

The Maids The Maids

For The Maids The Maids we did a guerrilla photo shoot at the Park Avenue Armory during our residency there. The aim was to use the surroundings to capture of opulence of Genet's original, in a way that we could not on a black box stage. It also functioned as a way to play and improvise around the attitude of Genet's characters with the two professional housekeepers who worked with us to create our performance. The photos were a response on the part of the performers both to Genet's text, and to imagery from Reza Abdoh performances. Terence Mintern, Sister Sylvester collaborator, and former Drag Queen and Ridiculous Theater member, provided costumes and helped to style the shoot.  These images were featured in Chance Magazine. 


They Are Gone But Here Must I Remain

For this shoot we took over a friend's studio in an old warehouse building in Bushwick. We were midway through creating the performance but didn't yet have much idea of what it would be. For the shoot we wanted to play with the images we'd come up with in rehearsal but were not yet sure how to use, and to respond physically and visually to the source material for the piece, Peter Whitehead's notorious 1969 movie, The Fall. 

Maps For A War Tourist

For this series, Maria joined us up at our residency in Mount Tremper, and we took advantage of the location to create fantastical imagery with the set and props of the piece: our tortoises, paper, miniature figures of the performers, and light. In the actual performance we consciously resist trying to represent the story we are trying to tell, working instead with materials, form and light, and so we took the same methodology, although in a very different visual direction, in this collaboration.