CURRENT BIOGRAPHY is a queer performance collaborative helmed by Corey Smith and Ashley Hollingshead, dedicated to exploring new ways of creating performance. Drawing on their background as theatre makers and musicians, Corey and Ashley make work that is fun and genre-defying. Their work utilizes techniques such as juxtaposition, humor, movement created by non-dancer bodies, and non-linear structures. They are committed to making pieces that are vulnerable and real, with an eye toward accessibility. They work to create a space for audiences to interpret and create their own experience with the piece. CURRENT BIOGRAPHY is inspired by makers as diverse as Laurie Anderson, Mary Zimmerman, the Neofuturists, Bruce Springsteen, and of Montreal. Their work is created through improvisation, free-writing, found text, wild dancing, sharing personal moments, and a sense of play. CURRENT BIOGRAPHY creates work that is non-narrative, non-linear, and all-fun.
photo from HybridSalon2 taken by Clare Demos
In Summer of 2015, Corey Smith and ashley hollingshead were invited to participate in an artist’s salon organized by Genesis Ensemble. The jumping off point for the salon was to pair up artists from different backgrounds and practices and have them create an interdisciplinary piece of work for a public showcase in a month and a half. The only stipulation was that it had to have a performative element to it. With Corey’s background as a composer of experimental classical music and ashley’s as a director of ensemble devised theatre, we fit the bill.
We quickly discovered that, despite our different artistic backgrounds, we shared may of the same approaches, ideas, and aesthetics regarding our art making. We have a shared interest in the roles of humor, dance made by non-dancers, and we both enjoy a strong use of juxtaposition in performance elements. Most importantly, neither of us are interested in taking ourselves too seriously. Though our initial process was very brief, we not only found someone that we enjoyed working with, but someone that we felt comfortable exploring new elements of performing with. Even before the premier of our first collaborative piece, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, ANYTHING CAN BE ACHIEVED!!!, We had decided to continue to develop our collaborative relationship. Our first full length piece, GETTING TO KNOW YOU (Summer 2016), exploited the inherently meta nature of a performance duo and was a commentary on the radical nature of platonic male-female friendships as well as an exploration of creating own relationship as friends and collaborators.