Ecstatic Decrepitude

Featuring the works of Bread and Puppet Founder Peter Schumann

Apr 30—Jul 31, 2022

Ecstatic Decrepitude is presented on two stories. Bulky, big, oppressed, and oppressive decrepitude obviously belongs upstairs, way above ecstasy, which hides in book pages and requires diligent reading on the first floor. The faces, idols, agitators, and sufferers of the Naked Humanity Republic get entertained by Father Time who strikes the clock for them relentlessly…” — Peter Schumann

Peter Schumann founded the Bread and Puppet Theater in 1963 on New York City’s Lower East Side. Fifty-nine years later it remains one of the United State’s oldest nonprofit, self-supporting theater companies, leaving an indelible stamp on the world of theater and the American cultural landscape. Schumann’s puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by members of the company to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many community volunteers.

Guided by a philosophy of living and working within the means available, Schumann’s aesthetic is inextricable from the paper maché, burlap, twine, and staples that make up and literally hold the puppets and the shows together. This installation of masks, puppets, books, paper maché relief work, and paintings convey Schumann’s deep commitment to the creative and political work which unites artists and communities in celebration and protest.

You can view pictures from the opening of this event on Flickr. They were taken by Laura Billingham.