• PBS

photos by Jono Melamed (2023)

photos by Whitney Browne (2023)

E r y k a   D e l l e n b a c h (they)
is a genderfluid filmmaker, performance artist and educator based in the Sonoran Southwest (Turtle Island/US). Their embodied films and performances are rites of passage for themselves and collaborators driven by consent practices, inquisitive hedonisms, corporeal excavation and a belief in the capacity for mutual transformation through collaboration and art-as-life process. Their works mine relationships to power, the malleability of consciousness and psychophysical thresholds.

Their process and technique have been informed by studies in dances of resistance including Butoh, flamenco and martial arts. They are grateful to the teachers who have offered potent dances and knowledges influencing their path: Wendy Clinard & Sonia Sanchez (flamenco), Atsushi Takenouchi, Yumiko Yoshioka and Vangeline (Butoh), Chen Huixian (Chen Taiji) & Yunuen Rhi (Baguazhang), and Mestre Besouro Preto Manganga (capoeira). They have worked with artists across mediums including Yunuen Rhi, Martin Toloku, Atsushi Takenouchi, Tino Sehgal, Amanda Gutierrez, Tori Wrånes, Éva Mag, Matty Davis, Nola Sporn Smith, Amelia de Rudder/La Casa de Satanas and the band HOGG

Eryka has presented work at venues such as Alliance Française Kumasi (Ghana), crazinisT artisT studio (Ghana), Communitism (Greece), Movement Research at the Judson Memorial Church, Coaxial Arts (LA), Casa Moloch (MX), Lausanne Underground Music & Film Festival (Switzerland), Ann Arbor Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Roulette Intermedium, Green River Cemetery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Intuit Outsider Art Museum, Links Hall, No Nation Gallery, and at the Shiryaevo Bienalle of Contemporary Art (Russia). They have been a resident artist at perfocraZe International Artist Residency (Ghana), eX...it! international butoh dance exchange and performance festival (Germany), Earthdance (MA), Echo Luna (Ukraine) and Cucalorus (NC).

They earned a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a master’s degree in Film, Video, New Media, Animation and Sound from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

They are a Senior Videographer and Editor at Arizona Public Media, and continue to work independently as a freelance filmmaker, performance artist, choreographer, educator and interviewer. They are a celluloid filmmaking instructor at MONO NO AWAREa collaborator of the transnational group HEKLER and an advocate with California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP). They are a board member of Movement Culture, LLC (Tucson, AZ).

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image by Raven Jackson


Hedge Subs[tan]titute

performance film in collaboration with Martin Toloku (Ghana)
currently in phase-two of remote-production

made during 2021 perfocraZe artist residency in Kumasi, Ghana

original performance upon which the film is based was
presented at X:7 exhibition at crazinisT artisT studiO
in March 2021

filmed by CediMfoni (Ghana)
with sound collaboration by lbk Violinist (Lagos) and
Hanna Elliott (Chicago)

Original performance description:

Hedge-Subs[tant]itute is a combined story between two individuals from different parts of the world who discovered each other through sharing their experiences of witnessing the corpse of a loved one. Performing opposite each other under one roof constructed from a mixture of collected dead and fresh woods (a structure of relics), their collaborative performance sees Martin laid-in-state as a wounded body with Eryka as a psychopomp dancing in search of a response from the soul that has begun wandering away from his body. Meeting in the liminal space between opposite sides of animacy and inanimacy, the performance sees Martin’s wake invoking the collapse of the roof above his body as Eryka attempts to create a bridge for him with hers straddling the Above and Below. Drawing inspiration from their material construction process, early histories of tablao ritual dances and improvised movement exchanges, the earth and the wood laid upon it are engaged as a door upon which life force is exchanged in their bodies’ attempts to embody a beat in silence. Hedge-Subs[tant]itute is a space designed to hold a restaging of the aftermath of death and witness-bodies’ resistances to it.