All the Way Up/All the Way Down is a body based devised performance activation series built on the principle that perpetually increasing one’s pleasure from one moment to the next is a path to evolution. Informed by and a part of Margaret’s personal process of healing from traumatic illness, her formal research for the project begins with a series of interviews with holistic health practitioners, identifying the throughlines among them and letting that information inform her physical, sonic, and other conjurations at HCL.
Read more about how Margaret’s project evolved during her 4-month Sponsorship in her blog post.
Margaret Morris is a witch. She uses performance to ritualize processes of relieving pain and increasing the pleasure in this world that we share. Fueled by the conviction that human beings are powerful manifestors and that changing our feelings changes the ways we interact with the world, and thus changes the worlds that we interact within, Margaret plays to access and use pleasure foundationally in building her art. She maintains a practice of moving in two directions, all the way up and all the way down, towards one end. Purging that which perpetuates pain, and training our nervous systems to accept and increase ecstasies introduces the possibility of an evolution–transcending one’s state to meet to challenges of the inner and outer environment; thriving, and then deeper/higher thriving. Margaret’s orientation to art is akin to the mythical tribe of artists in Ben Okri’s Starbook, who generationally passed down the directive that the primary aim of an artist’s life is to create that which heals themselves.
Margaret Morris, aka Moonbones Evolutionary, is a multi-disciplinary artist, performer and somatics instructor. Her primary ritual tools include classically-trained voice with looping device, dancing body choreographed and improvising, and personal story. Morris has trained extensively in dance and music in a variety of settings with master teachers. She holds a BFA in dance from Columbia College Chicago and has studied with Tere O’Connor, Kathleen Hermsdorf, Janet Panetta, Ishmael Houston Jones, Eiko, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Zahava (“Z”). Her teaching and practitioner credentials include yoga certification, pilates apparatus certification, and Zen Shiatsu Levels I-III. She is currently based in Chicago.
Morris’s more recent performances include a series of magical activations incubated as a Sponsored Artist at High Concept Labs entitled Quantum Negress Tantras (appearing so far at Links Hall, Gallery 400, and High Concept Labs), Improvisational Gestures, embodied activations of Senga Nengudi’s sculptures as at DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; and from 2015-2017 she was a featured vocalist/collaborator with New York-based Heroes are Gang Leaders, a band of poets and jazz musicians dedicated to the sound extensions of literary text and original composition. She has performed in the work and improvisational scores of numerous artists including J’Sun Howard, Ayako Kato, Felix Ruckert, and Onome Djere. Other collaborators she has worked with include musician Devin Brahja Waldman, interdisciplinary artist No Land aka Lauren Greenberg, poet Anne Waldman, and composer Nicole Mitchell.
Morris was a Spring 2018 sponsored artist at High Concept Labs, and was a Co-Mission Artist at Links Hall in 2017. She was an artist-in-residence at Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest , IL in 2017, and has received grants and fellowships from the Weasel Fund Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council, and the Puffin Foundation. In 2006, she was a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist.