A musical performance & nightlife celebration of Cavafy featuring Juliana Huxtable and her band Tongue in the Mind.

May 6, 2023
8:00 pm
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Inspired by Cavafy’s poem “Ionic,” multidisciplinary genius Juliana Huxtable concludes the festival at National Sawdust with a “visual rave” in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Joe Heffernan and her band Tongue in the Mind. Music, spoken-word, visuals, and a nod to Greek legendary composer Lena Platonos will create a perfect paean to the performative nature of Cavafy’s work, and what is known as his “in-between” quality and essence. The evening will crescendo into a dance-party led by the Jamaican sonic disruptor DJ SHYBOI who recently sold out shows at MoMA PS1 and the Guggenheim.

This event is part of the “Archive of Desire” festival by the Onassis Foundation. "Archive of Desire" is curated by composer Paola Prestini, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of National Sawdust, and under the creative direction of Afroditi Panagiotakou, Onassis Foundation’s Director of Culture.


Photo: Emily Dodd-Noble

Juliana Huxtable is an artist, poet, writer and musician living and working between New York City and Berlin. She has exhibited and performed at MoMA, Guggenheim, Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, The New Museum, among many others.

Tongue in the Mind evolved heedfully from almost a decade of creative back-and-forth between multimedia artist, DJ and writer Juliana Huxtable and multi-instrumentalist composer Joe Rinaldo Heffernan, aka Jealous Orgasm. Starting life in New York City as free-flowing improvisational performance art, the project shifted as Huxtable and Heffernan's confidence in each other swelled and their collaboration became more compositional and ostentatious. Coaxing each other to take risks and metamorphose artistically, the duo's roles flickered and spiraled; Huxtable would set down the mic to jam on synths and percussion, while Heffernan would move from instruments to vocals. Production and arrangement became a synergistic process and little by little, a defined musical fingerprint appeared.

Hailing from Arkansas, Heffernan administers a long-held obsession with metal and punk into his classically conditioned arrangements, while Huxtable - who currently lives between New York and Berlin - imparts creative knowledge from her years of experience as a groundbreaking DJ and vernacular-bending poet. The duo's music is impossible to confine within strict genre boundaries, mutating pointillistically as it vibrates through rock, jazz and experimental forms, adducing Huxtable and Heffernan's creative past without threatening to duplicate it. It's an energy that's already landed them on some of the world's most prestigious stages: they were commissioned by MoMA for Performa 15, played at Primavera Sound in Barcelona and closed out The Netherlands' Rewire Festival in 2018.

Their first single 'Pretty Canary' and debut long-form release are due on the legendary PAN imprint in spring and winter respectively and both harness a little of contemporary New York City's chaos and contorted elegance. Future shock and modern malaise aren't filtered through the expected amalgamation of galvanized sonics and post-everything rhythmic signals, but spun into colorful silks that hang in opposition to expectation, reflecting post-punk and no wave, prog and DIY pop as Huxtable and Heffernan blot surreal vocals over lysergic instrumentation. Sensual and perversely physical, it's music that genuinely rises to the promise of psychedelia by asking not what's real, but what's lavish.

SHYBOI is a Jamaican-born, New York-based multidisciplinary artist. SHYBOI is the moniker she uses to cause sonic disruption. As a creative positioned between Caribbean and American cultures, she uses sound to interrogate ideas of identity, notions of power, perceived histories, and the entanglements that happen within these topics. She is also member of the queer artist collective #KUNQ whose ethos is centered around the production of multidimensional work through sound, visual, and performance art while expanding the discourse surrounding the subcultures and genres that have become diluted or obscured in the name of hybridity. SHYBOI has three Boiler Room sets under her ever-widening belt as well as two performances at MoMA PS1 and a sold-out show at the Guggenheim. Recent sounds have been featured in “Fact” magazine, “Thump,” Rinse FM, “Mixmag,” “Resident Advisor,” and “The Fader.”

C. P. Cavafy travels to New York. “Archive of Desire” is a festival that involves a multitude of actions inspired by the life and work of the Alexandrian poet, seeking to turn the spotlight on his work through an array of contemporary artistic endeavors that extend across the city. From April 28 to May 6, the interdisciplinary festival’s program includes a series of performances, digital art presentations, short film screenings, poetry readings, literary discussions, a visual rave, and many more live events curated by composer Paola Prestini, Artistic Director of National Sawdust, a non-profit organization for the promotion of contemporary music, and under the creative direction of Afroditi Panagiotakou, Onassis Foundation’s Director of Culture. LEARN MORE.

#ArchiveOfDesire #cavafyfestival #cavafyarchive #onassisfoundation #onassiscavafy #cavafypoetry

May 6

The Onassis Foundation and National Sawdust present Ionic: Juliana Huxtable and Tongue in the Mind