Biography:

Danielle Abrams has performed at art spaces, galleries, festivals, and museums nationally. Her performances and videos have been programmed at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Institute of American Indian Art, and the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. She has been awarded residencies at the Yale School of Painting, the Skowhegan School of Art, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and was an artist-in-residence at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, NYC. She has been a recipient of fellowships from the NY Urban Arts Initiative and NY Foundation of the Arts. She has also lectured and performed at numerous universities and national conferences. Abrams is an Assistant Professor at the School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"Routine"

In Routine, she tells old standbys once delivered on Catskills stages to expose the methods used by Jewish entertainers to mask their cultural differences. She also enacts the ritual of davening (praying) and bathing in a bath of borscht. This gesture reveals ethnicity while also creating a mask. As her skin absorbs the stain of the beet soup, the audience drinks borscht as she prays and tells jokes. The colorization of her face and tuxedo, in borscht, recalls attempts by Jews to fit in by way of self-deprecating humor, ghettoization at Borscht Belt resorts, or blackface minstrelsy upon Vaudeville stages. A “beet red” complexion also reminds one of their humiliation.