Cristal J. Sabbagh
Cristal Sabbagh’s performance practice, rooted in improvisation and Butoh, walks a line between the everyday, the divine, the personal, and the political. In embodying in her art transformational memories while simultaneously celebrating pop culture and the experimental, she challenges power structures and awakens viewer’s senses. Working both in a solo capacity and with collaborators, Sabbagh is equally attuned to individual perspectives and collective structures. In various configurations, these collaborators have regularly engaged in improvised performances, opening new avenues for Sabbagh’s material and conceptual exploration. Her practice also looks outward to portraits of the world around her, taking the forms of traditionally drawn portraits, figurative ceramic sculptures, and nontraditional portraits on ceramic mugs. Sabbagh labors over each piece, which act as homages, memorials, and resistants to white supremacy. Not only do these works infuse the user’s everyday coffee and tea rituals, but their ceramic forms will stand the test of time, potentially outliving the user by thousands of years and leaving traces of how we lived, as recorded by Sabbagh’s hand.