The Oral History of the Female Drummers is designed to explore and express the undocumented history of female drummers using the oral tradition of performative exchange. The female beat boxer is the oral historian who carries the beats from one drummer to another, acting as both “mouth drummer” and “town crier.” Viewers are invited to observe this intimate expression undistracted and to participate in both the immediacy, skill and mystery of this exchange. The beats represent a lost conversation of a history unknown, the language and voices unheard that can illuminate the current drum media and conversational landscape. The heads (skins) of each of the drum kits as well as each set of drumsticks, are hand painted by the artist Itta. As the drummers communicate their individual histories at their drums, they slowly chip away at the painted heads in effect, re-writing their histories.
“Mindy is a force of nature” Skuta Helgason, Senior Vice President, Artbook MoMA PS1
The Oral History of Female Drummers was first performed at NYC’s MoMA PS1 in January 2013. A similar piece titled First Beat was performed at Miami’s Perez Art Museum Miami in December 2013. The project was next produced at the Brooklyn Museum in March of 2016 and then again at Mana Contemporary in Sept 2016. The artist has also presented works at Frieze Art Fair, Miami’s Art Basel and The Knockdown Center in New York.