701 Center for Contemporary Art is excited to work in collaboration with Artist in Residence Tarish Pipkins, aka “Jeghetto”, on his newest installation: SWIM. Jeghetto, a master puppeteer, plans to bring his new body of work to life using a swimming pool for a theater. SWIM will be a one-night performance with limited capacity on April 10, 2023 from 7pm to 9pm.
Jeghetto is a self taught artist from a small steel mill town called Clairton, Pennsylvania. For over twenty years he has been building his puppets out of recycled and found materials. He launched his career in puppetry in the late 90’s when he joined the BridgeSpotters Collective. There, he fine tuned his skills by doing street performances with his puppets.
Jeghetto has worked on major projects in the entertainment industry, like the Amazon Echo commercial featuring Missy Elliott and Alec Baldwin as puppets. He also collaborated with Elliott on her music video WTF (Where They From), where he did puppet building and controlled the puppet of Pharell Williams for the video. Additionally, Jeghetto has received grants from the Henson Foundation and Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams. He is also a board member of the Jim Henson Foundation. Jeghetto performs his unique style of puppet theater in venues and festivals across the country.
SWIM will be a non-narrative choreographed performance of new puppets exploring the complexities of the myth of the Dogon and Mer-people and how they translate to our collective histories and our collective presence. Pipkins identified that for the last three years, the world has been barely treading water, but more and more, he’s encountered people in his orbit that are ready to swim. This new collective surge of energy and purpose directly translates to the myth of the Dogon- surmounting obstacles, traveling dark depths of the unknown to share wisdoms of the universe for enlightenment. This performance is a poem of hope and determination that will undulate through the glass floor under which it is performed and crash into the hearts of the audience.