Lia Chavez

“Water the Earth”
Durational Performance
General Theological Seminary
New York City  | November 18, 2023

This November, FSA presents an original performance commission by internationally-recognized performance artist Lia Chavez (b. 1978). Staged inside the Good Shepherd Chapel at General Theological Seminary in Chelsea, “Water the Earth” is a durational performance piece that “explores how the sacred possesses a unique capacity to serve as the ideal crucible for experimentation.” Inspired by ancient, medieval, and contemporary relationships between spirituality and environmental consciousness, Chavez will consider the physiological, emotional, and performative expression of tears as a sacred act. Relates Chavez: “‘Water the Earth’ harnesses and ritualizes the mysteriously regenerative power of releasing emotional tears as an offering to the earth.” This performance invites viewers and participants alike “to explore the complex subjectivity of crying behavior,” in addition to, if not more importantly, invoking the act of universal healing.

Read “Lia Chavez: Water the Earth” statement linked below.

Photo on left: “Lia Chavez in her garden at Mama Farm in Brookhaven Hamlet, New York,” 2022. Photo by Ioulex. Costuming and styling by Elanur Erdogan of DOBS NY. Beauty by Deanna Melluso.


About Lia Chavez 

About Lia Chavez 

“Through her multifaceted, performance-based practice, New York-based artist Lia Chavez is known for crafting unforgettable encounters which explore the phenomenology of light, illumination, and their impact on our lives and inmost creative selves. Chavez has been the subject of exhibitions in numerous major institutions and venues around the world, including the Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Biennial, and the Tate. A renowned explorer of the inner world, her brain is studied by neuroscientists seeking insights into the mind’s relationship with light, visionary experiences, and the act of creative inspiration itself. In pursuit of the truths of light and its physical, spiritual, and astral aspects, she practices extreme physical exigency as she plumbs the depths of existence: thirty day meditations deep in primeval caverns, forty day vows of silence, three-month fasts. Lia is also the founder of Hildegaard, a luxury creative house dedicated to reverence for Nature’s example of commingling light, matter, and spirit.”

Artist Statement

“The arc of my artistic program represents a revitalization of the archaic visionary consciousness of primal religious experience and a direct revelation of the transcendent, which is every being’s birthright. From performances and immersive installations to neuroscience research and cutting edge technological invention, my multidisciplinary work harnesses the full range of ecstatic rite, devotional methodology, cross-cultural spiritual discipline, botanical medicinal practice, entoptic phenomena, and superconscious pictographic awareness to connect us with the sacramental nature of life, the primacy of the inner world, and the potential for the body to invoke a radical awareness of Divinity. Traveling across the physical, spiritual, celestial, and astral realms of light, I serve as a bridge between heavenly and earthly dimensions to reveal the power that art holds for healing the the soul and unearthing the core human vocation of divine life on earth, which is, in essence, worship.”