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Jessica Posner | Butter Body Politic (BBP) | Video Still from Live Performance Jessica Posner | Butter Body Politic (BBP) | Video Still from Live Performance

Jessica Posner, part-time Instructor in the School of Art, received a 2016 Individual Artist Commission distributed by CNY Arts and funded by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). These grants are made possible through the Decentralization regrant program of NYSCA with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The grant will support the production of Posner's short, experimental dance film/video "Butter Body Politic/Butter Body Spiritual." This project will culminate the past three years of Posner's creative research, performance art and writing with new content generated from members of the Syracuse arts community. The project engages butter as a slippery metaphor for the political and spiritual body. Like butter, the body politic comes together through touch, patience and agitation. Like butter, the body spiritual dissolves through stillness, warmth and formlessness.

Posner's interest in this subject began when she returned to Syracuse in the summer of 2013 and attempted to become the next New York State butter sculptor. After her many attempts to contact professional butter sculptors and the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, the process revealed itself to be closed. Posner began investigating the historical contexts, material qualities and poetic potential of butter as a democratic form or civic, social and personal expression. Since then, Posner has been performing, writing and sculpting with butter.

Posner has also taught in VPA's Department of Transmedia. She is currently serving as the vice president of Adjuncts United. More about Posner and her work can be found at

Image: video still from documentation of live performance shot by Maricruz Alarcon | performed live at Panoply Performance Laboratory, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2014