H+N WINTER RESIDENCY / J.H. Shuǐ Xiān, Nancy Julia Hicks, Maddie Granlund / February-March 4, 2023

In their February residency at HAIR+NAILS Nancy Julia Hicks, Maddie Granlund and Judith Shuǐ Xiān have been experimenting with hybridizing mediums between their three practices, developing installation and performance work exploring body, ritual, and relationship to object. During 4 open evenings, audiences are welcome to drop in at any time during open hours to witness and engage with the work. Each installation is dormant until activated by performer or audience, the materials changed by human interaction.

The three rooms of HAIR+NAILS house three distinct environments:


Bodies rub and move against false skin and rigid mechanics. As industrialism renders replication uncanny, these live/non-live beings inter/act; latex is distorted and smeared, torn and stretched – impact archived within its form. Engaging with the tension of the materials, this process explores the cyclical nature of effecting and being affected and abstracts these polarities into a singular movement.


A still life of green things, an arrangement of half-disappeared objects. Chroma keyed celery and tablecloths and milk cartons resemble empty spaces OR obstructions. Reframed against an earlier moment – another placement of the same things – the objects are moved and re-moved. They overlap and create gaps – everything seen through something else. 


Tapping on a (rough?) wooden door and rattling through your key ring and trying every one in the lock; giving up before you find the one that fits but still learning what’s on the other side. Asking yourself the same question over and over and having a new answer each time and (nearly?) all of them being right. Meeting G-d and being told that the (knowledge?) they’re sharing with you was passed from another, and there’s so many more layers yet to keep pulling back. this work is an ask about the Who and the What of altar and ritual through lenses of (spiritual?) phenomenon and relationship and history with material(s). we hope for you. 

J H Shuǐ Xiān is an interdisciplinary artist with background in choreography, improvisational performance, and sound, interested in continuing to dig into the realms of video and environment/habitat creation. She is a 2017 Q-Stage: New Works and 2019 Momentum: New Dance Works recipient and was part of the 2022 Red Eye Works-In-Progress cohort. They love and appreciate their collaborators Sophia Nearhood, Shayna Allen and lazer axelrood for seeing them through the first leg of this project (and many other reasons).

Maddie Granlund is an interdisciplinary performance artist interested in blurring the lines between liveness and simulation. Their work is often choreographic as an attempt to embody ontological theory—to viscerally understand what it means to be present and alive.

Maddie was in Red Eye Theater’s Works-In-Progress 2022 cohort, and has recently performed in works by J.H. Shui Xian (Q-Stage 2022) and Marcela Michelle (Right Here Showcase). Maddie is currently in the ensemble and on the advisory council for Lightning Rod Theater, and is a partner in the Southern Theater’s Partnership Program. Maddie has presented installation work at North East Sculpture, worked as associate artist with both the Moving Company and Ultimate Dancer, and holds a B.A. in Contemporary Performance Practice from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Nancy Julia Hicks (they/them) is a non-binary installation and performance artist and educator from Houston, TX and based in Minneapolis, MN. Through visualizing the body as object they illustrate and negotiate infliction of pain on the environment, space, and other bodies.

They’ve exhibited work at Dreamsong, Nightclub at Night, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in the Concourse Gallery, the Soap factory, the Highpoint Center for printmaking, the Soo visual arts Center, and other locations.