Mike Durkin (He/Him/His) is a large-bodied multidisciplinary social practice performance artist residing in Asheville. Mike was born in Boro Park, Brooklyn, and has lived in Philadelphia for the last 10 years before moving back to NYC, and now recently relocated to North Asheville, North Carolina. Mike is guided by the intersection between art and the everyday. With his performance group, The Renegade Company he has created site-responsive social practice productions exploring food access, place, and gentrification. He recently worked at the Two Bridges Women’s Shelter in Chinatown, NYC as a Recreation Specialist employing art and performance therapy techniques. He conducts artmaking activities, story-sharing sessions, mentorship, and performance activities for the women in the shelter. Most recently he developed an audioplay, Mallbodies, a solo listening experience gathering audiences at their local shopping malls to explore the tension between sharing public space together, the lure of nostalgia, and exploring what the future of malls could look like. He is currently in development to create a performative cookbook that looks at the role recipes play in communities incorporating dance, video, and communal meal making. Mike has held residencies with Space at Ryder Farm, Drop Forge, and Tool, and the San Luis Valley Social Practice Residency at Adams State University in Alamosa, CO. Mike’s work has been presented at the Brandywine River Museum, Barnes Foundation, Mt. Moriah Cemetery, the Life Do Grow Farm, and in parks, churches, fields, along the streets in Kensington, and online. Mike is part of the 2017 MFA in Devised Performance class with Pig Iron Theatre Company/University of the Arts.
Mike's work is developed and presented amongst communities in site-responsive manners. His work combines a variety of styles and mediums to embrace time, place, and the Americana. He aims to bring dissimilar bodies together to challenge and dismantle hate and stigmas. The styles he participates in include: theatre, participatory walk, dance, installation, interactive public happenings, photography, video, storytelling, and oral history. His work can be either performed solo, or as a creator/facilitator for distinct populations of nontraditional performers.