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Inheritance, an Immersive Installation

Community Building Film & Video Performance Photography 2018-2019

“Inheritance” is an interactive exhibit and live performance presented by The Inheritance Project, a storytelling platform that asks, “How much of our identity do we inherit?” Artist Katya Stepanov explores the impact of her own inheritance in an immersive exhibition of photographs and interviews with her family and extended community. “Inheritance” immerses visitors in the experience of navigating a Russian-Jewish Inheritance after immigrating to a different cultural reality. The Inheritance Project is a storytelling platform that showcases photographs, interviews and hosts events to explore the ways cultural inheritance impacts our identity. To hear true stories of inheritance, follow on instagram @inheritanceproject.

This spring, artist Katya Stepanov, a Jewish immigrant from the former Soviet Union, opens an immersive installation that invites audiences to embark on an investigative journey into identity. A museum of memories greets visitors as they move from room to room, exploring her inheritance and learning to examine their own.
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Are we who we claim, or are our identities defined by our inheritance – our cultural upbringing and social conditions outside of our control? Guests’ perspectives evolve as they become characters in Katya’s life and bear witness to her experience as a Russian-Jewish immigrant, stranger in a foreign land, competitive ballroom dancer, teenage rebel and, eventually, “American” artist in Brooklyn.

Audiences explore inheritance in an interactive, hidden soundscape revealed in fragments of personal and cultural history—tales, relics, songs and poems embedded in the space. In the absence of a narrator, guests must reach their own conclusions:
What does it mean to inherit an identity? Can we be the authors of our own story?
Wildrence is New York’s premier experiential storytelling studio. Founders Jae Lee and Yvonne Chang are co-creative directors of The Inheritance Project. Inheritance is directed by Christy Casey (Founder, Rorschach Experiences), designed by Wildrence, interactive sound design by Erik Lawson, (Barrow Street Theatre, New World Stages, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Brown-Trinity Rep, Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Ensemble: Sarah Mullins, Anxin Audrey Hu, Tory Delahunt, Nathaniel Ryan, Becca Barrett, Omri Kadim, Amalia Ritter Adiv, Boris Spektor and Avigail Bryger.

I have started a Facebook Group and Page for The Inheritance Project, where I am about to publish the 10 questions as a starting point for understanding the impact of your inheritance.