Artist in Residence – Katy McCarthy

< Back to Residency Lab

July 7 – August 17, 2018

Installation images available here.


(P)residency – The Green Room

For the duration of the 2018 Residency Lab, SOHO20 will host (P)residency – The Green Room, an iteration of Katy McCarthy’s ongoing work that combines American history with the psychotherapeutic modality Sociodrama to create participatory theater.

Sociodrama is the spontaneous enactment of an issue selected by a group of individuals. Unlike basic role playing, Sociodrama uses ‘Action Methods’ such as mirroring, doubling, and role reversal to deepen the enactment. During her (P)residency, Katy McCarthy will reconstruct elements of the White House’s Green Drawing Room — the space where tea and diplomatic meetings have historically taken place — largely using found objects and furniture.

Over the course of her (P)residency, McCarthy will host two open Sociodrama sessions for the public. Over tea and snacks, participants will pick a political or personal issue relevant to their collective lives to create a Sociodrama from, which the group will then enact under the guidance of a licensed Sociodrama director/practitioner. Not everyone is required to actively participate — audience members are important too. Theatrical training or interest is also not necessary.

The sessions will be filmed and cut into a larger video which will be screened Friday, August 10.

Open hours:

Katy McCarthy will hold open hours on Fridays (July 13, 20, and August 3) from 3-6pm. She will receive visitors in her Green Room for tea and cookies.


Sociodrama Sessions
In collaboration with Psychotherapist/psychodramatist Dr. Seif, McCarthy invites participants to come together to use spontaneous dramatization, props, and role playing to reenact real-life, past situations and gain insight into their relationship to the White House.

Contact her (at) katymccarthy (dot) com to R.S.V.P

Session no. 1:
Sun. July 15, 2-4pm

Session no. 2:
Sun. July 29, 2-4pm

Open Studio and Screening:
Fri. August 10, 6-9pm
A video installation using footage gathered by McCarthy during the Sociodrama workshops and actor improvisations. In the video, one space of American government (The Green Room) will be used as a backdrop to reinterpret footage exploring the tension and connections between individual challenges and government policy – both current and obsolete.


Katy McCarthy is a research-based artist working primarily in video. Her work laminates historical moments with contemporary experience, often focusing on the historicization of gender and identity. She has been an artist-in-residence at Grin City, Iowa and The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY. Her work has been shown at Sleep Center Gallery, New York; Flux Factory; Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Museum; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Tiger Strike Asteroid, Los Angeles; Maxon Mills; and the Military Museum in Belgrade. Upcoming group shows include the CAC Bretigny in France and NURTUREart’s 2018 Single Channel: Video Art Festival. She received her MFA from Hunter College where she was the recipient of the Kossak Fellowship.

This project funded in part by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.