ON BLACK PERFORMANCE:
WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER ONTOLOGY THAN THE STAGE, STAGING, AND BEING STAGED
with Nana Adusei-Poku, NIC Kay, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Will Rawls
Friday, March 30, 2018, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
CP Projects Space, 132 West 21st Street, 10th floor, New York, NY 10011
Free and open to the public.
To provoke a discussion about the relationship between the Black Body, the intimacy of the stage, and public space, let us begin with what William Pope.L said about there being “no other ontology than the stage, staging, and being staged.” How do contemporary performance artists and curators grapple with the question of how to exist, perform, and conceptualize their own non-being in relation to their hypervisibility on stage? How does the practice of care echo in their practice, and how do (or don’t) Afro-pessimist and Black Nihilism concepts figure in their works? How do artists and curators challenge the difficult relationship with the audience and interrogate the legacy of the Black Body as a spectacle in dissent?
Nana Adusei-Poku is an independent scholar, writer, and educator as well as guest lecturer in Media Arts and Master Fine Arts at the University of the Arts, Zurich. She received her Ph.D. from Humboldt University Berlin for her thesis on post-black art as part of the “Gender as a category of Knowledge” graduate program. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Ghana, Legon; the London School of Economics; and Columbia University, New York.
NIC Kay is a native of the Bronx. Often incorporating digital video and audio into their performances, NIC is obsessed with the act and process of moving or changing place, the production of space and position, and the clarity or meaning gleaned from shifting perspectives. NIC was a 2017 Van Lier Fellow at Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church in New York City, with whom they debuted their new group work Get Well Soon! in December 2017. Leading up to that performance, NIC presented excerpts of the work, titled Exercises in Getting Well Soon!, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; the Current Sessions in New York City; Front/Space in Kansas City, Missouri; and ACRE Projects, Gallery 400, and Arts Incubator in Chicago. Following their residency at MAD, NIC will be in residence at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn from March through August 2018.
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko is a Nigerian-American curator, poet, and performance artist from Detroit, Michigan. He is a 2017 Princeton Arts Fellow, a 2017 Jerome Artists in Residence at Abrons Arts Center, a 2017 APAP Leadership Fellow, a 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Fellow, and an inaugural graduating member of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University. Kosoko teaches, speaks, lectures, and perform internationally. Visit jaamil.com for more information.
Will Rawls is a choreographer, writer and performer based in Brooklyn, NY. His practice combines dance with other media to investigate bodily states and the poetics of blackness, ambiguity and abstraction. Rawls has presented his work at The Chocolate Factory, MoMA PS1, Performa 15, The Whitney Museum of American Art, ImpulsTanz and Portland Institute of Contemporary Art. His writings have been published by Artforum, Triple Canopy, les presses du réel, The Museum of Modern Art, The Hammer Museum and Adult Contemporary. He is also co-editor of Lost and Found: Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now. He is recipient of a 2017-2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency, and a 2015 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant.