HEALING + RADICAL PERFORMANCE (2001-2014)

PATRICIA KAERSENHOUT

Stitches of Power, Stitches of Sorrow (2014)

The factory of von Schimmelmann produced the Dane gun. They traded these guns amongst others with the Amazones of
Dahomey. The paradox is that these guns were later used by them in freedom wars against their colonial oppressors. During slavery and the colonial period embroidery was a passtime for white women of higher social rank, while in the colonies Black women were facing daily horrors like rape, being separated from husbands and children and hard labour. White women were embroidering innocent images on white fabric. The performance stages a re-enactment, members of the audience placed in a circle embroider the image of an amazon von Dahomey. The needle symbolizes literally the penetration of a Black female body. Filling in the ’empty image’ emphasizes the historical neglect of Black women in West European written history. Embroidering a gun is a paradox in itself. Embroidering as an re- enactment of innocence symbolizing an act of violence.

A depiction of short scene on a loop from the film “Cobra Verde” projected on the floor shows the protagonist (Klaus Kinski) opening a lit of a pit in which female enslaved are locked up.  The soundtrack is  an interview with Angela Davis from the documentary The Black Power Mixtapes which took place whileDavis was in prison, facing trial on trumped-up murder charges in California. Out of protestshe refused to eat. When she was asked by a reporter how she felt about the “violence” of
the movement she replied: “…I mean, that’s why when someone asks me about violence, I just find it incredible. Because what it means is that the person who’s asking that question has absolutely no idea what Black people have gone through–what Black people have experienced in this country since the time the first Black person was kidnapped from the shores of Africa.”

Artist’ statement.

PERFORMANCE PRESENTED @ NIKOLAJ KUNSTHAL, COPENHAGEN (17.05.2014) AS PART OF BE.BOP 2014. SPIRITUAL REVOLUTIONS AND “THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA”, COMMISSIONED BY ART LABOUR ARCHIVES. http://spiritualrevolutionsandthescrambleforafrica.wordpress.com/

Flickr

 

JEANETTE EHLERS

Whip it Good (2013)
 Whip it Good  was first presented in Berlin at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse as part of BE.BOP 2013. DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR and later recreated at Vestindisk Pakhus (“The West India Warehouse”) in Copenhagen, where, in earlier times, rum, sugar, and coffee from the Antilles were lugged in, this video documents that moment. Whip it Good has been already re-enacted several times, in NYC, London and also in Miami. Whip It Good is a modest but tense rebellion against the past.

 

PERFORMANCE PRESENTED @  BALLHAUS NAUNYNSTRASSE, Berlin (22.05.2013) AS PART OF BE.BOP 2013. DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR, COMMISSIONED BY ART LABOUR ARCHIVES.

 

 

PERFORMANCE PRESENTED @  ART CENTER SOUTH FLORIDA (16.04.2014). COMMISSIONED BY ART LABOUR ARCHIVES. VIDEO DOCUMENTATION COURTESY OF ART IS ABOUT. http://artisabout.com/2014/04/18/whip-it-good-jeannette-ehlers-artcenter-south-florida/

http://decolonizingthecoldwar.wordpress.com/

Flickr

MWANGIHUTTER
Lacunae (2013)

Venting rage, I threw myself on the ground: thrashing and writhing.
But I was told: ‘You’re just this beautiful Black body rolling on the ground.’
How much longer?

Artist’ statement.

PERFORMANCE PRESENTED @  BALLHAUS NAUNYNSTRASSE, Berlin (22.05.2013) AS PART OF BE.BOP 2013. DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR, COMMISSIONED BY ART LABOUR ARCHIVES.

http://decolonizingthecoldwar.wordpress.com/

Flickr

TERESA MARIA DIAZ NERIO

Hommage à Sara Bartman, 2007

This work elucidates the life, death and afterlife of a South African Khoisan woman who was exhibited in England and Paris at the beginning of the 19th century as part of a popular entertainment industry of freak shows, menageries, theatres and pleasure gardens. The fascination biologists found in Khoisan women’s genitalia, tablier or elongated labia, that accompanies the large buttocks or steatopygia was indeed one of the reasons why Sara Bartman, under the iconic name ‘Hottentot Venus’, was kept as an object at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris. Her skeleton, cast of her body, brain and genitalia were exposed until the 1970’s when feminists’ protests against her display succeeded; in 1995, Nelson Mandela requested the repatriation of her remains, which only found peace in 2003. She is the only human being that appears in the Histoire Naturelle des Mammifères, being surrounded by different kinds of monkeys and apes. The work touches on the fact that Blackness has a history of being performed in a denigratory way.

Artist’ statement.

PERFORMANCE PRESENTED @  BALLHAUS NAUNYNSTRASSE, Berlin (20.05.2013) AS PART OF BE.BOP 2013. DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR.

http://decolonizingthecoldwar.wordpress.com/

Flickr

 

 

RAUL MOARQUECH FERRERA BALANQUET
Mariposa Ancestral Memory (2013)

This performance attempts to delink from Western-centered definitions of aesthetics and representation as it examines the present living conditions of US Latinos and undocumented immigrants in the USA. It connects this present with transnational histories of People of Color (defined along axes of oppression and emancipation) and centralizes Afro-Cuban spiritual practices. The intersectional inequalities suffered by Women of Color also gain attention.

PERFORMANCE PRESENTED @ BALLAUS NAUNYNSTRASSE BERLIN (20.05.2013) AS PART OF BE.BOP 2013. DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR.

http://decolonizingthecoldwar.wordpress.com/

Flickr

 

QUINSY GARIO & MUNA SHIRWA

Canned Goat (2013)

During general political elections in Europe the voices of ‘immigrants’ are usually silenced unless they can be instrumentalized as tokens to say something wholesale about ‘immigration’.
In Canned Goat, an alternative political system is presented in which the biggest five political parties participate in a Eurovision Songfestival type of knock-off. During a live television debate, the stories of ‘immigrants’ become central to the decision-making process.

 

PERFORMANCE PRESENTED @ BALLAUS NAUNYNSTRASSE BERLIN (21.05.2013) AS PART OF BE.BOP 2013. DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR.

http://decolonizingthecoldwar.wordpress.com/

Flickr

 

VAGINAL DAVIS
Black Screen Images and the Notion of Freakiness. Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo (2013)

Vaginal Davis, the revered intersexed doyenne of intermedia arts, spells out the queer and Black experience in her own inimitable style, creating new words out of thin air and crashing bull-in-a-China-shop style over notions of propriety and reality.

PERFORMANCE PRESENTED @ BALLAUS NAUNYNSTRASSE BERLIN (23.05.2013) AS PART OF BE.BOP 2013. DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR.

http://decolonizingthecoldwar.wordpress.com/

Flickr

 

SCHEREZADE & ALANNA LOCKWARD

Sabana de la Mar Salvation Action (2003)


A pink life jacket floating on the Caribbean Sea. With this image the Dominican-born artist Scherezade Garcia begins a video about the liquid border that separates the Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico, a border which is crossed, or attempted crossed, each year by hundreds of Dominicans in search for a better life—sometimes their salvation—in other lands. The main idea for the project “Sabana de la Mar — Salvation Action” was conceived by Scherezade and the Dominican curator Alanna Lockward in 2002. Touched by the tragic news reports and stories about the frequent accidents happening on this migratory route, the two Dominicans decided to create a salvation action. In August 2003, Scherezade organized the action in the town of Sabana de la Mar, one of the most important departure points for Dominican migrants heading for Puerto Rico. The fundamental questions guiding the conceptualization of the projects were: What is salvation? And if salvation is understood as leaving one’s own country in small boats (yolas) risking one’s life, why don’t people use life jackets? The project consisted of collecting testimonies from persons affected by this migration, and inscribing their testimonies and images associated with the experience of failure on the surface of life jackets. The fabrication of the life jackets was also part of the action.

The video ends where it begins: An empty life jacket is floating on the coast of Sabana de la Mar. A woman finds the life jacket. She approaches it and touches it. Maybe she knew the person who was searching for salvation. Maybe it was her son, her husband, or her father. With an almost invisible gesture the woman returns the life jacket to the sea, as if she is resigned to the fact that the sea retrieved its offering. On the road to salvation, not everyone is saved.

By Ulla Berg
http://hemi.nyu.edu/journal/3.2/artistspresentation/scherezadegarcia/eng/

COMMISSIONED BY ART LABOUR ARCHIVES.

 

DIAS HABILES. CELULLAR TACTICS FOR THE NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY OF MEANING

(Días Hábiles: Tácticas Celulares para la Nueva Economía Política del Sentido)

With Josefina Báez, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, César Martínez and Orlando Menicucci

alannalockward.wordpress.com/dias-habiles-noches-habiles/

Días Hábiles: Tácticas Celulares para la Nueva Economía Política del Sentido was the first international performance showcase ever presented in the Dominican Republic. It was hosted by the III Festival Internacional de Teatro de Santo Domingo, and co-sponsored by the Centro Cultural de la Embajada de España, in 2001. This epistemic challenging project created situation-specific city interventions, such as the cannibalism of César Martínez (Mexico, 1962) at Museo del Hombre Dominicano, were audience members devoured an immense man of dark chocolate, Hombre de Ébano y Sol, addressing issues of racism and nationhood in the only island in the Caribbean with a border dividing two nations: Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Nicolás Dumit Estévez (Santiago de Los Treinta Caballeros, 1967), toured with La Papa Móvil through La Parte Alta, a poor and overpopulated urban area, surrounded by a caravan of men on motorbikes dressed in Star Trek fashion. La Papa Móvil also distributed flyers as a bonus: coupons that were redeemed at the entrance to the Museum of Modern Art for five pounds of potatoes.

Josefina Báez presented for the first and only time in the Dominican Republic during its ten years of existence, her acclaimed piece Dominicanish, articulating traditional Indian dance, poetry, identity politics, politic and Gender.

As an appropriate epilogue to Días Hábiles, a reception was held in honor of Orlando Menicucci, where the artist spoke informally about the first time-based pieces he and his colleagues created in the 1970s. At the end he received a symbolic check from the Bank of the Spirit, and a more modest and “real” one by the sponsors.

LA PAPA MOVIL BY NICOLAS DUMIT ESTEVEZ WAS COMMISSIONED BY ART LABOUR ARCHIVES.

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