Existence is gravitational to condition, and condition precludes being. Limitations and conditions form the boundaries of being, restricting continuous existence. I am, so that, you are; entities are defined yet are of the same function; to be. The loophole to defy the confinement of form, time, space, and other variables of condition, is conception and simulation. Imitation could be considered as a way to subterfuge bodily restriction by exercising free will against the senses to divert experience. Through alternative autonomous excursion, more is experience, therefore more can be imagined, and the loop between conception and simulation is concretized to always-be-ready for evasion of predetermination. What originates conception could be observation, involvement with the very senses that functions being, begot within the boundaries that contrives condition.
It is in this way that I activate bodies, image, movement, and text as fodder to superimpose experience over real time space and events, instigating awareness of the near paranormal mechanizations that form and condition being. What goes further than schizo-affectation is mining sensory information by animating being to create a presence. The information proprioceptive by the performer can be transferred to spectators. As they witness embodiment, imaginations germinate, and the loop of conception and simulation is initiated. I utilize experience as artifice to break through predetermination, and to multiply trajectories from a current condition to afford myself and others a choice in modes of existence.
The Divas’ Address was initially conceived of in collaboration with Deforrest Brown Jr. Using the term substantia nigra as a metaphor to theorize an extra-sensory field of Black consciousness and diagramming possible epigenetic and psychoaffective function of the anatomically defined substantia nigra, located in the nucleus of the brain. Through auto-psychoanalytical empirical research and cross-confirmed observation, uncanny resilience against socio-politico construction was hypothesized. In Divas’ Address I attempted to erect an ontological understanding of the substantia nigra by excavating a feminine archetype. I prosthelytized the potential to evade within the condition of hyper-visible-invisibility peculiar to Black experience. The performance was formatted to rites of liturgical ceremonies to emphasize the location of the event. The performance was commissioned by Abrons Art Center for the slave gallery restoration initiative of St. Augustine’s Episcopal church of the Lower East Side.
In L’Enfant De J’Ouvert I created and activated a full body masque, mimicking those of the West African Vodun traditions that are at the origin of carnival masquerades in the Caribbean and the Americas. I derived this performance from a sexual experience that occurred during the Brooklyn Labor Day Carnival parade that resulted in a terminated pregnancy. Accompanied by collage and poetry, I drew out the process of ecstaticism and intoxication events like these are meant to invoke. Stimuli, substance, and exhaustion invoke an accelerated simulation of the experience of the life stages: Innocence, blessings, worship, rapture, catharsis, and then death. Fêtes and masquerades such as these were largely suppressed in the United States, since oppression and imprisonment of the Black population was more acute in Antebellum south than other places where the tradition persists. It only continues in New Orleans, where the tradition was conveniently disguised within the aesthetics of the Easter holiday, besides ones such as the Labor day parade in Brooklyn which is a transposition of those that occur in the Caribbean. As intoxication and spontaneous action are resistant to the extractive productive modes imposed on Black life, police presence and surveillance attempt to derail this process, yet only further instigate the self implosion and immolation intended by the event.
I stand motionless in the midst of the crowd, wearing all black. As people move towards their destinations and make a path around my presence, the proximity of their body to mine could be quantified to demonstrate my invisibility to them. The closer one’s body gets to mine, the greater my invisibility. When a person collides with my body, I follow the force through in my movements after. By hyper-realistic ebodiement
I attempted to demonstrate the thwarting potential of the denial of my body. An exaggeration of my experience wading through the dense field of projection and interpolation before I’ve had the opportunity to define myself, overwhelmed and apathetic to the influx of dissonant assumption.