34 minute performance (4-minute excerpt)
Who gets to remain complicit in the spectacle of black grief and death?
Audience members were invited to watch and/or participate in the spelling of names from people killed by police and gun violence. The work provides a space of remembrance, healing and action through a familiar American school tradition.
This version of the Spelling Bee was held in the RISD Museum’s Metcalf Auditorium in Providence, RI. It started with one speller and aimed to acquire more contestants form the audience as time went on. Only one other person volunteered to join the stage as a speller, while the rest of the audience chose to remain seated. The names read by the announcer were pulled from factual news stories and real people. There was no penalty for spelling a name wrong. No winners were declared.
Cinematography by Tristan Hsu
Full video of the performance available upon request.
Live Performance at the RISD Museum
During one of the RISD Museum's Third Thursday events, I pretended to be a museum docent and held a gallery-talk on Charles Cordier's "African Venus". The talk was given exclusively in Portuguese while I addressed a group of empty seats. Part formal analysis and part critique, it addressed the struggle of attaining visibility for marginalized bodies in elite and creative spaces.
Photography by Sonya Sofiya Fayzieva
This is an ongoing collaborative experiment between my handmade Happy Mulatto Dolls and local youth.
By facilitating play sessions and allowing different children to interact with these dolls, I’m interested in observing how younger groups of people casually label and analyze certain bodies and racial traits.
Through multiple iterations, the playdates aim to explore what happens when children have complete physical and creative control over female bodies (especially when they are not explicitly coded as white or black).
Videography for playdate #2 by Joanna Claessens
The newest pseudo-factual non-profit targeting the Father Absence Crisis in the United States.