Reclaiming Performance: Reverence of Self
LACE’s 2022 Emerging Curator Program
Curated by Cat Jones
Performance Location: LAXART
April 22-23, April 28-29, 2022
Featuring: Danni Cassette, Aasir Cherot, Dr. Daniel B Coleman, Jaden Fields, NIC Kay, and SUR
LACE proudly announces the seventh in its series of Emerging Curators events, Reclaiming Performance: Reverence of Self, a series of recorded and live performances.
Curatorial Statement by Cat Jones
How does the silencing of our existence & community shape our everyday movement? How does being witnessed by our community and outsiders impact us? Our Identities; as multifaceted as they are, are subjected to a chiseling hammer by peers who fail to comprehend such an existence. The erasure is loud and numbing.
Reclaiming Performance: A Reverence of Self reflects the raw work that takes place when moving from an honest center, surrounded by community. Here is a reclaiming of narrative & archival stories as it relates to Black Trans Masculinity. These performances highlight Black Trans Masc and Non-Binary bodies moving in a way that honors autonomy, internal & external desires, legacy, and culture. In this space you are required to hold reverence for each performer as they hold it for themselves. This is the act of holding each other in community. To appreciate our ability to identify and operate in expansive ways, means to understand limitations within our community’s past & present that dictates what our individuality should look like. I see the complexities in our existence even as we are confined to performing in ways that are aligned with heteronormative ideals and standards. To engage with our bodies and others in ways that operate outside of these norms, is liberation & reconstructs the notion of identity and how it can be expressed.
This transformed gallery space serves as a memoriam of two spaces: Ballroom & Rec Halls, where Black, Trans, Non-Binary & Masculine energies are aligned. I looked to scenes like that of Reece Pandivs Tuscany; Butch Realness Category 1994 House of Montana; Butch Realness of 1997 Total Destruction Ball, & Kings of Long Beach 2013, to harness the energy, strength and tenderness of those who demanded to be seen and cared for.
It was intentional to reimagine the gallery as a space where we can center Black Queer existence. It was important to have foundational pieces of equipment and machinery that can be found in your local rec hall, in this gallery space, to highlight working with what’s given and making the most of it. To have the snack machine supply Black, Queer products means to support us in varying ways: with your eyes, your affirmations, and your dollars. The red carpet serves as a rich and royal focal point to witness these revered beings.
I think about what’s been borrowed to establish space for us to be seen. Calling your friend at the last minute to borrow a mic stand…
“Can I use your gorilla tape for this number I’m doing tonight?”
“Which outlets work here?”
__“They said we could use the space but we have to put the tables and chairs back like we found it.”
“I checked and we have the whole night…”
Our Trans family comes together in unmarked halls lit up with broken lights to become whole once our song is cued, to proclaim and call on the attention and reverence of one another.
Strobelite Honey by Black Sheep cues for Reece Pandivs Tuscany.
Video documentation by Vladimir Santos. Still photography by Juan Silverio.
About the Emerging Curator Program – this program is designed to discover curatorial talent in Los Angeles and gives an opportunity for an emerging curator to partner with LACE. Applicants are reviewed by a panel that recommends a compelling project to the LACE team consistent with LACE’s experimental spirit. This year’s call for proposals was for projects centered on performance.
Exhibition Graphics Designed by Saish Kotecha.
Special thanks to Hamza Walker and our friends at LAXArt, and to the Tommie Hollyw0ood Hotel.
Curator & Artist Bios
Cat Jones, is a Los Angeles-based artist whose projects use different mediums to resist western cultural binaries. Black queer artistry is fundamental to these visual and auditory narratives that encourage a sharing of truths that result in healing.
(b. 1989 Bronx, NY) makes performances and organizes performative spaces. Their works have been performed nationally and internationally in spaces including Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany; Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, Canada; Encuentro 19, Mexico City, Mexico; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, United Kingdom; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; and University of Arts, Zürich, Switzerland. NIC was a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award (2020). They published their first book, Cotton Dreams, with Candor Arts in 2020.
Dr. Daniel B Coleman
Daniel B. Coleman (he/they) is a mixed-Black trans, queer, and non-binary artist-scholar working at the nexus of critical thought and artistic praxis. They employ mediums like dance, performance art, installation, performance for video, and site particular work to ask critical questions about blackness, Black-Brown coalitions, ecology, and transgender embodiment. They are invested in work that helps his people get more free. You can see more about their work here: www.danielbcoleman.com
Aasir Cherot uses poetry as a tool for spiritual alignment, and to deepen his connection with ancestral powers. For him, movement is a tool to communicate emotion, and a form of resistance against white supremacy, anti-blackness, and capitalism.
Jaden is a poet, cultural worker, and twerk king. He believes in the beauty of vulnerability and the strength in the stories our bodies hold. Jaden finds home in his body by trusting the hip magic of Black bodies, an ancestral wisdom.
Danni Cassette is a performance artist and songwriter based in Los Angeles. Born into a musical family deeply rooted church; Danni cultivated their own sound and expression very early on. Having toured over 40 cities across the U.S.; audiences all around agree that Danni’s stage presence is electrifying. Danni is very thrilled to have this chance to showcase their own revelations of self through movement, music, and visuals which will demonstrate the constant link between the past and present influences where queer culture has existed.
Sur is a Black/Queer/Trans-Nonbinary Movemenet Artist & Researcher. Sur's movement work is rooted in navigating around or through trauma throughout the body and allowing any form of bodily expression to release. Sur's work is meant to serve Black and Brown bodies in hope to showcase how movement is a location for healing and liberation.
Jesi Harris- Panel Moderator
Jesi is a multidisciplinary thinker who is passionate about movement, evolution, and the warmth of the sun on her face.
Sevyn is a Washington DC-born, LA based DJ, who uses music intentionally to heal. Sevyn draws inspiration from the energy of deep house, techno, and drum & bass, with an underbelly of r&b and soulful vocal tracks to make you move. Sevyn hosts a monthly radio show "FLUID" on @Dublab radio where dance holds the utmost importance and aims to highlight and blend sonic syncretism, fluidity, and genre irreverence in every episode.
Support for this project provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, the Angeles Art Fund, the Pasadena Art Alliance, and Wilhelm Family Foundation.