Tiona Nekkia McClodden
James Allister Sprang
Curated by Andrea Arrubla for BABZ Fair
This month, Knockdown Center’s free monthly performance series Sunday Service is hosted by Andrea Arrubla for the BABZ Fair. The evening will reflect and celebrate the legacy of the seminal poet Essex Hemphill established among contemporary literary and visual artists with Tiona Nekkia McClodden, James Allister Sprang, Peter BD, and Karmenife X.
Tiona Nekkia McClodden is a visual artist, filmmaker, and curator whose work explores, and critiques issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and social commentary. McClodden’s interdisciplinary approach traverses documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installations. Themes explored in McClodden’s films and works have been re-memory and more recently narrative biomythography.
Peter BD is a writer on the internet.
Karmenife X is an artist, writer and stand-up comedian from Harlem, NYC. Karmenife is most known for her photo project entitled “Reclamation” where she reclaimed fraternities for survivors of sexual violence. Karmenife graduated from Wesleyan University in 2016 and in 2015, she published a memoir entitled “Sea Salt and Sandalwood” through Wesleyan’s Gorilla Publishing Collective. Karmenife currently lives in New York City and is working on a collection of short stories revolving around her experiences with online dating and an art project entitled “Put Him In His Place,” which combines her artwork with harassing messages she has received on online dating sites in an effort to reclaim space, power, and voice. Karmenife has also begun an illustrious career as a stand-up comedian whose work focuses on uplifting marginalized groups that are often targeted in the white, male, cis dominated comedy world. Karmenife plans to continue creating and working to make more safe spaces for survivors of sexual assault, especially survivors of color.
James Allister Sprang is an artist and writer currently based in Philadelphia. A graduate of The Cooper Union and an MFA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, Sprang works as an interdisciplinary concerned with race and the embodied/disembodied voice. Working through both time and objects, Sprang’s work exists in gallery spaces, theater spaces and the spaces generally found between the ears. James has spoken, shown and performed in institutions such as the Apollo Theater, The Brooklyn Museum, The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Pioneer Works, Abrons Arts Center and the Public Theater and The Kitchen.
About the curator
Andrea Arrubla is a Colombian interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn, NY. Her artwork revolves around issues of personal histories, institutional critique, and language through accessible mediums that confront professionalized methods of art making. Arrubla was the Student Liaison of the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (‘14-’16) where she focused on genuine and inclusive community building in the arts. Her first solo exhibition took place at New Release Gallery; New York. She has exhibited work in group exhibitions at Essex Flowers and various educational institutions across the United States. Arrubla has been featured in print in OSMOS Magazine, The Third Rail, and Packet Biweekly.
About BABZ FAIR
The 5th annual BABZ Fair presented by BLONDE ART BOOKS is a weekend long event that features small press art and poetry publishers, and individual artist projects, alongside a program of performance, readings, and workshops. BABZ Fair will be taking place Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4, 2017.
Over the years the BABZ Fair has grown dramatically and this year the fair will feature art books and zines by over 100 publishers and artists from across the country.
This year we are collaborating with artist Andrea Arrubla to produce the weekend programming. The full program schedule, including a new expanded program series, and workshop series, will be announced shortly.
About Sunday Service
Sunday Service is a curated series of short-form live performances across mediums. Taking place the first Sunday of each month in the Ready Room, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of in-progress works, performances, and presentations, anchored by a framing principle such as a question, proposition, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service encourages works in progress and interdisciplinary endeavors showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster experimentation and critical discourse amongst peers.