November 5, 2017
For November’s Sunday Service, curator J.Soto invited Miatta Kawinzi, IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt, ray ferreira, Keijaun Thomas: the artists are performers, dancers, video makers, object makers. They are connected through their individual approaches to their material and expressiveness of embodied existences, and through the sinuous tendons of queer, black, and and POC communities. Using their work as they use tools to build, frame, practice, and to repeat; to create approaches that are textual, aware, speak-out-wards and in preservation.
Edging upon the deep areas in-between documentation, performance, and gesture the work is alive. These are approaches, unlanded, yet, this is what I hope we are working towards in community, in fortification. In fortification of our own communities.
Don’t Fall Back
A program dedicated to remaining in the moment, aware, and offering no apologies.
How is Queer (self)love a form of resistance? What shapes and objects does that take on and what images does it conjure?
What can be the practice of Queer, Transgender and Gender-nonconforming community care across POC communities, now?
How will we combat Queer, Transgender and Gender-nonconforming POC histories and perspectives being invisibilized?
Dedicated to creating existences that are not polite; that are not apologetic and care for eachother.
About the Curator
J.Soto is a queer brown transgender interdisciplinary artist, writer, and arts organizer. He has curated and performed work for The National Queer Arts Festival (San Francisco), Links Hall (Chicago), as well as Vox Populi (Philadelphia) among others nationally. His collaborative writing project, “Ya Presente Ayer” can be found in Support Networks, Chicago Social Practice History Series (University of Chicago Press). His organizing projects include the Latinx Artists Retreat (LXAR), which he recently launched with a group of Latinx artists and administrators and the Latinx Artist Visibility Award (LAVA) for Ox-Bow School of Art in partnership with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is also a recent Fellow of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI). His recent writing can be found in Original Plumbing and Apogee Journal: Queer History, Queer Now Folio. He is currently Programs Coordinator for Equity & Inclusion Initiatives at Movement Research and Production & Access Coordinator at Eyebeam.
About the Artists
Miatta Kawinzi is a multi-disciplinary artist. She explores the figure, the inner & outer landscape, and culture as sites of re-imagination & possibility. She works with images, objects, sound, space, the body, and language. She was born in 1987 in Nashville, TN to a Liberian mother and Kenyan father. Based in NYC, she received a BA in Interdisciplinary Art & Cultural Theory from Hampshire College in 2010 and an MFA in Studio Art from Hunter College in 2016. She has been awarded artist residencies at the Bag Factory (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), Beta-Local (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Greatmore Studios (Cape Town, South Africa), IAAB (Basel, Switzerland), Flux Factory (NYC), and the SOMA Summer program (Mexico City, Mexico). She has received additional awards from the NY Community Trust Foundation, Hampshire College, Hunter College, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant in 2017. Recent exhibition sites of her work include the Studio Museum in Harlem (NY), Aljira Center for Contemporary Art (NJ), and the FNB Joburg Art Fair (SA).
IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt
The artists IV Castellanos and Amanda Hunt explore the continuous catching and falling of one another’s bodies. With this idea, that takes many aesthetic forms, aim to define arrival as reciprocity. This work of jumping, catching, holding, climbing, falling and/or dropping, and dragging one another on repeat, is juxtaposed with task based labor driven work.
Hunt and Castellanos have performed at Highways Performance Space Los Angeles, CA the AHA Festival Santa Fe, NM, Gibney Dance, Dixon Place Grace Exhibition Space, Panoply Performance Lab and at Dance Space, NY in collaboration with the Feminist Art Group.
w h e n a m i blaqlatinx from occupied Lenape lands called New York, N Y: the illegitimate EEUU. An o t the r Corona, Queens a spacetimemattering a materialdiscusive (dis) continuity: [the Caribbean, the Greater Antilles, Hispañola, the Dominican Republic —> Corona, Queens] : history.
ray ferreira b.1991 w h e n a m i a performer of sorts aka multidisciplinary artist aka polymath. She stays playin : the dance between materialitylanguage through her body w h e n a m i where histories are made and remade. She plays with iridescence, text, rhythms (aka systems), to cruise a quantum poetics. Englishes, Spanishes, and other body languages spiral, dance, and twirl to create a banj criticality: that turnup w/the grls; that swerve past white cishet patriarchy. wh e n ami
She can be located museum educating at the Studio Museum in Harlem, as well as floating through other museum education departments. In addition, she lead teaches at the Octavia Project, and freelances for various artists. w h e nam i Other intersections of space|time|matter residencies at the Institute for Electronic Arts and EmergeNYC, performances at the Segue reading series, Dixon Place, and La MaMa, slightly different performances at the Queens Museum of Art, and differently different in Femmescapes: Vol 2. whenami She has performed two durational performances to obtain an expensive pieces of paper: a BA in Studio Art from SUNY Geneseo, and an MFA in Combined Media from CUNY Hunter College.
Keijaun Thomas creates live performance and multimedia installations that oscillate between movement and materials that function as tools, objects and structures, as well as a visual language that can be read, observed, and repeated within spatial, temporal, and sensorial environments. Her work investigates the histories, symbols, and images that construct notions of Black identity within black personhood. Thomas is reimagining, reworking, and reconstructing notions of visibility, hyper-visibility, passing, trespassing, eroticized, and marginalized representations of blackness in relation to disposable labor, domestic service, and notions of thingness amongst materials. Thomas earned their Masters degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Thomas has shown work nationally and internationally in Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Portland, ME; Chicago, IL; Saugatuck, MI; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Miami, FL; and Taipei, Taiwan; Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; Istanbul, Turkey; Beirut, Lebanon; Saskatchewan and Vancouver, Canada; and the United Kingdom.
About Sunday Service
Taking place the first Sunday of each month, a guest curator is invited to organize a salon style evening of cross-disciplinary performances and presentations that brings together a multiplicity of views around a singular prompt, such as a question, theme, or formal structure. Sunday Service centers works in progress, interdisciplinary endeavors, and diversity in format showcased in a lo-fi environment to foster the testing of ideas and critical discourse amongst peers.
Knockdown Center’s MEDIA page is an ongoing collection of audio, video, writing, and ephemera produced by our arts programming. It serves not only as an aural and visual index of the diverse artistic activities that occur within the space, but also as a resource for artists, writers, curators, and researchers who may be interested in learning more about the practitioners that come through our doors. As a primary source, documents housed within the MEDIA page have been minimally edited and largely unmodified. Audio files link to our Soundcloud channel, where curator conversations, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and poetry readings can be heard individually, or as select playlists.