“Mnemonic Cinemas/Performances: Blackness & Embodiment” is a one-day colloquium featuring workshops, performances and film screenings that address the socio-cultural and political importance of experimental films, the archives, and embodiment as they reveal new critical reflections on memory, culture, and Blackness. This contemporary turn in understanding the archives, specifically through film and processes of collection, is marked by conditions of institutional and political erasure of marginalized individuals in a society rooted in systemic anti-Blackness. As Toni Morrison writes, the archives for Black history becomes a site for memory. The connection between the archives, cinema, and performance is not specious as performances (being a live event) are regulated to processes of collection, whereas cinema is often used as a tool to re-invent and preserve memory through its form. In this way, the colloquium seeks to bridge the gap between performance, the cinematic image, and the archives.
The aim of this one-day speaker and film colloquium is to provide a hub for interdisciplinary academic and artistic scholarship to thrive in as well as to inform scholars of the importance of archival documents and the significance of collecting films. The colloquium will be preceded by a two-day (May 23rd-24th) QTPOC dance workshop on embodiment with acclaimed New York based artist niv Acosta, at Espace Sans Luxe. Additionally, niv will perform his recent performance, Clapback at articule** artist-run centre on May 25th as part of the conference proceedings. niv Acosta’s performance, like his work, troubles the “institution” of time and history and how these modes of control collapse cultures at the margins. The colloquium and accompanying performance demonstrate the necessity for creating different “temporal” lines of history, specifically one that is driven by memory.
9:30-10:00 AM Welcome/Breakfast
10:00-12:00 PM Study workshop on Film, Archives, and Black Cultural Production with Ayanna Dozier
12:00-1:00 PM Lunch Break
1:00-2:30 PM Roundtable Discussion with Joana Joachim and Ronald Rose-Antoinette
2:30-2:45 PM Break
2:45-5:00 PM Curated Film Screening of Experimental Short Films by Black Women and Q+A with Ayanna Dozier
5:00-6:30 PM Break for Dinner
6:30-8:30 PM Clapback (performed by niv Acosta)
8:30-10:30 PM Reception
**This event is made possible by Immediations and a SSHRC Insight Grant, “Anarchival Outbursts” by Alanna Thain.
As part of this event, Niv will conduct a two hour dance and embodiment workshop for interested participants on both Tuesday, May 23rd and Wednesday, May 24th from 10 AM to 12PM at Espace Sans Luxe* (1838 Amherst St., Montréal). The workshop is free and will concentrate on culture, radicalization, queer, and trans identities. Participants should wear loose fitting clothes and socks. Space is limited to 20 people max each day, thus interested participants should rsvp their attendance via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*note Espace Sans Luxe is located on the second floor and thus not accessible.
niv Acosta is a dance artist, educator, black Dominican, transexual, queer native New Yorker. He attended the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance (NYC), American Dance Festival (Duke Univ.) and CalArts (Dance BFA). In 2012 niv presented a solo work, “the panther”, at MOMA PS1, and after, began developing the final installment of the “denzel series”, titled, “i shot denzel,” which was presented in various stages at Center for Performance Research (2012), 92nd Street Y, Judson Memorial Church (2013), MOMA PS1, Abrons Arts Center, Human Resources (Los Angeles), and New York Live Arts (2014). Since the close of the “denzel series,” niv has been working on a new project expanding on his interests in sci-fi, astronomy, and disco. He’s presented two solo works titled “cosmic muck” and “inner disco” at Vox Populi in Philadelphia and at The Studio Museum in Harlem. niv has collaborated with artists Malik Gaines, Alexandro Segade, Andrea Geyer, A.K. Burns, and Ralph Lemon.
Ayanna Dozier is a PhD Communication Studies Candidate enrolled in the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies’ graduate certificate program at McGill University. She previously received her Master’s degree in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her dissertation, entitled The Aberrations of Affect: Archives, Ritual, and the Counter-Poetics of Black Women’s Experimental Short Films (1970s-Present), examines the formal and narrative aesthetics in Black women’s experimental short films. She is a recent recipient of the Joan Tisch teaching fellowship at the Whitney Museum of American Art and has held previous research fellowships at Marvel Comics and the performance art organization Performa. You can find her scholarship in the Liquid Blackness Journal, International Journal of Communication, Performa Magazine, and a forthcoming special issue of Feminist Media Studies entitled “Affective Economies.”
Joana Joachim is a PhD Student in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies at McGill University. She works under the supervision of Dr. Charmaine Nelson. Her research interests include critical race theory, Black feminist studies, Black Canadian studies and Canadian slavery studies. Her current work examines representations of Black women in Canadian and American nineteenth century genre paintings and photography, with a particular focus on the legacies of slavery located in ongoing discrimination against their hair.
Ronald Rose-Antoinette is a writer, holds a Master’s degree in Film Studies, and lives in Montreal. He is also a Doctoral Candidate in Philosophy (Concordia University).
Participating Artists: niv Acosta (US) Ayanna Dozier (Montréal) Joana Joachim (Montréal) Ronald Rose-Antoinette (Montréal)
Credits: Image: niv Acosta