The Mellon Global Visiting Professor in Art History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY GC), I am teaching Roadworks: Processional Performance and Diaspora for the Fall semester.
The course charts the revival of processional performance, a millennium-old mass medium, to the transformation of forms of mass address in the aftermath of the dual pandemic of the global coronavirus outbreak and the racially motivated police violence in America. Readings include theories of diaspora, dispossession, processions of the dispossessed, the non-object among others. A wide variety of artists and settings are studied, contrasting Euro-American and African diasporic – especially Caribbean – performances as well as processional forms of protest around Black Lives Matter.
At long last, Look for Me All Around You, the catalogue for the platform I curated for Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber is out! The volume is devoted to commentaries around the issues adressed by the various works under the general umbrella of Leaving the Echo Chamber and the particular imprint of Look for Me All Around You rather than description and interpretations of works presented in the guide published for and distributed during the biennial opening. Its content includes a poetic meandering between the sands of Arabia and the Americas by Yarimar Bonilla, a pointed examination of blackness and obscure matter by Adrienne Edwards, an interview between Felwine Sarr and Alexandre Kazerouni on the museum as a device of recolonization, a philosophical essay by Michael Marder on elemental forces, excerpts from a poem by Hannah Black, an indictment of fossil fuel infrastructure’s relationship to culture by Imani J. Brown, an architectural manifesto by Philippe Rahm as well as an essay from me as curator and editor of the volume and a conversation with co-editor Diego del Valle Ríos.
The book is also filled with full-color illustrations set in copious double pages and foldouts, an in-print transfer of the processional unfolding of the curatorial platform.The expansive illustrations also serve to highlight the newly commissioned works of all twenty-seven artists: Allora & Calzadilla Caline Aoun, Leo Asemota, Aline Baiana, Hannah Black and Ebba Fransén-Waldhor, Mohamed Bourouissa, Jace Clayton, Christopher Cozier, Annie Dorsen, Torkwase Dyson, Alaa Edris, Alia Farid, Peter Friedl, Meschac Gaba, Nikolaus Gansterer, Eisa Jocson, Isabel Lewis/Matthew Lutz-Kinoy and Hacklander/HATAM, Laura Lima, Ulrik López, Carlos Martiel, Suchitra Mattai, Mohau Modisakeng, New Orleans Airlift, Tracey Rose, Wael Shawky, Caecilia Tripp, Wu Tsang.
It is published by Sharjah Art Foundation and distributed by Prestel.
Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber opened on March 7 and will remain on view until June 10. Each of the three curators organized her or his own platform under the jointly chosen umbrella theme for the overall biennial. Omar Kholeif curated Making New Time, Zoe Butt, Journey Beyond the Arrow, and I curated Look for Me All Around You.
Leaving the Echo Chamber, curated by Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, Claire Tancons.
A moniker for circuitous news media and their attendant feeds, a metaphor for the historical dominance of the systems that dictate access to capital, the echo chamber is also the space wherein sound hits and reverberates, where memory and imagination echo across surface, space and time. Leaving the Echo Chamber explores the possibilities and purpose of producing art when news is fed by a monopoly of sources, history is increasingly fictionalised, and borders and beliefs are governed by cultural, social, and political systems.
A total of a little under ninety works, among which around sixty new commissions, are on display.
Look for Me All Around You, curated by Claire Tancons
Look for Me All Around You is an open platform of migrant images and fugitive forms. Composed of multiple scores drawn from the many scales of Sharjah as city, emirate and peninsular territory, these images and forms circumnavigate global history, meeting through the confluence of the Gulfs of Mexico and Oman and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in a call-and-response between the Americas and the Emirates. The platform attests to the alternatively dispossessive and repossessive disposition of diasporisation as an aporetic phenomenon of the contemporary, encompassing human, semantic and material forms of displacement. It bears witness to the imperilment of the contemporary within the atomised space between ‘me’ and ‘you’—where what is being ‘looked for’ is not what is being ‘looked at’, if only it could be seen.
All twenty-seven works are new commissions.
All projects (the first twenty-seven projects listed, from Alia Farid to Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, are from Look for Me All Around You)
Emirate of Sharjah,
cities of Sharjah and Kalba
Emirate of Umm Al Quwain
For March Meeting 2019, the annual international conference organized by Sharjah Art Foundation on off-biennial years, and by Sharjah Biennial curators on biennial years, I forewent the conference format and opted instead for a two-day performance programme + talk series across Look for Me All Around You’s three main venues, in the city of Kalba and in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain on March 8 and back in Sharjah in Bait Al Shamsi and Al Mureijah Square on March 9.
The two-day programme presented performances, films, talks and landscapes spanning the United Arab Emirates, from the Gulf of Oman in the east to the Arabian Gulf in the west. Taking place across two emirates, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain, and two cities, Kalba and Sharjah City, the programme is a journey that both retraces and anticipates diasporic movements, speculative flows and extractives uses of human and natural resources scattered across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, exposing models of modernity under scrutiny. The programme evolved from contemporary forms of public address and modes of embodiment that resist solidification and codification, reification and canonisation, to trembling gestures and passing presences, elusive sounds, flickering lights and interrupted motions that ultimately unfold into idea-forms of history and futurity. Performances featured works by Mohau Modisakeng, Isabel Lewis, Nikolaus Gansterer, Torkwase Dyson, Carlos Martiel, Ulrik López, Meschac Gaba, Peter Friedl, Eisa Jocson and Tracey Rose. Guest speakers included Yarimar Bonilla, Fabian Villegas, Imani Brown, Michael Marder, Felwine Sarr, Alexandre Kazerouni, Aisha Bilkhair, and Philippe Rahm.
Pass, the journal of the International Biennial Association, launched in December 2018. An annual publication, it aims to bear witness to the critical and experimental role of contemporary art biennials around the world while also presenting diverse approaches and divergent perspectives on biennials as institutions, curatorial endeavours and public projects and examining the biennial as an actively evolving form hat mobilizes relationships between artists, sites and audience on varied scales and in different contexts. Contributors to the inaugural issue included Iara Boubnova, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Natasha Ginwala, Nav Haq, Bose Krishnamachari, Gerardo Mosquera, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, Kitty Scott, among others. Editor: Sylvie Fortin.
I contributed The Cosmic Time of Biennials: Perennial Occurrence and Human Recurrence
The knowledge biennials produce, at once distinct from and complementary to other forms of cultural production, stretches beyond the scholarship that is often associated with academia and the museum. While the most research-driven and politically-minded biennials mine and contribute to this scholarly field, biennials are also beholden to the reoccurrence of cyclical and thereby cosmic, but also local and therefore quotidian, forms of knowledge production. This interpretation of the biennial phenomenon takes a long historical view on the domestication of fairs and the secularisation of premodern festivals held with the kind of regularity known to bind humanity then as now.
University of Washington,
A guest lecture at the Black Embodiments Studios, the arts writing incubator and public lecture series rooted in expansive and dynamic investigations of blackness in contemporary art led by Kemi Adeyemi. I presented Look for Me All Around You: Aporia and Diaspora based on my investigation of conditions of creative, resistive or dispossessive blackness in contemporary cultural life and artistic creation up til my eponymous project for Sharjah Biennial 14.
CASVA, National Gallery of Art,
Part 1/2 of the Black Modernisms Seminar at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. I presented the paper Afro-Oceanic Modernisms: The Case of Indian Ocean Black Diasporas in contemporary artistic practice based on my current research of and commissioning process around the topic for my curatorial platform for Sharjah Biennial 14. Directed by Huey Copeland and Steven Nelson, the seminar includes Sylvester Ogbechie, Kobena Mercer,Adrienne Edwardsand more. It will result in a publication.
School of Visual Arts,
A series of presentations and discussion introduced and moderated by SVA / MA Curatorial Practice Brian Kuan Wood with fellow Sharjah Biennial 14 curatorZoe Butt and Sharjah Art Foundation President and Director Hoor Al Qasimi, followed by Q&A from students and general audience members. I introduced Look for Me All Around You, my curatorial platform for the biennial.
MoMA, New York
I presented Of Heterochronotopia and African Diaspora Space: Towards Caribbean Curatorial Spatial Practices at MoMA’s C-MAP (Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives) Latin America seminar alongside Branislav Jakovljević (Centraland Eastern Europe group) and Anoma Pieris (Asia group) as part of the workshop Performing Identities: Self-fashioning in Visual Culture and Architecture. Putting forth the notion of “heterochronotopia” as an “always-already othered time-space (dis-)continuum”, I argued that for the formation of resistant spaces / spatial infrastructures of fugitivity within African diasporic spatial practices with a view to investigating their possible adaptability to global spaces of diasporization. The following day, I introduced a small the carnival performance practice of artist Peter Minshall in an audio-visual presentation including Minshall: Mas of the Millennium, the short I co-produced and co-edited with Abigail Hadeed in Trinidad in 2017 to (re-)introduce the celebrated Caribbean masman and artist to contemporary art audiences.
Lafayette Anticipations, Paris
Discussion and audience Q & A with Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe moderated by Lafayette Anticipations curator Charles Aubin following their lecture performance “The next ‘invasive” is native.” I provided a response from a French context to the postcolonial framework laid out in the book and eponymous project, The Empire Remains Shop, which focuses on the UK and its former colonies.
A panel discussion, Techno Techne Tech, with Basilea artist Isabel Lewis and Tate Modern Performance curator Catherine Wood, moderated by Tate Modern Film curator Andrea Lissoni. The discussion revolved around Isabel Lewis’ inquiry into the meaning of contemporary rituals of gathering in the wake of her contribution to Basilea, a series of public workshops that assembled and interwove a selection of techniques from contemporary dance, performance, moving meditation and Parkour, into a hybrid bodily praxis.
A panel discussion with Claudia Fontes artist and curator of Bienal de São Paulo during Living Room, The Swiss Art Council Pro Helvetia’s temporary space for discussion and encounters during the Art Basel and List Art Fair week. The conversation, moderated by Jörg Scheller, art historian and lecturer at ZHdK, drew from curatorial experiences of and expectations from the biennial format.
University of Miami
Small Axe: A Caribbean Platform for Criticism is bringing together 10 contemporary artists and 10 writers from the global Caribbean in an initial conversation about The Visual Life of Social Affliction (VLoSA) that will culminate in a curated art exhibition and catalogue in 2019 featuring new work by the artists gathered and new critical essays by the writers paired with them. Artists + Writers pairings include Blue Curry + Chandra Frank, Marcel Pinas + Nicole Smythe-Johnson, Ricardo Edwards + Yolanda Wood. I will be in discussion with artist Kara Springer.
Multiple venues, Miami
Hétéronomonde First Edition
A multidisciplinary contemporary arts festival named after poet-philosopher Édouard Glissant, the Tout-Monde Festival is dedicated to the artistic practices and aesthetic discourses of the Caribbean. It is designed to present artists of the French Caribbean within the global Caribbean context of Miami, Florida, the US and the greater Caribbean. The festival was founded by Vanessa Selk, Cultural Attaché, and is organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy (Florida & Puerto Rico) in collaboration with the France Florida Foundation. The festival’s cultural Ambassador was Christiane Taubira, a former French Minister of Justice, a renown politician and public figure.
The Festival’s first edition, entitled Hétéronomonde, which I curated with Johanna Auguiac, unfolded over 4-days, featured exhibitions, visual art, dance, theatre and music performance, and lectures and spanned venues ranging from the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), The Wolfsonian-FIU , the Little Haiti Cultural Center, Mana Contemporary (Wynwood). It also featured a film program curated by Jason Fitzroy Jeffers of Third Horizon. Together, Hétéronomonde featured an inter-generational cross-section of 19 visual, performance, performing and film artists. More information about the program here.
Hétéronomonde, queried the notion of autonomy within the French Caribbean context as a marker of its paradoxical identity within the Caribbean region:
Hétéronomonde traces the contour of contemporary Antillean and Caribbean artistic production at the junction of autonomy, heteronomy and Tout-Monde. What new ways of being in the world can emerge from the confluence of the great Martinican poet’s theories and the practice of everyday contemporary life in the Caribbean? Hétéronomonde, sets forth to confront issues around Antillean identity formation such as political self-determination amidst social atomization and cultural fragmentation as a litmus test for the wider Caribbean—and the world.
Little Haiti Cultural Center
The Little Haiti Cultural Center hosted a conversation between author and Rutgers University Professor Yarimar Bonilla, Johanna Auguiac and myself around her book Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment. The book, which problematizes the notion of self-governance in the French Caribbean and the Caribbean at large, was a major source of inspiration for Hétéronomonde.
More information about Yarimar Bonilla here.
Ateneo Art Gallery
Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif (participating remotely), and I, curators of Sharjah Biennial 14 [http://sharjahart.org/biennial-14] (SB14), the upcoming edition of Sharjah Biennial (2019) discussed our individual preoccupations behind our respective curatorial perspectives after Hoor Al Qasimi, the Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, shared the work of Sharjah Art Foundation, with the audience of the Ateneo Art Gallery in a roundtable discussion moderated by Ma. Victoria Herrera.
Opening in March 2019, SB14 will showcase three unique exhibitions that explore the possibilities for creating art when history is increasingly fictionalised, when ideas of ’society’ are invariably displaced, when borders and beliefs are under constant renegotiation, and our material culture is under the constant threat of human destruction and climate degradation.
Incessant newsfeeds enabled by rapid technological change have created the conditions of a seemingly inescapable echo chamber. Leaving the Echo Chamber, ponders the causal realities and residual qualities of this perpetual loop through the distinct voices of its three curators. Resisting spaces of enclosure, the three curatorial platforms reveal a complex polyphony of artistic practices, positions and possibilities within the hyperbolic mediated cultural state in which we live.
Museo de Arte São Paulo
The Museo de Arte São Paulo (MASP) has been organizing the Histórias Afro-Atlânticas Seminar in preparation for an exhibition of the same title to commemorate the centennial of the abolition of slavery in Brazil. Co-organized by Instituto Tomie Ohtake, the exhibition will gather a wide array of artworks and documents related to the “flows and reflows” (as Pierre Verger used to put) between Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe.
I was invited to participate along with colleagues including Denise Ferreira da Silva, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Kalia Brooks, Tumelo Mosaka, Huey Copeland, Ayrson Heráclitos and others and presented Roadworks: The Independent Mas Movement in the Trinidad Carnival along an in-progress version of Minshall: Mas of the Millennium, the video interview I co-edited and co-produced with Abigail Hadeed during the Trinidad Carnival 2017.
Leeds Beckett University
As part of the INSIDE/OUT Lecture Series, I delivered the talk Mas’ in the Museum: Carnival, Performance and Exhibition drawing from my historicization of the modern carnivals of the Americas, conceptualisation of the contemporary practice of processional performance and contextualization of the notion of roadwork. I shared insights into my decade-long critical engagement with post-Bakthninian Carnival theory and curatorial experimentation with large-scale public performance against the practice and discourse of performance in contemporary art and asked:
How can Carnival occupy the location of the institution? What position can mas perform in the museum? Where should roadworks occur outside of the territory of the road understood not as the space of the street but rather as both an escape from and perpetual return to the Middle Passage? I also shared an in-progress version of Minshall: Mas of the Millennium, the video interview I co-edited and co-produced with Abigail Hadeed during the Trinidad Carnival 2017.
I also shared an in-progress version of Minshall: Mas of the Millenium, the video interview I short during the Trinidad Carnival 2017 and produced with Abigail Hadeed.
The Tetley, Leeds
On the occasion of the exhibition 50 Years of Leeds West Indian Carnival at The Tetley, I was invited to discuss the history and legacy of the Leeds West Indian Carnival with exhibition curator Sonya Dyer and researcher Tola Dabiri in a panel moderated by Gill Park of the University of Manchester.
Printemps de Septembre Toulouse
In collaboration with artist Mohamed Bourouissa , with the participation of composer Christophe Chassol, choreographer James Carlès, and members of civil society I co-elaborated and directed etcetera: a civic ritual, the outcome of a two-year long creative process investigating citizenship in contemporary France from the multicultural city of Toulouse. A city-wide, day-long series of five interrelated tableaux vivants, each articulated around elements designed by Bourouissa to a soundscape scored by Chassol put into motion by Carlès, etcetera introduced diverse audiences to various participatory activities in different neighborhoods, culminating in a public banquet cum open discussion and radio program around Bourouissa’s centerpiece: a chimeric live sculpture and Babylon-esque installation of gargantuan proportions around which meals were prepared, served, and enjoyed.
What would a contemporary civic ritual look like in France today and of whom would it be constituted? Might it be possible to delineate the contours of this civic renewal in Toulouse, a multicultural city much in the image of contemporary France? Borrowing its title from Aux Armes, et cætera, Serge Gainsbourg’s reggae remix of the French national anthem La Marseillaise, etcetera: un rituel civique differs the call to arms and reorganizes instead this ‘everything else’ (the French translation of the Latin locution ‘etcetera’) into an ‘everybody else’ to create the conditions of emergence of a contemporary civic ritual.
etcetera: un ritual civique was organized by Le Printemps de Septembre.
A key element of The Ford Family Foundation’s Visual Arts Program, the Connective Conversations | Curator and Critic Tour organized in collaboration with Pacific Northwest College of Art / Center for Contemporary Art and Culture about (PNCA / CCAC) brings professional curators and critics from outside the Northwest to conduct one-on-one studio visits with established Oregon artists, deliver lectures, and join in community conversations. At the invitation of PNCA director Mac McFarland, I conducted a dozen of studio visits over four days and delivered the lecture Of Roadworks and Wandering Artworks: Circum-Atlantic to Pacific Rim with fresh new insights into Atlantic/Pacific relationships.
House on Fire: Performing Urgency 4
According to editors Florian Malzacher & Johanna Warsza, “During its impressive career over the last decades the term ‚performative’ has been attributed with many parallel meanings in the humanities, philosophy, arts, and economics. Empty Stages, Crowded Flats additionally applies the notion of the performative to the context of curating with the aim to unfold a potential that so far has been mostly unused.” Published under the Fire on House of Fire imprint, the fourth volume of the Performing Urgency series, featured contributions from Knut Ove Arntzen, Claire Bishop, Beatrice von Bismarck, Tim Etchells, Shannon Jackson, Ana Janevski, Kasia Tórz and Catherine Wood among others. I wrote the essay Spectacular Insurgency: Carnival, the Curatorial and the Processional (2008-).
In mistaking the costume for Carnival, the fabric for the cloth, one risks closing narrative threads, spinning a lacunary story, and eschewing the emancipatory premise and transformation promise of Carnival—even as one might question whether these postulates continue to apply at all to this millenary Gesamtkunstwerk genre in the third Millennium.
A roundtable discussion around the notion of “carnivalisation of identities” convened by artist Nathalie Muchamad, featuring fellow artists Jean-François Boclé, Tarek Lakhrissi and Mükerrem Tuncay, WETRANSFER featured presentations from the artists as well as two videoconferences by curator and scholar Claire Tancons and from Guadeloupe’s Memorial ACTe, a Caribbean center for the interpretation and memory of the slave trade.
DuSable Museum, Chicago
After opening at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans in 2015 and traveling to the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and the National Gallery of Cayman Islands in 2016, EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean, the exhibition I initiated in 2011 and which won an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award in 2012 returns to the US with a first stop in Chicago at the DuSable Museum of African American History inaugurating a new era at this new Smithsonian Affiliate. Curated with Krista Thompson, featuring John Beadle, Charles Campbell, Christophe Chassol, Nicolas Dumit Estévez, Marlon Griffith, Hew Locke, Lorraine O’Grady, Ebony G. Patterson ad Cauleen Smith
Showcasing a contemporary Caribbean art exhibition at a historic museum of African American history is timely and important to tease out the intertwined legacies of the African diaspora in the Americas through street masking and masquerading, marching and protesting, mourning and celebrating, all of which take on different guises in the various EN MAS’ artists projects sited in the Dominican Republic, Martinique, Trinidad and Jamaica carnivals, in the Bahamas’ Junkanoo, during London’s Notting Hill Carnival and New York’s Brooklyn Labor Day Parade as well as in New Orleans.
Fresh Milk/ ARC Magazine National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman
As part of Tilting Axis: Curating the Caribbean, the third international gathering of art practitioners working in or on the Caribbean I participated in the panel The Spaces of Exhibitions: Traditional vs Non-Traditional Spaces moderated by Tobias Ostrander of PAMM with Sean Leonard of Alice Yard and Eungie Joo. Organized by Fresh Milk and ARC Magazine, supported by Res Artis, Perez Art Museum Miami and Davidoff Initiative among others and hosted by the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.
Paper: Roadworks: Processional Performance and the Diasporic Articulation of the Curatorial. Borrowing from Christopher Cozier’s characterization of the artwork of masman Peter Minshall as roadwork, and reflecting upon Homi Bhabha’ assessment of William Kentridge’s processional ethics, I proposed processional performance as an articulation of the curatorial under conditions of diaspora and dispossession.
Tulane Law School, New Orleans
The Entertainment and Art Law Society of Tulane Law School invited Claire Tancons to reflect upon issues of copyright and intellectual property based upon her experience working at the intersection of Carnival and processional performance within a global art context.
Q&A: An informal exchange between curator Claire Tancons and Tulane Law School students and faculty within the framework of the Entertainment and Art Law Society, Carnival & Copyright builds upon curatorial practice and legal expertise to articulate the ethical challenges inherent in working with creative communities in the public sphere.
The Metrograph, New York
On the occasion of editor Jason Farago’s interview with Matthew Barney for their new issue, Even Magazine is organizing a screening of Barney’s rarely-seen film De lama lâmina, shot during carnival in Salvador de Bahia in 2008.
Conversation: Post-screening conversation between Even Magazine editor Jason Farago, De Lâma Lamina performer, musician and composer Melvin Gibbs, and Claire Tancons.
The annual Mixed Media Lecture of the Art History Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) coordinated by Monica Amor. Recent mixed-media lecture series have featured Amelia Mesa-Baines, Rick Lowe and Shamim S. Momin.
Lecture: Sidelong Glance and Sideway Steps: The Processional Side of Performance
Cranbrook Academy of Art’s lecture series considers the consequences of globalization on creative practice and social engagement – from issues of cultural homogenization to the politicized body to neo-liberalism – and questions how pressure for global cultures and multiple identities fuels the communication of ideas. Other guests speakers in the series this year include Kristi McGuire, Sampada Aranke and Ebony G. Patterson.
Lecture: Carnival is not the Costume
Visiting Critic Claire Tancons discusses her work on Carnival-inflected performance at the invitation of Fiber Art Department Artist-in-Residence Mark Newport.
Printemps de Septembre Toulouse
Building upon the musical meal-performance (repas-performance harmonisé) of the Fall 2016, theprocessional performance will bring together an even greater array of participating individual and organizations in a city-wide, deconstructed parade of sorts that simultaneously draws attention to and attempts to mend the impacts of social fractures in the urban landscape and in human relationships. Under the artistic direction of Claire Tancons, featuring Mohamed Bourouissa as co-artistic director and visual artist and Christophe Chassol musical director and musician among others TBA.
Faena Forum Miami Beach
Tide by Side is a people-powered, participatory processional performance in the Faena District Miami Beach for the opening of its Faena Forum, organized by Faena Art under the artistic direction of Claire Tancons in collaboration with musician and composer Arto Lindsay and architect Gia Wolff featuring works by Carlos Betancourt, Carnival Arts, Los Carpinteros, Miralda and Marinella Senatore with a special guest appearance by Ernesto Neto.
With participants numbering in the several hundreds in a district-long, avenue-wide itinerary spanning several hours, Tide by Side will not just celebrate the opening of Miami’s newest cultural district with people, food and music. It will also ask questions about the importance of cultural communities amidst new urban developments and test the conditions for the formation of new social constituencies.
Printemps de septembre Toulouse
etcetera: un rituel civique, a two-part project directed by Claire Tancons for the first biennial edition of Printemps de septembre in Toulouse, will form a rich ceremonial complex comprised of diverse forms of public address including art, sport, sound and food and culminate in a multi-stop, city-wide, processional performance in Fall 2017.
etcetera: un repas-performance harmonisé, the first part of the project in Fall 2016, is a “ meal-performance” conceived by visual artist Mohamed Bourouissa and “harmonized” by musician and composer Christophe Chassol. From the palate to the mouth, from the mouth to the voice, from the voice to the word, the meal and its hymn will open up the space where a civic ritual can begin to unfold.
A Collection of essays and features covering ideas and content spanning BMW Tate Live Programme 2012-2014 to illustrate what insights the set of artistic practices called ‘performance’ can bring to contemporary life, and how performance is informed and developed through its contemporary context.Designed by renown design firm Brody Associates with augmented reality technology through animated typography, images, audio and video to bring “ liveness” into the book. Edited by Cecilia Wee with Joseph Kendra
Up Hill Down Hall? Carnival Performance in the Turbine Hall: between Institutional Critique and Instituting the Public looks back at Claire Tancons’Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor Carnival (BMW Tate Live 2014) through an essay by Tancons and Q&A by artists and participants Marlon Griffith, Hew Locke, Gia Wolff, Dubmorphology, Paul Goodwin and Sonya Boyce, Central St Martins, Batala Samba Reggae, Elimu Mas Band and more. Featured in Chapter 2, the richly-illustrated 14-spread feature provides elements of reflection to the question: “ What can institutions and the public create together through performance?”
Pew Center for Arts & Heritage & University of California, Berkeley
A richly cross-listed glossary of keywords on art and performance including multiple entries per keywords such as “ prop” , “ score” , “ action” , “ studio” written by artists, choreographers, curators, dancers, directors, thinkers and musicians and interspersed with interviews with major figures in art and performance. Designed by graphic design firm LeClair Lucas as a web-only, non-hierarchical, customizable and expandable microsite structured only by the browsing path of the reader.
Edited by Paula Marincola and Shannon Jackson
With contributions to the keywords Participation and Curating, Claire Tancons expounds on her longstanding practice of processional performance inflected by her scholarship on carnival, public ceremonial culture, civic rituals and popular movements with fresh examples from experiences from recent projects in the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago.
Art Gallery at York University
The first monograph of Japan-based, Trinidad-born artist Marlon Griffith published on the occasion of Griffith’s Ring of Fire procession and exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of York University in the Summer and Fall 2015. The book retraces Griffith’s apprenticeship as a carnival designer or masman in Trinidad and Tobago though to his debuts on the international art scene with the genre of processional performance, which has become his signature practice. Edited by Emelie Chhangur, curator and assistant director at the AgYU with essays by Chhangur, Gabriel Levine, Christopher Cozier and Chanzo Greenidge.
Claire Tancons’ essay Quickening the Heart: A Masman from Japan queries into Griffith’ use of the processional as a proto-cinematic device through the use of projected images and ponders whether the ensuing effect functions as the necessary disembodiement of a practice which is no longer localized. In not to many words, it simply asks: How to be a masman from Japan?
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Disembodied States is a special nine-part feature from the Collection Rotation series of SFMOMA’s online journal, Open Space, featuring artists, thinkers and writers from outside of California, as a celebration of the breadth and reach of the SFMOMA’s collection and a nod to these last moments in which the museum exists as an hypothetical space before the reopening of the building.
Edited by Claudia LaRocco with Gordon Faylor with contributions by Sofia Le Fraga, Dawn Lundy Martin, Lance Grabmiller, Emily Johnson, David Kelley, Francesca Capone, Chris E. Varga, Angela Ellsworth, and Claire Tancons.
A vitual exhibition blending works from within and without SFMOMA’s collection, Midtopic Mysteries: An Ambulatory Museum Theory presents artistic practices that manifest as predominantly as performance and immerse the viewer/participant — and oftentimes the artists themselves — into the ideological limbo between utopia and dystopia called midtopia. It also outlines a theory of and curatorial methodology for processional performance, set against a brief historicization of the practice from European medieval mystères to contemporary Caribbean carnivals. It further hints at the return of the body-in-motion from screen to stage to street and elicits why the millenary display mode of the processional matters anew today. Finally, Midtopic Mysteries approaches theory in its double meaning as procession (a linear formation of figures in a Greek frieze) and theory (a system of ideas), thus blending theory and practice.
Edited by Natasha Hoare, Coline Milliard,
Rafal Niemojewski, Ben Borthwick
and Jonathan Watkins Laurence King Publishing
Curating has been a key concept both in and outside the art world in the past few years, with the remit of what a curator does having changed and expanded with each new exhibition or biennale. With an emphasis on the ‘now’ and the most recent exhibitions, this book examines the variety and richness of curating practices today. Each highly illustrated case study is structured around an interview with the curator responsible for the show. The text both tells the story of the show’s making and fills in background information about the curator’s work.
Contributing curators include Adam Sutherland, Anthony Huberman, Art Angel, Chus Martinez, Claire Tancons, Clementine Deliss, Fram Kitagawa, Joanna Warza, Johnson Chang, Juliana Engberg, Katrina Brown, Khaled Kourani and Charles Esche, Mami Katoaka, Koyo Kouoh, Leah Gordon, Maria Lind, Pablo Leon de la Barre, Pierre Bal Blanc, Ragnar Kjartansson and Andjeas Ejiksson, Raimaudas Malasauskas, Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, Solange Farkas, The Fair Gallery, Michael Connor/The Rhizome Digital Archives
A Gathering of scholars, poets, puppeteers, curators, and artists at the University of Toronto for two days of public presentations, dialogues and performances organized by Gabriel Levine at the Jackman Humanities Institute, Program for the Arts, Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, University of Toronto
Keynote: Flesh as Object in Circum-Atlantic Performance. A Critique of the Exhibitionnary Complex
The ninth edition of Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meetings, Education, Engagement and Participation, will consider how institutions, initiatives, curators and artists have increasingly prioritised their relationships with audiences and communities through current thinking around ideas of education, engagement and participation.
Panel discussion : Curating as Communities with Ahmed El Attar, Zoe Butt, Susanna Chung and Claire Tancons
A conference by Claire Tancons, associate curator of the first biennial edition of Printemps de septembre, at l’Institut Supérieur des Arts de Toulouse, at the invitation of Les Amis du Printemps de septembre. In this conference, titled etcetera after the name of her project, Tancons will address the question of what a contemporary civic ritual could be in France today.
Lecture : etcetera
Edited by Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson
Published by Independent Curators International, New York
and Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans
Distributed by D.A.P.
Foreword by Neil Barclay, Renaud Proch
Text by D. Eric Bookhardt, Petrina Dacres, Paul Goodwin, Shannon Jackson, Erica Moiah James, Nicholas Laughlin, Thomas J. Lax, Alanna Lockward, Kobena Mercer, Annie Paul, Claire Tancons, Krista Thompson, Yolande-Salomé Toumson
EN MAS’ is one of the first publications to give serious scholarly attention to contemporary art works considering carnival in the 21st century, filling a gap in two decades of exhibitions of contemporary Caribbean art that did not explicitly address carnival as an artistic practice. A hybrid exhibition catalogue and academic reader with a lively carnivalesque feel, it presents nine newly commissioned artist projects by John Beadle, Charles Campbell, Christophe Chassol, Nicolás Dumit Estévez, Marlon Griffith, Hew Locke, Ebony G. Patterson, Lorraine O’Grady and Cauleen Smith. The book also includes a timeline of diasporic pan-Caribbean carnivals, tracing the influence of Caribbean carnivals and festivals on the theater, dance, and Broadway stages in New York and London, in contemporary art galleries and biennials from São Paulo to Havana to Gwangju, at the Olympics as well as in protest and other movements.
Special Issue: “Art and the Commons: Tract, Circuit, Sphere” guest edited by Amy J., Elias Johns Hopkins University Press
Editor’s Forum: “The Commons as Network” moderated by Amy J. Elias with contributions by Susan Leigh Foster, Kimsooja, Claire Tancons, Hsuan Hsu, Imre Szeman, Doris Sommer, Grant Kester, Petra Kuppers, André Lepecki, David Raskin, Patrick Jagoda and Tom Lutz.
October. FIAC, Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard and Institut Français cura.books
A publication to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Young Curators Invitational program, a collaboration between Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard and FIAC to broaden awareness and knowledge of the French art scene by bringing promising personalities from the emerging generation of art critics and curators to Paris.
Past YCI contributors include Lara Khaldi, Maaike Lauwaert, Mariangela Méndez, Alina Erban, Chantal Wong and Claire Tancons (YCI 2012) with a text on artist Jimmy Robert, “Specters of Performance Past and Future.”
As with previous Performa biennials, which each used a singular historical period (Italian Futurism, Russian Constructivism, and Surrealism) to address the importance of live performance in shaping the art and ideas of twentieth century art, the “Renaissance” will serve as the main historical anchor for the upcoming Performa 15 biennial (November 2015).
In order to address the vibrant experimentation and interdisciplinarity that characterizes contemporary artists performance, the two-day conference extends Performa’s curatorial research platform to include “the Renaissance” – an extraordinary historical precedent to today’s performance art practices when artists, architects, and scientists worked across genres, creating live events that significantly contributed to civic and cultural life.
Confirmed speakers include Shahzia Sikander, artist; Alexander Nagel, NYU; Mark Franko, Temple University; Christopher Heuer, Princeton University; Kate Lowe, Queen Mary, University of London; Katharine Park, Harvard University; Alessandra Russo, Columbia University; Pamela Smith, Columbia University; and Rebecca Zorach, University of Chicago and curator Claire Tancons.
Georges Auditorium, Dillard University, New Orleans
An afternoon of celebration for the 50th anniversary of suiting by Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Victor Harris of the Mandingo Warriors, Spirit of Fi Yi Yi. Musical tribute and spiritual offering by Luther Gray and Sula. Reflections by Jerome Smith, Community Leader, Big Chief Clarence Dalcour of the Creole Osceola, Jeffrey Ehrenreich, Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans and Claire Tancons, curator of contemporary art. Presentations and commendations by members of the Mandingo Warriors as well as city council members and congressmen.
Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Studium Generale, Amsterdam
Through talks, readings, live performances, screenings and masterclasses, ARE YOU ALIVE OR NOT? Looking at ART through the lens of THEATRE proposed itself as a ‘modus operandi’ for generating knowledge, ideas, questions, collaborations, happenings and things.
The project took it’s initial inspiration from a wish expressed in the introduction to Claire Bishop’s book Artificial Hells, Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship: “It is hoped that these chapters might give momentum to rethinking the history of twentieth-century art through the lens of theatre rather than painting or the ready-made”.
A Conference-festival & exhibition at De Brakke Grond theatre brought together around 35 individual and collaborative student projects intersecting with a four-day symposium convened and moderated by invited curators Claire Bishop (art historian, writer New York), Claire Tancons (curator, researcher, writer New Orleans), Joanna Warsza (curator, Berlin) & David Weber-Krebs (theatre maker Brussels).
Each day followed it’s own unique trajectory with audiovisual, participatory, performative, theatrical and theoretical contributions.
Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.
EN MAS’: Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean is a pioneering exploration of the influences of Carnival on contemporary performance practices in the Caribbean, North America, and Europe conceived around a series of nine commissioned performances realized during the 2014 Caribbean Carnival season across eight cities in six different countries.
Opening at CAC New Orleans in March 2015 in an exhibition design by Gia Wolff, and prior to a national and international tour organized by ICI, EN MAS’ brought together material remnants or reconstitutions from the performances as well as photographic and filmic thus also presenting some of the best photographers, filmmakers and videographers working in the Caribbean today including.
EN MAS’ is curated by Claire Tancons and Krista Thompson; organized and presented by the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), New Orleans. The exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award with additional support by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Institut Français (Afrique et Caraïbes en Créations program.) EN MAS’ will be accompanied by a publication of the same name including critical essays, monographic texts and extensive illustrations co-published by ICI and CAC, and distributed by D.A.P.
Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7), Paris
Using the conclusions of Bakhtin, Eagleton, Kinser, and Cohen among others, this international conference on carnival will bring together historians, anthropologists, and sociologists to explore the links between carnival and politics as showcased by carnivals in Europe, North America, the Caribbean and Latin America.
The Politics of Carnival was organized by Aurélie Godet and María Laura Reali, with a committee composed of Gilles Bertrand, Anna Caiozzo-Roussel, Milla Cozart Riggio, Nathalie Dessens, Samuel Kinser, Guillaume March, Denis-Constant Martin, Michel Prum, Helen A. Regis, Monika Salzbrunn, Randy J. Sparks and Claire Tancons.
The conference was held on 13-14 February so as to coincide with the annual ‘promenade de Bœuf-Gras’ (Fat Cow Parade), one of the highlights of the Paris carnival.