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Expanded project: Witness by Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor 1 – 18 September 2018, Courtyard Galleries, Lecture Room & Residency Spaces
Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor / Muttererde (film poster image), 2017 / multi-voice video project / Photography Mayowa Lynette / Image courtesy the artist
As part of a programme of live events, screenings, talks and lectures that will accompany the exhibition, IMMA has invited the Berlin-based American artist, film-maker and archivist Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor to present Witness, a three-week project running 1 – 18 September 2018. Witness focuses on creating a space for discussions on race and race relations, and features a screening of Taylor’s film Muttererde (2017), and a series of salons and workshops. The project takes place across exhibition and residency spaces at IMMA.
Screening / Discussion Friday 14 September / 6pm Lecture Room / Book Now The multi-voice video project Muttererde (2017) is screened at IMMA. A key part of Taylor’s current research project, this film calls for femme forms of ancestral history in the face of the often-interrupted knowledge of the African diaspora in Europe and elsewhere. The film asks questions such as; what are rituals, teachings and abilities passed on from our matriarchs? How do these inherited skills serve us or inhibit us today? Muttererde features individual portraits of five black femmes, set around conversations on the knowledge and non-knowledge of their mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers and as far back as the knowledge carries them. Muttererde is an artwork but also forms a powerful archive in and of itself.
To follow, the film lecturer, classifier and author Dr Zélie Asava moderates a discussion with the artist that explores questions of identity and representation in film, cinema and archive. This draws on concepts of intersectional feminism and critical race theory that underpin Taylor’s research and most recent projects.
Dr Zélie Asava is a classifier at the Irish Film Classification Office and lectures at University College Dublin. She is the author of Mixed Race Cinemas: Multiracial Dynamics in America and France (Bloomsbury, 2017) and The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Irish Identities on Film and TV (Peter Lang 2013). In 2011, she was awarded Young Irish Studies Scholar of the year, and in 2014 she gave a keynote on mixed-race representations in Irish cinema at the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University, Chicago. She is the co-author (with Prof. Diane Negra) of ‘Race and Cinema’ in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Cinema and Media Studies (Oxford University Press 2013), and has published many essays on race, gender and sexuality in Irish, French, American and African cinemas in a wide range of books and journals, including Masculinity and Irish Popular Culture: Tiger’s Tales (2014); World Cinema Directory: Africa (2014); Viewpoints: Theoretical Perspectives on Irish Visual Texts (2013); Images of the Modern Vampire: The Hip and the Atavistic (2013); France’s Colonial Legacies: Memory, Identity and Narrative (2013); World Cinema Directory: France (2013). Book Now
Salon: Archiving as Resistance, Inherited Identities Tuesday 18 September / 6.30 – 8.30pm / Drop-in - Limited Places Courtyard Galleries / East Ground / Further details The salon as part of Witness is modelled after the monthly salon sessions that Taylor founded in 2012 Black in Berlin. For the past two years, these monthly gatherings have been a space for discussions on race and race relations. Adopting a ‘kitchen table’ format, in the past the salons’ topics ranged from Cultural Appropriation to Integration to Model Minorities to the New Diaspora. Each salon begins with a conversation between Taylor and an invited guest speaker before the discussion is extended to the wider group present.
At IMMA, the salon’s conversation is with guest speaker Natasha A. Kelly and focuses on two issues – archiving as resistance and inherited identities. In terms of archiving, the artist states that access to historical archives is a privilege not afforded to marginalized communities. Erasing and destroying documents, folklore and historical records is a tool often used to oppress these communities. In the salon, oral history as a means of protest and DIY ritual as a means of survival will be discussed. With inherited identities, Taylor asks ‘How does our ancestral DNA affect our identity? In what ways does generational trauma shape our day to day? How do we begin the process to unlearn traumatic habits and rituals?’ Issues such as body hacking, femme futurity and identity politics will be discussed.
The salon takes place within the spaces of Andrea Geyer’s exhibition When We in the Courtyard Galleries at IMMA. It is open to the public but has limited capacity.
Natasha A. Kelly has a PhD in Communication Studies and Sociology with her research focus on colonialism and feminism. Born and bred in the United Kingdom and raised in Germany, Kelly was the elected representative of the European Union in the Council for Integration and Migration of the Berlin Senate (2012 – 2016). Kelly considers herself to be an “academic activist” (two important features that can be seen individually, but never separately from each other). Rooted in the Pan-African culture of her Jamaican heritage her political and academic works relate to the past, present, and future of the African Diaspora in Germany. As an editor, author and lecturer at diverse private and state universities in Germany and Austria she uses different art forms to materialize “untouchable” phenomena like racism and sexism as demonstrated in her exhibition EDEWA. This enables her to connect theory and practice and highlight the importance and necessity of the transfer-lines between politics, academia and society. Her dissertation titled: “Afrokultur. ‘der raum zwischen gestern und morgen’” (Unrast Verlag 2016) deals with the life and works of W. E. B. Du Bois, Audre Lorde and May Ayim, three Black knowledge workers who framed Afro-German identity. Kelly's debut film "Milli's Awakening" was commissioned by the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art and is the winner of the Black Laurel Film Award 2018. The publication of the same name is available at www.NatashaAKelly.com
A Celebration of Crocosmia x A collaborative project with asylum seekers in Ireland that brings art, poetry and horticulture together
Saturday 8 September / 13.00 - 15.00 / Front Lawn, IMMA / Free
Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora corm / Photo courtesy of Sean Breithaupt
Crocosmia × marks a new chapter in The Plurality of Existence…, a project, initated by artist Clodagh Emoe that explores representation from the unique perspective of those who are not represented in, or by, the legislative, cultural and political frameworks within our society.
Crocosmia × aims to cultivate crocosmia × croscosmiiflora, (also known as Montbretia, Back to School Flower and Fealeastram Dearg) common to Irish roadsides and native to South Africa as a new metaphor for diversity in Ireland that questions received notions of what is ‘native’ and what is ‘foreign’.
Working with Hallah Farhan Dawood, Ragad Farhan Dawood, Papy Kahoya Kasongo, Fatemeh Bastanalam, Mohamad Fadaie and Romeo Kibambe Kitenge to cultivate this metaphor through workshops in primary and secondary schools, a site-specific public artwork for Grangegorman and the artwork at IMMA. The planting of wild flowers in the front lawn offers a symbol for hope and a gentle reminder of the challenges and obstacles endured by those displaced by political, social and environmental issues.
Join us on the front lawn of IMMA for a family friendly celebratory event to hear poetry by Siniša Končić, Marie Claire Mundi Njong and Jean-Marie Rukundo Phillemon. Guest speakers include: Clodagh Emoe (artist), Leo Walsh (National Botanic Gardens), Rory Halpin (Spirasi) and Papy Kahoya Kasongo.
No booking is required, this is a free event, refreshments will be provided. On the occasion of wet weather the event will take place in The Project Spaces.
This project has been generously funded by Dublin City Council and ‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman Public Art. Special thanks to Mary Condon, Head OPW Gardener of RHK/IMMA.
Neighbouring collaborating sites: Grangegorman campus (DIT, HSE); Spirasi; Mosney Direct Provision Centre; D7 Educate Together Primary School; St. Paul’s Secondary School, Brunswick St. and St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Stanhope Street.
The publication The Plurality of Existence... an anthology of poetry is on sale in the IMMA Shop. Proceeds go to The Friends of the Centre Ballaghaderreen.