jaamil olawale kosoko: Black Body Amnesia

Thu, Jul 7 / 7–8 pm

The exhibition Garmenting: Costume as Contemporary Art includes a series of live events featuring artists who engage critically with fashion and costume through live and video-based performances.

To accompany their film Chameleon: A Visual Album, Garmenting artist jaamil olawale kosoko will perform an excerpt from their new living artwork, Black Body Amnesia. This project was developed out of kosoko's ongoing, multi-media, live art project, American Chameleon, which explores queer theories of the body and its "hydraulics of grief." The performance lecture will blend poetry and memoir, conversation, and moving image, offering a framework to consider the fluid identities and life-worlds inside contemporary Black America. 

This intimate, one-hour performance will take place in The Theater at MAD and will be followed by a talkback. 

Garmenting: Costume as Contemporary Art is the first global survey to examine the use of clothing as a medium of visual art. By either making or altering clothing for expressive purposes, the 35 international artists in the exhibition create garments, sculpture, installation, and performance art that transforms dress into a critical tool for exploring issues of subjectivity, identity, and difference.

About the artist

jaamil olawale kosoko is a Nigerian American performance artist, poet, and curator originally from Detroit, MI. Their creative practice draws from Black study and queer theories of the body, weaving together visual performance, lecture, ritual, and spiritual practice. Recent awards include: 2020 Pew fellowship, 2020-21 resident artist at the Wexner Center for the Arts, 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Choreography, 2019 NPN Development Fund Award, 2019-21 Movement Research Artist in Residence, 2018-20 Live Feed Artist at New York Live Arts, 2017-19 Princeton Arts Fellow, 2019 Red Bull Writing Fellow, 2017 MAP Fund recipient, and a 2017 Cave Canem Poetry fellow. Their works have toured internationally to South Africa, Europe, Canada, and throughout the US, appearing in festivals and venues such as The Centre for the Less Good Idea (Johannesburg), Fusebox Festival (Austin), PICA | Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Tanz im August (Berlin), Moving in November (Finland), Within Practice (Sweden),TakeMeSomewhere (UK), Brighton Festival (UK), Oslo Teaterfestival (Norway), and Zürich MOVES! (Switzerland) among others. They are the author of two chapbooks: Animal in Cyberspace and Notes on An Urban Killfloor. Their poems and essays have been included in The American Poetry Review, The Dunes Review, The Broad Street Review, among others. Season 1 of their interview-based podcast, American Chameleon can be found on all podcast platforms. In Fall 2020, they were the Alma Hawkins Visiting Chair in the World Arts and Cultures Department at UCLA and they are currently a lecturer in the arts at Princeton University.

Kosoko’s new art book, Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts, is available for purchase at The Store at MAD. Visit jaamil.com or follow @jaamil_means_beauty on Instagram for more information. 

Photo: Erik Carter

The presentation of Black Body Amnesia was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Please review our health and safety protocols before you arrive. MAD strongly recommends all visitors six months and older are vaccinated against Covid-19 and visitors ages two and up wear face coverings, even if vaccinated. Thank you for your cooperation.

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