Feminisms Unbound: Black. Body. Art. Feminist Articulations of Race, Gender, and Geography
This panel engages artistic practitioners who utilize their own bodies in their work. Three multi-media/performance artists will discuss the geographic parameters of their creative productions, the promise and perils of using their bodies as art, and the future of visual culture. Dell M. Hamilton, Anique Jordan, and Amanda Russhell Wallace will introduce us to the genres of representation and craft that allow them to create art for the future, but forged from the past. World-making is often the space between the tangible and the abstract, interiority and exteriority. How might we imagine a world made and unmade by black women? What new visions but this world engender? Black. Body. Art. will be the inaugural event of the Feminisms Unbound 2017-2018 year.
Roundtable discussion participants:
Dell. M. Hamilton
Dell M. Hamilton is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and independent curator whose research, artist talks, solo performances, collaborative projects, and group performances have been presented to a wide variety of audiences in the U.S., Italy, France, and Chile. Her practice wrestles with the social and geopolitical constructions of memory, gender, race, languages, and history through the mediums of photography, video, drawing, installation & performance (live art, theatre, film). She has completed artist residencies with Samsøñ (Boston) and bigredshiny.com. Her latest curatorial series, recently presented at Five Myles Gallery in Brooklyn and Mount Holyoke College, is entitled #BlackGirlLit: Between Performance, Literature, and Memory,” which explores the intersections between performance art and black feminist diasporic oral and written traditions. She currently works at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University and is a member of The Dark Room: Race and Visual Culture Faculty Seminar.
Anique Jordan is a multi-disciplinary artist, award-winning writer, scholar and social-entrepreneur. As an artist, her artwork plays with the aesthetics found in traditional Trinidadian carnival and the theory of hauntology challenging historical narratives and creating, what she calls, impossible images. Her art creation processes are guided by the questions: What stories do we tell that go unchallenged? And in how many ways can we know a thing? Anique’s work has taken her to Jamaica, Costa Rica, South Africa, Ecuador, Trinidad and Barbados exploring the connections between art and socio-economic survival. Anique has performed and exhibited in galleries across Canada including Art Gallery of Windsor (2017), Eastern Edge Gallery (2016), Art Gallery of Ontario (2016), Nuit Blanche (2016), Gallery 44 (2016), Crossroads Artspace (2015) and The Watah Gallery (2015). She is currently the executive director of Whippersnapper Gallery and a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Amanda Russhell Wallace
Amanda Russhell Wallace is a multimedia, multi-disciplinary-interested artist born in Dallas, Texas. Her work ranges from documentary family photography to current experiments with time-based media. Many of her projects explore internal and external (social) identities. She considers the notion that cultural identity and acceptance are based on the remnants of speech, texts, and imagery gathered and carried in various pockets of the brain throughout time. These remnants are used to represent the associations and typologies we use to form, assign (to ourselves and others), and perform identity daily, whether at home, work, the public, and online or on social media. Wallace recently joined the art department at Smith College as the Harnish Visiting Artist/Lecturer in Photography. Her artwork is exhibited nationally and internationally. Most recently, an adaptation of her video Mo(u)rning Tea, Extracted and a new video work, Here There, are being screened at e4c, a storefront electronic gallery in Seattle, WA.
Moderator: Kimberly Juanita Brown
Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies, Mount Holyoke College
Kimberly Juanita Brown's research engages the site of the visual as a way to negotiate the parameters of race, gender, and belonging. Her book, The Repeating Body: Slavery’s Visual Resonance in the Contemporary (Duke University Press) examines slavery’s profound ocular construction and the presence and absence of seeing in relation to the plantation space and the women who existed there. She is currently at work on her second book, tentatively titled “Mortevivum: Photography, Melancholy, and the Politics of the Visual.” This project examines images of the dead in The New York Times in 1994 from four geographies: South Africa, Rwanda, Sudan, and Haiti.
About Feminisms Unbound
This Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS) initiative, Feminisms Unbound, is an annual event series featuring debates that focus on feminist concerns, theories, and practices in this contemporary moment. This series is intended to foster conversations and community among Boston-area feminist intellectuals and activists. The series, in its open configuration, endeavors to allow the greatest measure of engagement across multiple disciplinary trajectories, and a full array of feminist investments.
The event organizers, who are also visiting scholars with the GCWS this year, are Kimberly Juanita Brown, Assistant Professor of English and Africana Studies, Mount Holyoke College, Lisa Lowe, Professor of English and American Studies, Tufts University, and Jyoti Puri, Professor of Sociology, Simmons College, have programmed the four events in this series.