Revue will be performed Thursday 25 October (tomorrow!) from 17:30 BST until Friday 26 October 17:30 BST at the SPILL Festival of Performance.
The work is also being live streamed in:
Performance is Alive: https://www.performanceisalive.com
Revue, referencing Josephine Baker’s “La Revue Nègre” (1925), is a choreographed, repeated routine performed naked, set to Cab Calloway’s popular Cotton Club track “Pickin’ up the Cabbage”. Revue will be filtered digitally through institutions in cities throughout the world where Baker performed, and then back into the public domain. I have been training my body to perform for 24 hours, referencing 24 hour news cycles and spectacle in the media. The performance is intent on reimagining the representation of black bodies, with an emphasis on protection, care, positioning and preservation.
Revue has the potential to invite multidirectional memory work by locating the performance within terms of reference including: slavery and the spectacle of bondage (slave auctions); consumption of culture and black presence within art institutions; visual consumption of the human body; 24 hour news cycles; dance marathons of the 1930s; monitoring and surveillance; operating in the world despite pain; narratology; time – circular time, racial time, revolutionary time – we can take this further, and also makes references to #TimesUp…more on that to follow. “When black life matters, time itself is altered, creating “revolutionary time”. To make America great again is, then, to make it “white again,” a temporal action in which the future becomes more like the past and less like the present.” (Mirzoeff http://www.e-flux.com/journal/79/94164/below-the-water-black-lives-matter-and-revolutionary-time/ ) This quotation is important because time and repetition, historically and physically, aligns the theory of multi-directional memory with revolutionary time, understanding that the precarity of black lives today are embedded in a history of transatlantic slavery, institutional colonial administrative processes and imperial expansion.