Gabrielle Civil and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: invocations
Parallel to the exhibition how we are in time and space: Nancy Buchanan, Marcia Hafif, Barbara T. Smith, a number of artists and arts organizations have been invited to respond to one or more specific works in this exhibition, resulting in a series of “annotations”—new art works, performances, screenings, talks, and other events. This program favors annotation over remaking of historic works, initiating a dialogue with the primary exhibition, its artists, and its rich materiality, expanding these connections outward in time and space.
Gabrielle Civil and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle were invited to develop a program as a direct annotation of the exhibition. Individually, they are multidisciplinary artists, writers, and performers, with prolific bodies of work; they have also worked collaboratively in the past, in the context of “Experiments in Joy,” a Black feminist collaboration initiated by Civil inspired by African American call and response. Civil has noted that, “the aim of my work is to open up space.” Hinkle has often focused on the term “historical present,” which has served as a mantra for her work as she “examines the residue of history and how it affects our contemporary world perspective.”
Civil and Hinkle were specifically encouraged to consider the collaborative work of Nancy Buchanan and Barbara T. Smith included in the exhibition how we are in time and space. This includes Buchanan’s video document of Please Sing Along (1974), a performance at the Woman’s Building in 1974. Two “beautiful” nude men dance to music, before Buchanan and Smith, dressed in karate garments, engage in a brutal fight to the point of utter exhaustion, before reconnecting with a kiss. This was followed by the video performance With Love from A to B, initially shown during the College Art Association convention in January 1977. In the video, Smith and Buchanan’s hands silently serve as stand-ins for people in a tragicomic story of unrequited love.
Civil and Hinkle’s annotation, titled invocations, will take the form of a live durational performance in our current exhibition how we are in time and space on Sunday, June 5, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. The performance will activate the space with black femme presence, altar-making, bibliomancy (reading and divining books), and re/sounding in the space with portable percussive instruments, affirmations, and voice. Civil notes, “Our concept was for people to just come and go as they pleased as we dwelled in the space, using our actions to annotate the work in/of the show.”
This event is free and open to everyone. Advance time entry reservations are recommended. Visitors without reservations will be admitted so long as the gallery's capacity limit of 20 guests is not exceeded. Admission is always free.
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Support for this exhibition and related public programs comes from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and the Pasadena Art Alliance, with generous support from the Michael Asher Foundation. Major support for all Armory programs comes from the Los Angeles Arts Recovery Fund.
Images (from left): Kenyatta Hinkle, courtesy of the artist; Gabrielle Civil, photograph by Ally Almore.