Act I: Way Over There Inside Me
Tuesday, Nov 19, 6pm
Featuring Autumn Knight, Christina Sharpe, Dionne Brand, and Dark Adaptive
Act II: I See You Across That Water
Friday, Nov 22, 8pm
Featuring Deja Smith, Arthur Jafa, and Gaika
Dyson's presentation at Pace will take place across two distinct performative acts featuring Autumn Knight, Christina Sharpe, Dionne Brand, and Dark Adaptive on November 19, and Deja Smith, Arthur Jafa, and Gaika on November 22.
'I think blackness will swallow the whole of terror to be free. It will move across distances, molecules, units–through architecture, atmospheres and concrete, in magic and bloodstreams to self-liberate. To image and imagine movements and geographies of freedom, known and unknown, is to regard this space as irreducible, or to regard black spatial movement as irreducible.'–Torkwase Dyson, November 2019
Drawing on her theory of "black compositional thought," Torkwase Dyson's two-act performance and sculptural installation I Can Drink the Distance creates a platform through which contemporary artists, writers, and musicians can consider black spatial and ecological relations in our current times. For Dyson, one of the most pressing issues today is human-induced climate change, a defining phenomenon of the Anthropocene. For this project Dyson considers the Anthropocene's relationship to racism, plantation slavery, and the white supremacy that informed much of industrialisation–a matrix of relations referred to as the Plantationocene. Staged over two evenings, Dyson's highly spatial practice becomes a means through which to navigate shared environmental precarities; hauntology; architecture; unfixed geographies composed by black bodies; and properties of movement, narrative, scale and sound that can provide networks of liberation.
Presented in collaboration with the Performa Biennial-a New York city-wide festival of performance art during the month of November, Pace Live will present a new multimedia performative installation by Torkwase Dyson (b. 1973, Chicago). Grounded in painting and sculpture, Dyson's work considers the relationship between race and geography and engages with geometric abstraction to explore an alternative means to represent historical and environmental triumphs and trauma.
Incorporating minimalist sculptural forms with acts of sound, movement, and literature, Dyson's new work explores the practice of black movement as it relates to environmental liberation. Drawing on the artist's theory of 'black compositional thought,' the project brings together contemporary thought leaders from a variety of disciplines to express spatial and architectural imagination in the time of the 'Plantationocene.' With diverse contributions that intersect with the artists' architecture and direction, the project becomes a platform from which to navigate how paths, throughways, waterways, memories, architecture, objects and geographies are composed by black bodies and how properties of energy, space, scale, distance and sound interact as networks of liberation.
Press release courtesy Pace Gallery.