Friday, March 22, 2019

Kearra Amaya Gopee: Work in progress

Wednesday 27 March, 2019, 7 pm, at Alice Yard


Artist Kearra Amaya Gopee has been in residence at Alice Yard during the month of March 2019. On Wednesday 27 March, they will present recent video work and a new installation in progress.

The video work Artifact #3: Terra Nullius is the self-referential final peg of a three-part work that visualises how personhood, family, and intimacy are influenced by lineages of trauma and spirituality within diasporic Caribbean identity. This piece closes the artist’s Artifacts series, a trilogy exploring how migration and memory affects manifestations of the Anglophone Caribbean family from the pre-Independence period to the present, using Gopee’s own family history as a point of reference.

Employing scrying and speculative non-fiction to demonstrate agency in crafting models of communication and care within the present, Terra Nullius abandons nostalgic desires for the biological family structure in favour of alternative kinships. The term “terra nullius” is “used in international law to describe territory that may be acquired by a state’s occupation of it.” Here, the state refers to that of being, one that is constantly being renegotiated with the entry/exit of new modalities with which we engage each other and subsequently reconstruct the self.

All are invited.


Kearra Amaya Gopee’s practice focuses on the nature of violence and erasure, and the particularities of that which is inflicted on the Caribbean by the global north. Using personal experiences as a point of departure, they address themes of migration, intergenerational trauma, queerness, and difference while seeking to complicate the viewer’s understanding of economic and social marginalisation in the postcolonial Caribbean. Through photography, animation, video, installation, coding, sound, and handicraft, their observations are translated into ephemeral photographs, installations, and objects. Their work interweaves the personal with the historical, the mythological with the material.

Gopee is a visual artist and photographer living and working between Carapichaima, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brooklyn, New York. They have been included in recent exhibitions at AC Institute, Jenkins Johnson Projects and the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1. Gopee has completed residencies at Vermont Studio Centre, ACRE, and NLS Kingston, and will be in residence at Red Bull Arts Detroit this summer. They hold a BFA in Photography and Imaging from New York University and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2018.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Shannon Lewis: Get Me Bodied

Thursday 21 February, 2019, 7.30 pm, at Alice Yard


On Thursday 21 February, 2019, artist Shannon Lewis will present a one-night installation of her ongoing project Get Me Bodied at Alice Yard, offering “an intricate and philosophical narrative, touching on issues of decoloniality, self-worth, and commodification.”

All are invited.


The artist writes:

“In Get Me Bodied, shapeshifting is an adaptation. It is the work we do to be able to move between spaces, classes, and geographies. But what does that work — the constant reworking — do to our bodies or our minds? It is about the performance and the objects that we collect along the way. We primp, preen, fix up — look sharp, grow, develop appendages that are useful until they’re not. It is about mobility, intersecting with sexuality, gender, race, immigration, class, economics, and social climbing.

“The task of a migrant is to learn the anatomy of a new society and reconstruct yourself in a new accommodating form. This framework and your performance in it are never invisible to you. So you either become flexible with the constant social contortions, or you fold over and break. The work sits in a space that contemplates the push and pull of this operation. It sits in a space that has fun with high femme performance fantasy and total exhaustion. Self-making as sport, for access and for life.”


Shannon Lewis is a Canadian-born, Berlin-based artist with Trinidadian roots, whose practice encompasses painting, installation, and performance. She has exhibited in Canada, the United States, Britain, and Germany. She has a BA from OCADU in Toronto (2006) and an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London (2014).