The Experimenta Debate
Join a selection of practitioners working with the moving image to discuss the issues that matter to both artists and audiences.
13:00 - 17:00
Image: FI DEM II Dir Zinzi Minott
Inspired by the ‘Strategies of Refusal’ Experimenta 2019 programme, this year’s Experimenta Debate invites artists working with the moving image to explore the resistive strategies they employ in their engagement with visual culture. This year’s presenters include Judah Attille, Tanoa Sasraku-Ansah, Adam Farah (free.yard), Kumbirai Makumbe and Experimenta artist Zinzi Minott. With the lineage of artists moving image still largely stemming from a singular history of avant-garde and experimental cinema, this debate offers an alternative perspective on what innovation and radicality means for artists whose work foregrounds Black experience. What alternative lineages of experimental film practice are artists drawing from? To what extent are artists of marginalised identities able to privilege form over content in their engagement with the audio-visual? Beyond representation, what strategies are artists employing in their practices to address socio-political issues in their work? These provocations follow up on last year’s Debate in which Rabz Lansiquot, Taylor Le Melle & Experimenta 2018 artists Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Ayo Akingbade and Morgan Quaintance discussed their positions on representation in visual culture, considering the extent to which the visibility of subjects on screen correlates to those same subjects’ agency and sovereignty in praxis.
Rabz Lansiquot is a filmmaker, writer, curator, and DJ. They were a leading member of sorryyoufeeluncomfortable (SYFU) collective from its inception in 2014. Rabz is currently Curator In Residence at LUX Moving Image, developing a public and educational programme around Black liberatory cinema. Their first solo exhibition where did we land, an experimental visual essay exploring the use of images of anti-black violence in film and media, was on view at LUX in Summer 2019, presented alongside a programme of screenings and a study day. They work alongside Imani Robinson as artistic and curatorial duo Languid Hands, are a programme advisor for London Film Festival's Experimenta strand, and a board member at City Projects. They are also training to deliver workshops in using Super 8 cameras and film at not.nowhere.
Judah Attille is an independent filmmaker and educator. Attille is best known for her critically acclaimed 16mm film Dreaming Rivers (1988). During 2017, Dreaming Rivers has screened at Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Nottingham Contemporary and South London Gallery in retrospective shows featuring art from the 1980s. Judah is currently on a Techne Funded Scholarship undertaking her PhD at the University of the Arts, entitled: Africandescence: How does a Sankofa aesthetic function in a British black female reading of avant-garde films?
Zinzi Minott's work focuses on the relationship between dance, bodies and politics. Strongly identifying as a dancer, she seeks to complicate the boundaries of dance and the place of black female bodies within the form. Her work explores how dance is perceived through the prisms of race, queer culture, gender and class. Zinzi is interested in the space between dance and other art forms, and though her practice is driven through dance, the outcomes range from performance and live art to sound, film, dances and object-based work.
Most recently she has was awarded the Arts Council England's Artist International Development Fund, Jerwood Micro Bursary and the Live Art UK/ Live Art Development Agency- Diverse Actions Leadership Bursary. She was Artist in Residence at the Serpentine Gallery 2018, and is currently one of two artist commissioned under CONTINUOUS - a four-year partnership between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead) and Siobhan Davies Dance to explore the relationship between contemporary dance and the visual arts. The work will premier autumn 2019 at BALTIC, touring 2020.
Adam Farah is an artist and composer born-n-raised in London and is a Capricorn Sun, Cancer Rising, Leo Moon. They also practise under and within the name free.yard - an ongoing situational and unstable project set up to engage with and merge curatorial, research, artistic and equitable communal practices; with a focus on the ever-expansive and nuanced creative endeavours and potentials that emerge from endz. free.yard casts a side-eye on to the oppressive and supremacist structures upheld within the complacent and performative liberal bubbles of the artworld/s, and in the long term desires to create collaborative moments for artists to connect, manifest and exhale under such weight.
Kumbirai Makumbe is an artist and designer who has a keen interest in curatorial methodologies. They are situation dependant, transform and metamorphose to ceaselessly take on various forms and manoeuvre through a diverse range of spaces. They take special interest in the materiality of digitally generated matter, the endless possibilities of their employability but also their ever-increasing capabilities for communication. They place significant effort into speculative explorations of alternative modes of being and thinking that could negate exclusionary acts and ideologies. Their work continually interrogates the multi-dimensionality of blackness, exclusionary acts and notions of inclusion, 'in-betweeness' and 'caring'.
Tanoa Sasraku (1995, Plymouth, Devon) works with themes examining the intersections of her identity as a young, mixed-race, gay woman and the endeavour to draw these senses of self together as one in 21st century England. Her new moving image work O' Pierrot, which premiered in an installation at Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, was produced as part of The New Flesh residency which supports an emergent artist to work within the context of a professional costumiers and supported by LUX.