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Black Body Amnesia @ The Museum of Arts and Design

June 7, 2022 @ 7:00 pm

$15 – $20
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jaamil olawale kosoko is a multi-spirited Nigerian American author, performance artist, and curator of Yoruba and Natchez descent originally from Detroit, MI. Their book Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts was released earlier this spring. Kosoko is also a 2022 MacDowell Fellow, 2020 Pew Fellow in the Arts, 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Choreography, 2017-19 Princeton Arts Fellow, 2019 Red Bull Writing Fellow, 2018 NEFA NDP Production Grant recipient, 2017 MAP Fund recipient, and 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Fellow. Their creative practice draws from Black study and queer theories of the body, weaving together visual performance, lecture, ritual, and spiritual practice.

Their live art works Chameleon (The Living Installments) premiered virtually in April 2020, Séancers (2017) and the Bessie nominated #negrophobia (2015) have toured internationally, appearing in major festivals including: Tanz im August (Berlin), Moving in November (Finland), Within Practice (Sweden), TakeMeSomewhere (UK), Brighton Festival (UK), Oslo Teaterfestival (Norway), and Zürich MOVES! (Switzerland), among others. Additionally, kosoko lectures regularly at Princeton University, Stockholm University of the Arts, and Master Exerce ICI-CCN in Montpellier, France. In Fall 2020, they were appointed the 3rd annual Alma Hawkins Visiting Chair in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA.

On July 7, they will be included within the The Museum of Arts and Design’s exhibition, Garmenting: Costume as Contemporary Art, featuring artists who engage critically with fashion and costume. To accompany their film Chameleon: A Visual Album, Garmenting artist jaamil olawale kosoko will perform an excerpt from their new living artwork, Black Body Amnesia. This project was developed out of kosoko’s ongoing, multi-media, live art project, American Chameleon, which explores queer theories of the body and its “hydraulics of grief.” The performance lecture will blend poetry and memoir, conversation, and moving image, offering a framework to consider the fluid identities and life-worlds inside contemporary Black America. kosoko will perform Black Body Amnesia again on July 9 at BAAD! Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance.

Blending poetry and memoir, conversation and performance theory, Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts, out now, enlivens a personal archive of visual and verbal offerings. Inspired by Audre Lorde’s concept of biomythography, kosoko mixes personal history, biography, and mythology to tell a complex narrative rooted in a queer, Black, self-defined, and feminist imagination. This collection of intertextual performance acts captures the ephemeral data often lost or edited out of kosoko’s live performances. Developed alongside their ongoing, multi-media live art project, American Chameleon, and elaborating on the artist’s unique practice of Socio-Choreological Mapping as a means to explore queer theories of the body and its “hydraulics of grief,” this book offers critical-creative frames to consider the fluid identities and lifeworlds embedded inside contemporary Black America.

This July, kosoko will host a quirky conversation based Instagram Live series titled “Syllabus for Black Love” featuring artists and entrepreneurs from around the globe. Further information will be available shortly.

kosoko will appear and/or perform at various venues across the country this spring and summer – including Wexner Center for the Arts, the Guggenheim, and the Institute for Contemporary Art.


June 7, 2022
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
$15 – $20
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Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019 United States
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(212) 299-7777
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Museum of Arts and Design
(212) 299-7777
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