The first artist to be featured in the FAR & Away programming is Keioui Keijaun Thomas. Thomas will be joining FAR for a livestreamed presentation on her performance and poetic based work. Audience members will be able to ask questions live on the night of the event.
Tuesday October 12th, 2021 @ 7pm
Recording of Livestream: TBA
Keioui Keijaun Thomas (b. 1989, based in Brooklyn, New York) creates live performance and multimedia installations that address blackness outside of a codependent, binary structure of existence. Her work investigates the histories, symbols, and images that construct notions of Black identity within black personhood. The materials employed by Thomas function as tools, objects, and structures to compose a visual language that can be read, observed, and repeated within spatial, temporal, and sensorial environments.
Through movement and matter, Thomas deconstructs, and reconstructs notions of visibility, hyper-visibility, passing, trespassing, eroticized, and marginalized representations of black bodies in relation to disposable labor, domestic service, and notions of thingness. Her performances combine rhapsodic layers of live and recorded voice, reciting her own poetry and slipping between various modes of address, to explore the pleasures and pressures of dependency, care, and support. Thomas underscores the endurance and intimacy that care work demands from those expected to perform it — predominantly black women, black femmes, and people of color. By centering self and communal care in real-time, Thomas’ practice aims to build bridges of understanding, and community, to create safer spaces for black people and people of color.
Thomas is the inaugural winner of the Queer|Art 2020 Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists and the Franklin Furnace Fund Recipient for 2018. She earned her Masters degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA with Honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Thomas has presented work nationally and internationally at ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio, Finland (2019); Fierce Festival, Birmingham, Uk (2019); Skopje Pride Queer Arts Festival, Skopje, Macedonia (2020); The Rhubarb Festival, Toronto, Canada (2020); Time Based Arts Festival, Portland, Oregon (2016); Dweller Festival, Brooklyn, NY (2020); Rapid Pulse Performance Art Festival, Chicago, IL (2016); SPILL Festival of Performance, Ipswich, UK (2014); Out of Site Festival, Chicago, IL (2014).
My Last American Dollar: Round 1. Tricking and Flipping Coins: Making Dollars Hit, Round 2. Black Angels in the Infield: Dripping Faggot Sweat, Round 3. Whatchu Gonna Do: Marvelous like Marva, Fierce Festival, 2019, Part of A Very Fierce Grand Opening. Presented in partnership with Unmuted, Birmingham Musuem and Art Gallery, UK, photo by Manuel Vason, 2019
Come Hell or High Femmes:
Act 2. The Last Trans Femmes on Earth: Dripping Doll Energy!, Film-still by Christopher Sonny Martinez, 2021