Evil Nigger pt 1-5 at The Kitchen, NYC Jan 2018; w/ Jeremy Toussaint Baptise, Andre Zachery, Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson & Nyugen Smith; Photo by Cameron Kelly; All Rights Reserved- the artists, ISSUE PROJECT ROOM and The Kitchen
Untitled (Liner Notes to Evil Nigger Performance for Julius Eastman) by LaMont Hamilton
“the reason why i use that particular word is because
it has a, what i call, basicness about it. That is to say[…]the first niggers were field niggers
and upon that is the basis of the american economic system…
That is what i call the first and great nigger, field niggers.
And what i mean by niggers is that thing which is fundamental.
that person or thing that attains to a basicness, a fundamentalness
and assuage that thing which is…elegant.”
What does it mean to be hideously elegant?
To exhibit grace in the face of a brutal and regulative existence of a system
built precisely on the grounds or field which blood bone soil, blood bone foundation
is located in the economy of your disagreeable blackness. ‘That which is fundamental’
to this economy- your death as capital.
The Nigger as an uncomfortable prefiguration of unrequited entanglement with capital.
At the locus of this (beyond) conceptualization is, once again,
the iconic figure of the black slave who's representation
(in the deepest depths of the darkest well flickering light on the wall,
face and eyes raised and turning to coming of the day)
is all that which is most complex about this country.
or a complex, to put it more straight. There are facts.
Nigger as (de) composition of damnation and saving grace.
Despised inamorat(a)o who’s flesh must be incessantly consumed
for the basic american economic system survival.
“A nigger attains himself or herself to the ground of anything.
thats what i mean by nigger so there are many niggers,
there are many different kinds of niggers.
there are, of course, 99 names of Allah but there are 52 niggers.”
Attaining and attending to the grounds. The soil.
Imagine a tilling and unearthing of artifacts that reveal talismans.
Mythical figures that initiate a multitude of declensions.
(a rush of white noise) (fade)
Blood bone deep dig that, in the golden ray of remembered
forgotten memory, revealed mustard seed sized magic
that eclipses the initial forecast of simply evil, crazy and good niggers to unveil a much deeper than imagined, 52 Niggers.
(rush of astonished gasps) (white noise. temporarily off air)
And at that, a lesser god. Blossomed.
Blooming of buried blood bone deep seeds
into radical presences.
Dawn is approaching. New Day
There is not much more to say except Thank You. And please accept this work of art as a sincere act of love and devotion.
Yours with love,
The One(s) Dedicated to Emancipation
*(Quotes are from Julius Eastman’s Introduction to his 1980 concert at Northwestern University