Performance work

 
 

Evil Nigger (Pt. 1-4): A collaboration w/ Jeremy toussaint Baptise; for julius eastman

Art can tell the truth history cannot. Art has the capacity to tap into a deepness that drowns the most eloquent of words in the throat. But truth? Truth is always subjective just like art. A blur. And sometimes a personality comes along that is a living blur, a shadow at night without the presence of street lamps. A silhouette that appears and disappears depending on the mood of the moon. Julius Eastman is a shadow. A shadow insofar as the silhouette is that of a ghost. I've been haunted by Eastman. Jeremy (Toussaint Baptise- my collaborator) has been haunted as well. During a sleepless 24hr performance at JACK in Brooklyn we invited Eastman (his spirit)  in and with a gust of wind that smelled of outdoors he took up residence. His presence possessed us and we created a conversational piece with his ghost- Evil Nigger. Since his screams by way of his music wakes us at night and we listen, making sense of the pitch and tone. 

 


 

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"Evil Nigger pt 1, 2 & 3" is a collaborative performance by LaMont Hamilton and Jeremy Toussaint-Baptise. Performed sonically by Toussaint-Baptise and bodily by Hamilton this work is a conversational piece with the work of postminimalist composer Julius Eastman. Eastman's seminal orchestral piece whose provocative title is this performances namesake, Evil Nigger, was originally composed in 1979. Deeply emotional, swelling from an internalized trauma the piece contains a stirring the performance by Hamilton and Toussaint Baptise emotes. Draped in a trance/meditation Evil Nigger pt 1, 2 & 3

flesh-and-blood canvas, wrecking convention, striking out for something unknown
— Eva Yaa Asantewaa
 
Nyugen Smith and Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson in Evil Nigger pt 4 @ Issue Project Room (photo credit: Cameron Kelly courtesy of IPR) 

Nyugen Smith and Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson in Evil Nigger pt 4 @ Issue Project Room (photo credit: Cameron Kelly courtesy of IPR) 

Nyugen Smith and Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson in Evil Nigger pt 4 @ Issue Project Room (photo credit: Cameron Kelly courtesy of IPR) 

Nyugen Smith and Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson in Evil Nigger pt 4 @ Issue Project Room (photo credit: Cameron Kelly courtesy of IPR) 

stage ephemera after Evil Nigger performance at Issue Project Room (photo credit: Cameron Kelly)

stage ephemera after Evil Nigger performance at Issue Project Room (photo credit: Cameron Kelly)