Choreographies of Disclosure: What the Mind Forgets is a public act of solidarity. This socially engaged, long-form project, has been developed by performance artist and community organizer Jadelynn Stahl in collaboration with four Bay Area multidisciplinary artists and four individuals who have experienced sexual assault. Occurring in chapters over the course of multiple exhibitions, this work seeks to elevate the voices and stories of those who are often forgotten and/or silenced within our mainstream movements. The 2019 Pro Arts residency will feature artists and survivors from the LGBTQIA+ communities.
Choreographies of Disclosure uses performance and exhibition to complicate existing social narratives surrounding the aftermath of sexual violence. It is an artistic investigation into how the traumatized body is perceived and how the somatic expressions of an individual who has experienced assault are interpreted. Individuals who have experienced assault are often called upon to recount their experiences in words. Verbal language remains insufficient in conveying what is a site-specific, bodily trauma – a trauma that continues to live within the cells of our skin. This project aims to develop deeper investment and richer empathy within our communities, by reflecting assault survivor’s stories in a different way: through the ways our bodies speak when our words are not enough.
This five-week exhibition will include performances; panels featuring local organizers, artists and community leaders; as well as community forums and public conversations. These events will provide tangible opportunities for restorative and transformative encounters within our artistic and social communities, and endeavor to spark dialogues which result in further, survivor-led movement building.
Jadelynn Stahl is a radical, interdisciplinary performance artist and community organizer based in Oakland, California. Fusing elements of durational art, video, ritual and burlesque, her work seeks to centralize and complicate socially prevalent narratives concerning systemic cultures of violence, in particular gender-based violence and forced assimilation. As a queer, bi-racial, cis woman survivor of sexual and intimate partner assault, Stahl offers her body as a site of artistic investigation, exploring somatic and psychological expression in relation to legacies of trauma as well as cultural, racial and sexual identities via performance and direct art-action.
Her artistic work has been shown both domestically and internationally in museums, festivals and performance venues including Fort Mason Center (San Francisco, CA), Galería de la Raza (San Francisco, CA), Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (San Francisco, CA), SOMArts (San Francisco, CA), Pro Arts (Oakland, CA), The VORTEX (Austin, TX), the Camden People’s Theater (London, England) and as part of the Kaliedeskop PsK2 Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark) and the Hemispheric Institute’s 2016 Encuentro in Santiago, Chile.
As a community organizer, Stahl works collaboratively to incite dialogues which contribute to the movement to end sexual assault. In the Bay Area, she has worked with Slutwalk SF, Women Organized to Resist and Defend, Ruby’s Place, La Casa de las Madres, the Berkeley Coalition Against Sexual Violence and in support of the Erotic Service Providers Union. Nationally, she is working with the art-activist effort FORCE, helping to organize the 2019 culminating display of the Monument Quilt, a crowd-sourced collection of thousands of stories from survivors of rape and abuse. She is the co-founder and lead coordinator of DISCLOSE, a queer, Oakland-based collective of artists and educators who last produced the bi-coastal direct action and video, We Will Not Be Silent, featuring the voices of survivors of sexual assault, asserting that our vision of a world without gender-based violence persists in the face of the current administration. The action was presented in partnership with FORCE, as part of Oakland’s Anti-Police Terror Project’s call for 120 hours of direct action the week of the 2017 inauguration. In addition, Stahl serves as the LGBTQIA+ Program Manager at Oakland’s Bay Area Women Against Rape.
This project is made possible through the support of the East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation, and through the donations of numerous community members. Additional funds are provided by Pro Arts’ Visual Art Program partners the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program.