The Body as Resistance featured the work of two radical local performance artists and cultural practitioners: Titania Kumeh & Jade Ariana Fair. Both Kumeh’s and Fair’s work deals with deconstructing our relationships with the body and it’s role within the capitalistic system of oppression. Through amplifications of their own histories and ancestries, they are actively and systematically subverting the agents of oppression, which spearhead the erasure of black female narratives of struggle, history, healing, and documentation. Capitalism serves as an agent of destruction against the already violenced bodies of the oppressed citizens of earth, and these artists seek to imagine a future beyond violence, beyond erasure, beyond white supremacy, and thus beyond capitalism. In a capitalistic world, radical self care is a revolutionary act of anti-violence and anti-capitalism. Envisioning a post-capitalism within an artistic context is the first step towards better future for us all.
About the Artists:
Titania Kumeh’s performances are meditations on her family, ancestry, and experiences as a first-generation, Liberian-Bahamian American maneuvering through the world in the body of a black woman. Kumeh has performed with the Brontez Purnell Dance Company and in productions by Lisa Rybovich Cralle, Sophia Wang, Wura Natasha Ogunji, and Tropic Green/Adee Roberson. She was the lead singer in the punk rock band Ugly.
Jade Ariana Fair is a multidisciplinary artist living in Oakland, CA. She works across the genre of painting, performance, sound, and installation. She is a socially engaged artist whose social practice extends to arts education with youth and a healing arts practice. She has been making art for as long as she can recall as a form of healing, guidance and self-recovery. She emphasizes resourcefulness in her practice, both her own and that of her ancestral legacy. Her arts education is a populist, community education derived from her own planetary exploration. She counts her influences from such diverse sources as the prophetic science-fiction of Octavia Butler, the body art of Ana Mendieta, and outsider artists such as Bill Traylor and Sister Gertrude Morgan. Her art praxis is both research-based and heavily guided by intuition. She paints what she sees in visions, dreams, and from visceral responses to her study of personal and generational histories. She is a 2017 artist-in-residence at The Center for Afrofuturist Studies in Iowa City.