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A Proposition by Malik Gaines: “The Race Speech”

Public Programs

A Proposition by Malik Gaines: “The Race Speech”

October 19 – 20 2012

“The Race Speech” is a talk about Gaines’s ongoing research into race and gender as sites of representation, performativity, and action. Drawing from his own scholarly writing and past performance projects, including works by My Barbarian, Gaines will discuss a series of examples that engage with black performance as a critical mode bound by historic constraints, but activating countercultural potential. Presented as a series of connected fragments, this talk is a development of Gaines’s ongoing book project, attempting to bring his PhD dissertation on ’60s performances together with his own creative work and writing about contemporary art and culture.

On day two, Malik has invited Alicia Hall Moran, who will discuss her performance work, reflecting on representations of race and gender in the various roles she has played.

Propositions is a public forum that explores ideas in development. Each two-day seminar introduces a topic of current investigation in an invited speaker’s own artistic or intellectual practice. Over the course of a seminar session, these developing ideas are responded to, researched, and discussed to propel them forward in unique ways.

Malik Gaines is an artist, writer, and curator. With the collective My Barbarian, Gaines has performed and exhibited internationally. Solo exhibitions have included Participant Inc., New York, the Hammer Museum and Human Resources, Los Angeles, and Museo El Eco, Mexico City. Performance and video works have been presented at MoMA, The Kitchen, the New Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, LACMA, MOCA, and REDCAT in LA, the Power Plant in Toronto, de Appel, Amsterdam, El Matadero, Madrid, Galleria Civica, Trento, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, CCA, Tel Aviv, and others. As a writer and curator, Gaines has explored the politics of expressivity and representation. He has written about the work of Andrea Bowers, Mark Bradford, Glenn Ligon, Sharon Hayes, and Wangechi Mutu, among others, and has organized exhibitions including: “Quadruple-Consciousness” at Vox Populi, Philadelphia, “Fade: African American Artists in Los Angeles,” for the city of Los Angeles, numerous exhibitions and programs for LAXART, Los Angeles, where he served as Curator, and “Made in L.A., 2012,” the first Los Angeles biennial, co-organized by a curatorial team from the Hammer Museum and LAXART. Gaines holds a PhD in Theater and Performance Studies from UCLA and is Assistant Professor of Art at Hunter College, City University of New York.

Alicia Hall Moran is a mezzo-soprano whose diverse credits include the ensemble of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess on Broadway (where she has performed as understudy in the legendary role of Bess) and the 2012 Whitney Biennial (where she collaborated with Jason Moran on Bleed, a music and performance residency). Trained in classical repertoire, Hall Moran’s work crosses disciplinary boundaries. 

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