Frontlines Of All Kind

Must we be dead to rest in peace?

Documentary film follows Black Power Naps through rehearsals for a show that is ultimately cancelled because of COVID. It tells a story we must come to understand parallels the story that the artists (of color) are telling through the work: the story of how artists (of color) are structured into working. Sosa and Navild are established in the FRONTLINES narrative, practically chipper as we follow them behind the scenes of their upcoming project until the annulment.



Essay by artist and educator Mandy Williams


FRONTLINES OF ALL KIND is a new video commission by The Ford Foundation Gallery (NYC) as part of the online exhibition indisposable : Structure of Support After the ADA, curated by Jessica A. Cooley and Ann M. Fox. The film documenting artists Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa endeavors and challenges during the pandemic. The filming occurred during the rehearsal period of the Black Power Naps opera “Choir of the Slain" slated to premier at a Berlin theater in the fall of 2020. The opera offers a lush audiovisual landscape where rest and idleness reclaim power and offer healing for the people who are most denied rest and relaxation. Based on historic truths and recent studies, we know that race, class, and socio-economic status determine the amount of quality rest that one can achieve. Working under the strain of a global pandemic exacerbates this social inequity for many, particularly Black people who labor at front lines of all kinds. By creating a collage of the beautiful moments found against the backdrop of institutional power structures, FRONTLINES OF ALL KIND offers an insight into what liberating spaces of rest for Black and racialized people entails.

Launch event at the Ford Foundation Gallery
3 March 2021


Virtual event via Zoom. The video presentation was followed by a conversation between artist Mandy Harris Williams, Sosa, and Acosta.

ABOUT THE CURATORS
Jessica A. Cooley and Ann M. Fox have been curatorial collaborators since 2009. Jessica is a scholar-curator currently finishing her dissertation titled Crip Materiality, which forwards a new methodology to address how ableism affects the understanding and valuation of the very fibers of art materials within curatorial and conservation discourses; Ann is a Professor of English at Davidson College in Davidson, NC, with specialties in disability studies in literature and art. They have co-curated two disability-related exhibitions together, RE/FORMATIONS: Disability, Women, and Sculpture and STARING. In addition, both Jessica and Ann have been invited to give national and international talks, hired as consultants to lend their expertise to issues related to disability and art, and contributed to a broad range of other curatorial projects and publications.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Black Power Naps is a sculptural installation, vibrational device and curatorial initiative that reclaims laziness and idleness as power. Departing from historical records that show that deliberate fragmentation of restorative sleep patterns were used to subjugate and extract labor from enslaved people, we have realised that this extraction has not stopped, it has only morphed. A state of constant fatigue is still used to break our will. This “sleep gap” shows that there are front lines in our bedrooms as well as the streets: deficit of sleep and lack of free time for some is the building block of the “free world.” After learning who benefits most from restful sleep and down time, we are creating interactive surfaces for a playful approach to investigate and practice deliberate energetic repair. As Afro Latinx artists, we believe that reparation must come from the institution under many shapes, one of them being the redistribution of rest, relaxation, and down times. Mandy Harris Williams is an artist and community worker living and working in Los Angeles. In her artwork, she creates and performs multiple didactic and deconstructive gestures that unpack themes of race and social structures, desire, tech, algorithm, and attentionality. In her work as Programming Director at the Women's Center for Creative Work, she programs in a similarly creative and responsive way, creating events, book clubs, workshops, artist talks and community clubs.

Mandy Harris Williams is an artist and community worker living and working in Los Angeles. In her artwork, she creates and performs multiple didactic and deconstructive gestures that unpack themes of race and social structures, desire, tech, algorithm, and attentionality. In her work as Programming Director at the Women's Center for Creative Work, she programs in a similarly creative and responsive way, creating events, book clubs, workshops, artist talks and community clubs.

SHOP


Black Power Naps, Choir of the Slain XX (General Rehearsal) 2020


€10 / 33mins
The general rehearsal footage of Choir of the Slain part XX is the first full run of the show that took place before the last minute cancellation. Observe how the artists Navild Acosta, Fannie Sosa and Yvette Robertson are far more present in this presentation.


Black Power Naps, Choir of the Slain XX, Full Performance


€22 / 78mins
Watch the emergency performance of Choir of the Slain Pt. XX, the bespoke evening length presentation. This recording took place after the show was cancelled by the institution with 5 hours notice and after discovering unsafe COVID practices on behalf of the institution. The show was performed as a live broadcast on an unprogrammed date and not marketed to the artists audiences.
Performers: Navild Acosta, Fannie Sosa and Yvette Robertson


Black Power Naps Magazine #1 & #2
(2018 & 2019)


€30
The Black Power Naps magazines are a project by Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa. Issue number one was printed in partnership with Associacion Orgullo Madrid & Matadero Madrid in Spain, in 2018. Issue number two was printed in New York City in collaboration with VICE (Broadly) and Performance Space New York in 2019. Both publications include exclusive essays, illustrations and images from Black Power Naps artists and their vast community of Black creators.


Bundle of All 3


€50
Enjoy the full selection! Choir of the Slain part XX (Dress Rehearsal) + Choir of the Slain (Full Performance) + Black Power Naps Magazine PDF’s of issues number one and two.

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