Please join us for Animating Archives first critical duet, in which Nya Lewis and Ryan Tacata will be in conversation about their multidisciplinary practices vis-à-vis the question and problem of “the archive.”
Nya Lewis’ practice is a culmination of centuries of African resistance, love, questions, actions, study and embrace. Lewis’ sees her practice as a continuation of a long lineage of work undertaken by Black artists, curators, writers, activists and thinkers who blaze(d) a trail of critical discourse surrounding the Black experience. She works across the disciplines of art making, curating and writing. Her work is multivalent in form and expression but is always driven by the reimagining and reclaiming of community. Lewis, MFA, is an independent curator/writer currently serving as the Director of Artspeak Gallery, research assistant at the Center for the study Black Canadian Diaspora, and the inaugural Research Fellow at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Ryan Tacata is a performance maker and writer based in Vancouver. His collaborative art practice is situated between live art and social practice, and engages in place making, ordinary acts, and gift-giving. His work has been presented internationally, including at the Asian Art Museum, Stanford University, the City of Chicago, Court Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Museum of Performance + Design, and The Momentary. He is co-artistic director of the performance group For You, and Assistant Professor of Performance at the School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University.
What and where is “the archive”? What does an archive do? And how can an archive be animated and activated in ways that both address its complex power structures and oft-times embeddedness in colonial, imperial or otherwise hegemonic epistemologies and modes of capture, and search for creative responses to and refusals of its defining absences and thefts? How do scholars, artists, archivists, librarians and activists differently engage with various archives in order to think through questions of history and (individual and collective) memory, embodiment and materiality, loss and recovery, absence and presence, violence and healing, theft and repatriation, silence and testimony? And how might these archival engagements serve as powerful starting points for creative acts, community action, and political intervention––including ones that turn toward other ways of knowing, remembering, and telling? This series begins with a roundtable conversation that approaches the question and the problem of the archive from multiple disciplinary perspectives. The following two sessions take the the form of critical duets, in which artists, activists, librarians and archivists enter into dialogue about the ways in which their research, art-making, and/or practice engages with, responds to, resists, revisions, disrupts, or abandons the archive.
Series Conveners: Olivia Michiko Gagnon, Theatre & Film; Kelly McCormick, History; Leora Morris, Theatre & Film; and Ori Tenenboim, Journalism, Writing and Media