Spring 2014
Jamillah James
AUX Curatorial Fellowship

Vox Populi and Aux Performance Space are pleased to announce a series of events in May, organized by Curatorial Fellow, Jamillah James. James is a New York-based curator who succeeds Marissa Perel, Aux’s Fall 2013 Curatorial Fellow. Over the course of two weekends in late May, James will present two performances, as well as an artist talk, and a keynote address and screening. June events will be announced at a later date.

Friday, May 23, 7pm
In Conversation: Ann Hirsch and Jacolby Satterwhite

New York-based artists Ann Hirsch and Jacolby Satterwhite join Aux Curatorial Fellow Jamillah James for a discussion of their respective bodies of work, both of which consider identities in flux, particularly as they exist in digital space. Both performers explore presentations of selfhood through technology—Hirsch through a series of webcam and live performances that reflect on the formation of sexual identity and desire in media, and Satterwhite through a series of videos, performances and installations that situate the familial and personal in a virtual fantasia of his own design.

Ann Hirsch is a video and performance artist who looks at the ways technology has influenced popular culture and gender. Her research has included becoming a YouTube camwhore, amassing over two million views on her videos, as well as making appearances on some popular reality television shows including as a romantic contestant on Vh1’s Frank the Entertainer…In a Basement Affair. She was awarded a 2012–13 Rhizome commission for her two person play Playground, which debuted at the New Museum and was recently awarded a 2014 WaveFarm Media Arts grant to continue producing this show. Her companion ebook, Twelve was censored from the iTunes store but is now available through Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery. Hirsch has been an artist in residence at Yaddo, Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her work been written about for, the New York Times,, and more. Her first solo show, Muffy, is currently on view at American Medium in New York through the end of June.

Jacolby Satterwhite received a MFA from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in 2010; a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore in 2008; and completed residencies at the Headlands Center of the Arts in Sausalito, California in 2012 and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine in 2009. He is currently in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program, and a recipient of the 1st year and 2nd year Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship (FAWC) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Satterwhite is currently participating in the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art and When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. His work has been included in group exhibitions Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston); Shift: Projects | Perspectives | Directions and Fore (The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the screenings New Frontier (Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah) and First Look: New Art Online: Aboveground Animation: 3D-Form (New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York). He also contributed a performance score to Clifford Owens’s 2010 exhibition, Anthology at MoMA PS1. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include Grey Lines (Recess Activities, New York); Island of Treasure (Mallorca Landings Gallery, Mallorca, Spain); and The Matriarch’s Rhapsody (Monya Rowe Gallery, New York). He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Saturday, May 24, 7pm
Performances: Colin Self and M. Lamar

For his performance at Aux, Colin Self will be presenting a continuation of choral vocal works, Vocal Exercises 7-12, in research for his collaborative opera The Fool (Elation V) with Raul De Nieves. These works explore the energetic exchanges created within a queer family system, emphasizing the voice and body as sites for transmutation and healing. Self initially built a vocal group through identifying active awareness of energy in his social communities, and pin-pointing relational trajectories of power created by groups and their individuals with words, sounds, and dance. These exercises in research build upon a foundation of sacred gatherings, not just as rehearsal for a performance, but for personal and collective growth. As the number of participants and collaborators grow, the exercises themselves grow complex to meet the interests and needs of individuals, all working towards spiritual strength and valor.

Colin Self composes and choreographs at the intersection of the corporeal and the immaterial. His performances explore vocality, corporeality, and familial systems as a site for energetic transformation. Spanning a trans disciplinary lifestyle, he seeks to embellish diverse cultures with queer presence and develop diverse systems of communication with earth and its inhabitants. Through his performance work, community organization, and personal life, Self exhibits radical forms of healing as a constant praxes of collective resistance. Self has toured Europe and the U.S. with his performance work, and is currently working on a sequential trans feminist operetta series entitled Elation. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Having its world premiere at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in February 2012, M. Lamar’s Speculum Orum: Shackled to the Dead was commissioned as a part of The Values of Water series at the Cathedral. The Atlantic Ocean holds the remains of countless black bodies, people lost en-route from home to the new world. During the transatlantic slave trade, millions of Africans were carried in bondage to America. A horrifying percentage did not survive the journey. This piece is about them. Many of the captured people preferred death to slavery. They jumped overboard or tried to starve themselves. In those circumstances the slaver would use a device called a speculum orum to keep the captives’ mouths open while they were forced to eat. In the fetid holds of slave ships, live bodies were shackled to the dead, sometimes for days and months at a time. The artist M. Lamar believes that we are all also shackled to the dead. The water that rises from the ocean, falls as rain into our reservoirs, and flows down the pipes to our faucets, was once and is still their grave. This water, water that is now inside all of us, conceals and reveals the truth about who we are. The abducted Africans had their mouths forced open. M. Lamar states, “I will willingly open my mouth to lift my voice and let the spirits dance. Yes, we are shackled to the dead! They speak to us and through us. Let their voices rise!”

Sunday, May 25, 3pm
Lecture & Made for Television Screening

Join Aux Curatorial Fellow Jamillah James for a keynote lecture about her residency at Aux and an introduction into her recent projects and ongoing research, including an expanded reprisal of her 2013 performative lecture, “Comic Relief: On Art, Film and Television.”

Immediately following the lecture will be “Made for Television,” a screening of a video works that reflect on the legacy of early video’s disruption and appropriation of televisual narratives, staging and tropes, as well as the current state of television programming, as it slinks towards obsolescence in the digital age.

Saturday, May 31, 2pm
Performance: Anya Liftig and Sophia Cleary

Anya Liftig is a transpecies artist who is currently in the process of transitioning from human to canine. Her performance will explore the phenomenology of nature through John Milton’s maxim, “The way to know were not to see but taste.”

Anya Liftig has performed extensively in New York, at venues such as Exit Art, The Kitchen, Grace Exhibition Space, and Socrates Sculpture Park, among others. Her work, The Anxiety of Influence, was an intervention into Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present, the 2010 retrospective at The Museum of Museum of Modern Art, New York. Liftig’s work has been published and written about in the New York Times Magazine, Bomb, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, Marie Claire Italia, Heeb, Public Culture, Art Papers, ArtNews, The L Magazine, New York Magazine, X-tra, Hyperallergic, Burnaway, among others. She is a graduate of Yale University and Georgia State University and has received grant and residency support from the MacDowell Colony, Petersborough, New Hampshire; The Field, New York; Mertz Gilmore Foundation, New York; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont; Flux Projects, Atlanta; The Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna, Florida; University of Antioquia, Casa Tres Patios-Medellin, Colombia; and Flux Projects, Atlanta.

Sophia Cleary will present Female Figure II, a solo performance that cultivates sensitivity to an emotional body by acknowledging a persistent tension between performer and audience. A lecture-performance and dance, Female Figure II explores the specificity and nuance related to ways of speaking, and how the quality of the voice can misconstrue or amplify the words that are uttered.

Sophia Cleary is a performance artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and coordinator of the works-in-progress series REHEARSAL and is co-editor for Ugly Duckling Presse’s performance annual publication, Emergency INDEX. She has worked with Neal Medlyn, Ann Liv Young, Dynasty Handbag (Jibz Cameron), Vanessa Anspaugh, Alexandra Bachzetsis and the Kate Bush Dance Troupe. Her latest project is playing drums in Penis, a feminist punk band co-founded with Samara Davis. She has presented her work at New York venues the Bushwick Starr, the Center for Performance Research, Danspace Project, and Dixon Place. She holds an MA in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.


Jamillah James is a curator and writer based in New York whose interests include other histories of abstraction, theorizing a queer aesthetic, and comedy in art. She is also deeply committed to exhibition-making as a form of pedagogy and social engagement.

Recent projects include exhibitions for The Studio Museum in Harlem, NurtureArt (Brooklyn), Nudashank (Baltimore, MD), Dirty Looks NYC, and the Queens Museum; a performance lecture on popular media’s conceptions of the art world at MoMA/PS1 with the Center for Experimental Lectures; and an educational video for the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. James has been a visiting lecturer and critic at the Rhode Island School of Design, Hunter College, the School of Visual Arts, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others.

Since 2010, she has maintained the contemporary art tumblr FRONTIERS. James holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (with a focus on Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Cultural Studies) from Columbia College Chicago. In fall 2014, she will begin working towards a PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester.


The AUX Curatorial Fellowships have been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

posted: May 12, 2014 topics: