Critical Studies faculty Gabrielle Civil, who recently wrapped up her artist residency at Automata, an experimental performance venue in downtown Los Angeles, will now host a series of conversations through REDCAT’s online platform.
Civil was among the artists—all six of whom are CalArtians—selected for Automata’s 2020 individual artist residency series. With her residency running from Sept. 1-15, Civil was granted 24-hour access to Automata’s facilities, allowing for uninterrupted work time.
Throughout her residency, Civil researched the “nature of Black living objects,” and interrogated the meaning of activating objects as a Black artist “when you have long been objectified.” Her works, which took form as installations in the gallery’s interior space and against its windows, drew upon a combination of family archives and Black Atlantic archeology and Black material culture. Civil’s work also reflected her experience as an advisory committee member of the 2019 Living Objects African American Puppetry exhibit, festival, and symposium at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry.
To wrap up the residency, Civil also interviewed accomplished puppeteer Tarish Pipkins, aka Jeghetto, which streamed Sept. 14 on Automata’s Facebook page. Read more about Civil’s interview and residency experience in her newsletter Civilities.
Through REDCAT, Civil is also presenting Black Motion Pictures, a series of Zoom interviews with radical Black creatives kicking off Friday, Sept. 18. Beginning with an interview with transdisciplinary artist Anna Martine Whitehead, the discussions focus on themes such as, “Black punk music, heritage sites, re-enactments, and queer ancestors.” Other interviewees include artist and designer Kelly Walters, School of Film/Video faculty Jheanelle Brown, and actor Sola Bamis (Theater MFA 11). The project also received support from CalArts’ School of Critical Studies Faculty Development and the Network of Ensemble Theaters.
Originally from Detroit, Mich., Civil is a Black feminist performance artist, poet, writer, and educator whose works aim “to open up space.” Her performance memoirs include Swallow the Fish: A Memoir in Performance Art (2017), Experiments in Joy (2019), and the forthcoming (ghost gestures) performance writing (2020), which won the 2019 Gold Line Nonfiction Chapbook contest. Civil is also the 2019 recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s LA Emerging Artist Grant.
Black Motion Pictures
Sept. 18, 2020: Transdisciplinary artist Anna Martine Whitehead
Oct. 14, 2020: Artist and designer Kelly Walters
Nov. 13, 2020: Film curator and programmer Jheanelle Brown
Dec. 16, 2020: Performance artist Sola Bamis