Bodies on the Line: Sound, Performance, Endurance
June 8–July 20, 2019
Simone Bailey, Chris Evans and Beatrice L. Thomas (aka Black Benatar)
Curated by Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen
Curated by Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, founder of Black & White Projects, the artists in this show place the body at the center of their practice, bringing to light the urgency, endurance, violence and magic associated with being black and female in 2019. Through live performances and broad documentation of past performances — including video recordings, photographs and objects — the exhibition explores radically different approaches to understanding issues of performativity related to gender, race and queerness.
During the opening reception, Simone Bailey presents “Sway, Clench, Release (Requiem No. 415)” featuring Mia Pixley. This performance was created to reflect upon the impulses of past black in-migration to the area and the current displacement-fueled out-migration, which is part of a larger movement back to the South called the New Great Migration.
About the Artists
Simone Bailey works with video, performance, sculpture and photography to examine themes of violence, agency and the impulse to grasp the intangible. Her work has been exhibited at Krowswork (Oakland, CA), Galeria Luis Adelantado (Valencia, Spain), Amory Center for the Arts (Pasadena, CA), the Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY), and CDA Projects (Istanbul), among other venues.
Chris Evans is an interdisciplinary artist trained in music and dance. Her music training began in Oakland public schools and, after a very long break, resumed at San Francisco State while Chris was working on a master’s degree in comparative literature. The Bay Area enabled her to deepen and expand her interdisciplinary exploration through studies with Roscoe Mitchell, Alex Kelly, Shelly Senter, Abigail Hosein and Randee Paufve, as well as collaborations with choreographers Byb Chanel Bibene, Sheena Johnson, Lizz Roman, musicians from WaterSaw and Ark of Bones. Her practice explores where the lines between dance, music, space, artist and audience blur. Through her work she aims to create moments of community that revere, challenge and lovingly hold our imaginations, bodies, stories and expression.
Mx. Beatrice Thomas is a queer Bay Area–based multidisciplinary artist/performer and film & theater director who comes from a family lineage of pastors, performers, doctors and healers. She has been pondering the meaning of things and making art from the moment she came into consciousness. From absurdist cabarets to vampire/witch love triangles, Thomas weaves the experiences of queer people and people of color into magical realities with strong critical commentary, comedic satire and media-rich production. A maker of objects, installations and theater, Beatrice reveals, reconstructs and constructs alternate realities. She uses the artifice of drag to inhabit her alter ego, Black Benatar, an exaggerated black femme creature that challenges blackness, whiteness, oppression and convention. She performs as soulful death-metal diva Black Benatar at Drag Queen Story Time at the San Francisco Public Library and all over the Bay.