Open Studio: Elastic Bodies by Jupiter Brown

18 July, 7 p.m.
Espaço Alkantara
Free Entry

Elastic Bodies (working title) is a hybrid project of dance and sculpture that explores distance, connection, and boundaries in relationships with oneself and others. The project works with yarn as an exploratory guide, using its materiality to illustrate space, tension, volume, and restriction in a dynamic visual and sculptural format. Knitting is a technique that transforms one thread into a larger work by creating connecting, individual knots. In the process, it builds strength, flexibility, and resistance. Elastic Bodies applies this logic to a setting where performers think through the material to connect, explore boundaries, and take space from one another.

At this point in the process, I have created a series of yarn sculptures (or costumes) that facilitate or restrict connections with another body or with oneself. I envision a series of these sculptures to be made in connection with a choreographic development, with the goal of creating a new performance work. I am interested in an exploration of movement possibilities within the material, ways of resisting the limitations of the material, and ways of connecting with other performers with different movement possibilities. I am interested in the dynamics produced when two different ways of moving are placed in close proximity, and the boundaries and overlap between them. In this way, this work functions as a study of how communities of people work and sustain themselves when uniting from different ways of moving through the world.

This work is influenced by and emerges out of my Black queer understanding of embodiment. I believe that my movement in the world is attached to and inextricable from various threads outside of my control: my body, other people I am in relationship with, spiritual forces, physical location, and my upbringing. I am interested in physical and spatial relationships between people of a shared community or experience: where we draw boundaries, where we connect, and the distance that we take from people we love. I am interested additionally in relationships to one’s own body: where we draw boundaries within ourselves, and how we relate to and connect with our bodies. From my experimentations with yarn and knitting, I have found that this material makes tangible the concepts of stress, flexibility, restraint, and “taking space”, especially when seen on the scale of a human body.

The foreseen outcome of the project is a hybrid performance situation, in which multiple performers animate multiple yarn sculptures, seeking connection, taking space, and coexisting.

Artist Bio

Jupiter Brown is a Black queer interdisciplinary performer based in Tio’tia:ke/Montreal. They are interested in the body as a text and voice, and work with poetry, movement, images, and sound so as to clarify a multi-textured and embodied language. Their work often places the body in an aesthetic of dismemberment: broken, disjointed, and constantly falling apart. Working across various mediums such as installation, performance, and visual art forms, Jupiter’s practice investigates the intersectionality of Blackness, queerness, and gender identity in multi-layered performance work.