Performance

A History of Grief Volksbuhne Berlin

‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Too?’ Is a tribute to 36 Black women and women of color, “heroines of resistance.” With this project, I cite ‘The Dinner Party’ (1979) of Judy Chicago.
The title Guess who’s coming to dinner too? has an ambiguous meaning. On the one hand, it refers to The Dinner Party where the uninvited guests are the Black Women and women of color, on the other hand, it also refers to the famous movie from 1967 with Sidney Poitier who has an interracial relationship with a white woman.

The film hits the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mixed relationships and racism in segregated America, but does not make a strong statement about the problematic topic. Sidney is invited but actually he remains the uninvited guest and we are never hear his point of view on the complex matter. It is as Sarah Ahmed states
Whiteness is produced as host, as that which is already in place or at home. To be welcomed is to be positioned as the one who is not at home. With the table I hope to create a place where everyone is welcome and feels at home regardless of race, cultural background, gender, age and sex.

Comments from the audience

The transformation from willing audience participant to criminal perpetrator enthroned on her back was simultaneously stunningly disturbing and illuminating. For each face held an unavoidable self-implication. The participant sat passively but somehow mysterious thoughts, guilt, evasion, indifference, denial seem to invade each silent face. It is impossible to sit on a kneeling woman without the conjuring of impervious domination.

Patrice Naiambana – African Performing Artist, Lead Animateur of Tribal Soul Arts CIC

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photography AatJan Renders

The clean up woman Stedelijk museum Amsterdam

I was invited to do a performance in the Stedelijk museum. Inspired by the a performance of Mierle Laderman Ukeles, in which she cleaned the MOMA in New York, i dressed up as a cleaning woman and started to clean the Stedelijk museum. Mierle’s work was about making a feminist statement my performance is showing the relation between power dynamics and invisibility.
The occasional black spots in this museum represented by security, catering personal, cleaners reminded me of a passage in Ralph Ellison’s book Invisible man. The protagonist works in a paint factory where the white paint for the white house is manufactured. His job is to mix the paint with one drop of black paint in order to make it look more radiant white.
The black spots in this museum emphasize the power of whiteness.

Many have been inspired  by the exhibition “ Bell Invites” with collaborator Emory Douglas and in collaboration with the HIPHopHuis and the University of Color in Stedelijk Bureau Amsterdam as well as by the Global Performance’ forum at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, both curated by Vivian Ziherl.

Note: 150 sugar loafs blood infusions 100 names of enslaved people printed on sailing cloth  photo print mirror foil

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photography Ernst van Deursen

 © 2015 Patricia Kaersenhout

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Made by Frederick Calmes