An ongoing project that looks into how intimacy enters artistic spaces and how different practices allow for conversations on pleasure and desire. In which ways is intimacy left behind, pleasure contained and desire ignored? How can we rethink the exhibition space and renegotiate the power and reflexivity of the archive? This project was first conceived as part of my ICA (Institute of Creative Arts) Curatorial Fellowship at the University of Cape Town. 

Photo by Chris Kets / Courtesy of Azania Rizing Productions 

The Perfumed Garden is an interactive public performance that explores the relationship between intimacy, pleasure, touch and healing. The Perfumed Garden is named after one of Abdullah Ibrahim’s songs and seeks to offer a space to enact healing practices. Inward and outward gestures, motion and touch will be guided by the voice and presence of poet Toni Stuart. In the circle, participants will be invited to participate in the making of lavender oil, known for its healing properties and indigenous to parts of the Northern Cape. In doing so, this performance explores the power of the process of communal healing.

DJ Lynnée Denise, photo by Brandi Pettijohn

DJ Lynnée Denise, photo by Brandi Pettijohn

Repatriation Rhythms is a collaborative performance event in which queer intimacy, touch and the exchange of bodies of thought and text are explored in relation to sound, music and movement. Curated by Chandra Frank, and presented in collaboration with the Institute of Creative Arts and the Iziko South African National Gallery,

Including a sonic landscape created by LA-based DJ Lynnée Denise and an improvised dance work by Zanele Siko-Radu, the performance will be accompanied by a projection of African diasporic dance, embodied by Black American dancers from the early 1900s to 2000s. Bringing these elements together, Repatriation Rhythms is inspired by the cultural exchange between Black South Africa and Black America, and the political implications of the relationship between the US and South African governments in upholding the social engineering that produced apartheid and its living legacies. Inserting a queer kinship model, and seeking to rewrite (or perform) voices and bodies missing from revisionist histories, the piece forwards a speculative archive rooted in the exchange of solidarity work.

DJ Lynnée Denise and Zanele Radu-Siko. Curated by Chandra Frank for the Institute of Creative Arts, and presented in collaboration with the Iziko South African National Gallery,