This project was commissioned by the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University for a solo exhibition.
Resume at the Point of Interruption is an experimental portrait about the reservoirs of resiliency and the worlds it enable through the body, improvisation, and spirituality. Serving as an emerging archive of Black life, the film establishes documentary and sonic forms as a space for storytelling and cultural preservation.
As a departure from the effects of destabilization in Black and queer communities, I set out to document and collect fragments of how these groups of people respond to the “continuum of interruption, suspension, and possible recovery,” writes editor
The project and exhibition is supported by the Ellsworth Kelly Award, made possible by the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and the Foundation for Contemporary Art.
A roundtable conversation with film collaborators was held at the ICA at VCU on September 23, 2022.
This experimental documentary, which lends the exhibition its title, follows Black individuals—including the artist—as they intuit and improvise their ways through the world. In the chapter on washington-queen, we see the queer nonbinary photographer receiving hormone replacement therapy and meditating on themes of gender, difference, constraint, and freedom, and how they experienced the limits and possibilities of all those things while playing basketball growing up and negotiating their identity as an adult.
Combining photography, moving image, and archival material, this multipart video portrait draws from personal accounts and broader histories stitched together with textual sources, including the talk “Transgender Solidarity” by counselor and theologian Pamela Ayo Yetunde and poet Kevin Young’s 2012 The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness. In his collection of essays illustrating Black strategies of storytelling, lying, and improvising, Young writes, crucially: “If we cannot first imagine freedom, we cannot actually achieve it. Freedom, like fiction and all art, is a process in which the dream is only the first part.”
As we start to imagine freedom, washington-queen observes here, there may not be a clear blueprint to follow. Resume at the Point of Interruption illustrates how the Black figure, tasked with envisioning a new and different future, responds to obstacles, conflicts, crossroads, and threats with gestures—a fake-out, a doubling-back, a pivot—that may appear illogical, but which are in fact the creative gestures that will allow them to chart a course to elsewhere.