Situated within an empty wood-paneled Courtroom in the Arts Court, this iteration of Knight’s speech-driven performance work, Documents, responded to the weight and force of this former space of legal proceedings. Knight’s presentation was the third and final action in a short series of events and workshops coordinated by Knot Project Space from December 10-12, each reflecting through performance on the gravities of vocal utterance, the laws of language, and the language of law.
Documents uses dialogue, gesture and the voice of both the artist and the audience to uncover and critique structures of power. Troubling the division of labour between the performer and the audience, Documents involves a public reading of the documentation that serves to authenticate or legitimize citizenship. Central to this work is a filing cabinet that both holds the props required for the performance, while also serving as a portrait or trace of the artist. The interactive reading of the documents in the files addresses the embodied specificities of race, class, gender, sexuality to contest whether these categories accurately reflect the bodies they are meant to represent—while underlining how different audiences and relationships to power may influence this reading.
Autumn Knight is an interdisciplinary artist working with performance, installation, video and text. Her performance work has been on view at various institutions including Krannert Art Museum (IL), The Institute for Contemporary Art (VCU), Human Resources Los Angeles (HRLA) and Akademie der Kunste, (Berlin). Her performance and video work is held in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Knight participated in the 2019 Whitney Biennial as a performance and video artist.
Co-curated with Neven Lochhead.