Artist Talk at Allied Media Conference
I'm showing excerpts of my project Reflections + giving an artist talk. Reflections is based on a video of Jesse Harris, a black transfemme artist, that filmmaker Marlon Riggs (Tongues Untied) recorded in 1988. This session will reflect on performance as queer(ing) history, archives as blueprints for intergenerational community building, and exhuming the voices of Black gender/queer artists from the archive.
Reflections in BlaQ: Performing Black Queer Archives
Friday, June 15, 2pm
McGregor: Room B
Wayne State University
Performance at The Jewish Museum
I have been invited to perform an iteration of my project Reflections at The Jewish Museum. Reflections brings together voices from the past and present that speak to the diverse experiences of Black people who defy normative gender. Reflections is a part of an ongoing project based on critical and creative engagements with the archives of filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs, whose seminal film Tongues Untied (1989) gave voice to the lives of Black gay men in America.
In Response: Scenes
Sunday, 4/29, 6:30pm
The Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York, NY 10128
Performance + Installation at Lenfest Center for the Arts
Lecture at Princeton University
I'm presenting a talk entitled Messy Bodies, Messy Subjects: Musings on Identity and Illegibility at Princeton University. Drawing on Black visual and literary culture, autoethnography, and my performance practice I explore a politic (possibility) of illegibility within the context of ongoing violence against Black, queer, trans, gnc communities.
Date: Tuesday, November 28th at 4:30pm
Location: 209 Scheide Caldwell House (Princeton University)
Columbia MFA Student Spotlight
Read my interview on Columbia University's School of the Arts blog.
Presenting Work at Center for Performance Research
NYC: I am presenting a work-in-progress of Reflections in BlaQ , a performance that explores the lives and dreams Black queer people. Reflections in BlaQ is based on my creative and critical engagements with Marlon Riggs' archives.
Date: November 5th, 4pm
Location: Center for Performance Research, 361 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Revolution '67 Screening to Commemorate the 50 Year Anniversary of the #NewarkRebellion
This summer marks the 50th Anniversary of the Newark Rebellion, and the 10 year anniversary of the release of Revolution '67, an illuminating documentary by filmmaker Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno about the uprisings. Revolution '67 (86:46 min) follows the six-day rebellion in Newark, NJ that began in mid July in 1967, and uncovers how the spontaneous disturbances were a part of a community's resistance to poverty and police brutality.
An open discussion after the screening will consider a question posed by historian Kevin Mumford: “How is Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 different from Newark in 1967?''
Feature on BuzzFeed
I was interviewed by BuzzFeed about my performance practice. Check out the video here.
Feature in Paper Mag X Posture Magazine
New York, NY: For pride month I was featured in a special collaboration between Paper Magazine x Posture Magazine highlighting genderfluid artist and creatives. Read here: bit.ly/PostureXPaper
Performance for Visual AIDs' "VOICE=SURVIVAL" Exhibition
New York, NY: Artists Ni’Ja Whitson and Kiyan Williams will perform and present their work in response to Riggs’ declarative, affirmative practice in the context of a screening of his film Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret), 25 years after its creation. Williams will stage a performance that activates Black queer and trans archives as part of their ongoing engagement with Riggs’ writings and films. Whitson will present their work and research from A Meditation on Tongues, a live interdisciplinary adaptation of the activist-artist Riggs’s iconic film Tongues Untied (1989).
Following the screening, performance, and presentation will be a conversation between Williams and Whitson, moderated by Tavia Nyong'o. More info here.
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 6:30pm
Location: The 8th Floor, 17 W 17th StreetNew York, NY , 10001
Feature in AfroPunk
New York, NY: Read my feature + performance announcement on AfroPunk here!
Help Kiyan Succeed at Columbia University
New York, NY: I'm very excited to share that I accepted an admissions offer to the MFA Visual Art program at Columbia University!
I look forward to the opportunity to deepen my creative practice using art as a tool of social transformation.
I launched a crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds for equipment + resources I need in order to be successful in graduate school. Please donate and share if your are able! Thank you!
Femmescapes Vol. 2 Release Party @ Bluestockings
NYC: Femmescapes is a zine collecting visual and written work by queer and trans people who experience an affinity with femmeness.
Come celebrate the release of our second issue!
Readings and Performances by: Janea Kelly, ray ferreira , Raquel Salas Rivera, Teal Van Dyck, and Kiyan Williams.
Spring Performances + Workshops
This Spring I'll be presenting + exhibiting work on the east coast.
April 11 & 12 | University of Pittsburgh
Find more info here and RSVP here
Aprul 19 | CUNY College of Staten Island
Find more info here
April 23 | Harriet's Apothecary Healing Village Spring Edition
Find more info + RSVP here
April 27 | Paddles NYC with Doreen Garner
Find more info here
April 29 & 30 | Words of Fire Conference, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA
Find more info here
Black W/holes at CUNY College of Staten Island
New York, New York: I'm performing Black W/holes, a live performance that meditates on the erotic and the sensual as catalysts for space and time travel. Performance includes movement and soundscape of original text layered with excerpts of Sun Ra's Space Is The Place.
Location: 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island NY 10314
Date: 19 April 2017, 6pm
Alt(e)ar at University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA: I'm presenting Alt(e)ar, a commissioned performance installation, at the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh. In Alt(e)ar I embody an altar that honors the legacy of Black femme, gender non-conforming resistance. The performance installation includes a video and soundscape of unedited, archival footage from filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Visual artist Aya Rodriguez-Izumi created an original installation for the project.
Dates: 11 - 12 April 2017
Location: The Studio Theater @ The University of Pittsburgh, 4200 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Black Light Exhibition at The Wattis Institute
San Francisco, CA: I'm performing Black W/holes at the Black Light exhibition at The Wattis Institute at the event opening night. Black W/holes is a live performance that meditates on the erotic and the sensual as catalysts for space and time travel. Performance includes movement and soundscape of original text layered with excerpts of Sun Ra's Space Is The Place
Location: The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, 360 Kansas St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Date: 16 March, 2017 @ 7pm
Unearthing at Williams College
Williamstown, MA: I'll be performing #Unearthing and giving a workshop at Williams College on 3/10 and 3/11 as a Distinguished Visiting Artist in the Art History Department.
Kiyan Williams and Abdu Ali In Conversation
Palo Alto, CA: Check out a podcast of my conversation with Baltimore-based rapper and artist Abdu Ali hosted by Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts. Listen here.
Astraea Foundation Global Arts Fund Recipient
New York, NYC: I'm excited to announce that I have been awarded the Global Arts Fund by the Astraea Foundation. Astraea's Global Arts Fund is a nomination-based award that supports, showcases and connects impactful art by LGBTQI people and organizations that are using art as a tool for social transformation. Read more here.
Review of Unearthing and Artist Profile on KQED
FEMMESCAPES VOLUME 2
New York, NY: My work is featured in the second volume of Femmescapes, a zine collecting visual and written work by queer and trans people who experience an affinity with femmeness.
From the editors: "For our 2nd issue, we asked our contributors a central question: How do we understand our femininity in this changing world, where fascism is escalating every day?" Learn more + get a copy here!
In Conversation with Abdu Ali
Palo Alto, CA: I'll be moderating a conversation with Baltimore-based rapper and artist Abdu Ali on Feb 8 at Stanford University. RSVP here
A Eulogy for Science High School
Newark, NJ: Going home is always heartbreaking. During my last visit to Newark I witnessed my old high school building being demolished to make way for luxury condos.
I wrote a short, personal essay recalling memories from Science High School. Check it out here.
Unearthing - Stanford University
Stanford, CA: I'm excited to kick-off the #Unearthing Tour with a performance at my alma mater, Stanford University. Performance is 2/13, 4pm, at Meyer-Green. For more info + to RSVP bit.ly/unearthing1
Artist-In-Residence, This Will Take Time
Point Arena, CA: I'm honored to be selected as an artist-in-residence at This Will Take Time, an artist residency in Point Arenas, CA. During my residency I'll be experimenting with creative practices that blend movement and painting techniques inspired by the Northern California coastline.
Unearthing Tour 2017
I'll be touring my performance Unearthing - a moving and messy meditation on Blackness, gender, in/visibility, resistance, and transformation - across the U.S. in Winter/Spring 2017.
Stanford University Feb 13
Williams College March 11,12
University of Pittsburg April 12,13
CUNY CSI April 19