In her stark and highly personal full-length solo performance, Self Portrait Camouflage, choreographer Latifa Laâbissi—who was raised in France by Moroccan-born parents—uses tropes of caricature and the grotesque to conjure the silent aggressions and tensions at the heart of some immigrant experiences. Performing the piece naked, under a bright spotlight against a sterile white backdrop; fully exposed to the world, Laâbissi becomes an object to be gazed at, studied, and scientifically dissected. The performance evokes the imperialist custom of exhibiting indigenous people at World’s Fairs. Against the backdrop of recent anti-immigrant populism in the US as well as the rest of the Western world, Laâbissi’s themes of 19th-century representational politics and marginalization acquire new relevance.
A conversation with the artist follows the performance.
MoMA PS1’s acclaimed VW Sunday Sessions performance series welcomes visitors to experience and participate in live art. Since its founding in 1976, MoMA PS1 has offered audiences one of the most extensive programs of live performance in the world. VW Sunday Sessions highlights artists responding to contemporary social and political issues through a wide variety of creative and critical lenses. Encompassing performance, music, dance, conversation, and film, the series develops and presents projects by established and emerging artists, scholars, activists, and other cultural instigators. With a focus on artists that blur and break traditional genre boundaries, VW Sunday Sessions embraces the communities in New York City that create and sustain artistic practice.
Since 2012, VW Sunday Sessions has presented a commissioning program resulting in new work by Trajal Harrell, Mårten Spångberg, Anne Imhof, Tobias Madison and Matthew Lutz Kinoy, Hannah Black, and Colin Self. Additionally, the VW Dome Artist Residency offers a platform for creative development and experimentation for artists at all stages of the creative process.