“The feeling of communication is very elusive,” Tsang has said. “In being seen by another, there’s always an incompleteness to that understanding.” Often working collaboratively, she combines text, image, dance, music, and activism to create hybrid art forms that question traditional concepts of representation. This installation draws inspiration from an essay by poets and critical theorists Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, which explores how ideas of black, queer, and trans identities are intertwined and constantly in formation.
Two videos intermittently overlap, creating an entanglement of images and living bodies. In each video, two performers move through a series of duets choreographed by Ligia Lewis with Jonathan Gonzalez, and boychild with Josh Johnson. The choreography is a form of contact improvisation, a collaborative practice in which participants use touch instead of sight to generate movement together. As the performers are pushed and pulled, they shift between gestures of tenderness and violence, elation and grief, or degeneration and rebirth. In overlaying the projections and employing movement as language, Tsang has sought to create “impossible” images—those that capture the fluidity and ambiguity of lived experience.
Film by Wu Tsang
In collaboration with Fred Moten
Choreography by Ligia Lewis with Jonathan Gonzalez, and boychild with Josh Johnson
Original Music by Bendik Giske
Performers: boychild, Jonathan Gonzalez, Josh Johnson, Ligia Lewis, Julian and Lorenzo Moten
Cinematography: Antonio Cisneros
Steadicam: Timber Hoy
Assistant Camera: Ezra Riley
Gaffer: Sean Emer
Gallery label from 2019