Smile Politely

Autumn Knight returning to Krannert Art Museum through May 13th

Artist Autumn Knight is returning to Krannert Art Museum to round out the spring with a ton of unique exhibits and talks, including a pair of performances held outside of Krannert Art Museum, at both the ARC pool (4/19) and the U of I’s Stock Pavilion (4/13).

The above picture was taken from one of Knight’s previous events, “Experimental Freezing of a Room,” and if it is any indication, her exhibits certainly are unique and interesting. For a full schedule of when you can catch one of her performances, check out what KAM had to say below:

Autumn Knight makes performances that reshape perceptions of race, gender, and authority in institutional spaces. Drawing from such disparate fields as dance, psychology, religious studies, and theatre, Knight pays attention to the ways knowledge is produced collectively among her audience members and physically in the body through language, movement, and emotion. Often gathering black women at the center of the conversation—whether herself as performer-facilitator or members of communities she makes around her—Knight usurps the dynamics of a room with humor and with purpose, enacting absurd situations and offering new ways of thinking and feeling.

For her first solo museum presentation, Knight works Krannert Art Museum and the Illinois campus into settings for performances, a series of companion pieces, and a gallery installation. The exhibition becomes an occasion for the artist to scrutinize her past work against the backdrop of a large public university while continuing to craft a research method that is perpetually in rehearsal—always nearly finished and yet constantly being taken up again.

Knight’s diverse subjects include mental well-being and choreography, group dynamics and self-knowledge, religious mythology and poverty, and black maternal feeling alongside the coldness of racially motivated state sanctioned murder. Knight also makes central the challenges of performance in museums, showing videos of past work and her wide-ranging influences alongside physical supports for performers and viewers under a warm atmosphere of pink and red lights. In addition to scheduled public performances throughout the semester, returning museum visitors will be rewarded, for at any moment one might find a person playing the cello, trying on shoes, or singing a chorus.

Originally from Houston, Autumn Knight is based in New York City where she is currently Artist-in-Residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Thursday, March 30 · 7:30 pm
Artist Performance | Autumn Knight
“Here and Now” (150 minutes)
Drawing on elements of psychology and theatre, this performance is a constructed situation exploring group relations as a means to self-knowledge among participants. Featuring Kelley Hershman and Autumn Knight.

Location: KAM Main Level, Rosann Gelvin Noel Annex and Light Court Gallery 

Friday, March 31 · 2 pm
Gallery Conversation | Autumn Knight

“Autumn Knight: In Conversation”

Artist Autumn Knight and curator Amy L. Powell discuss Knight’s creative work and the formation of the exhibition In Rehearsal. Gallery visitors are invited to share in the discussion.

Location: KAM Main Level, Rosann Gelvin Noel Annex and Light Court Gallery 

Wednesday, April 12 · 2:30 pm
Gallery Conversation | Choreography and Trauma (60 minutes)

Dancers respond to Knight’s invitation to speak on themes related to the artist’s work. This conversation will feature Rebecca A. Ferrell, Cynthia Oliver, and Endalyn Taylor from the Department of Dance and featured performer in “Lament” Abijan Johnson.

Location: KAM Main Level, Rosann Gelvin Noel Annex and Light Court Gallery

Thursday, April 13 · 7:30 pm
Artist Performance | Autumn Knight “Lament” (30 minutes)

This dance performance proposes specific movements coded with languages of addiction, class, and mental illness while ruminating on various laments in music and popular culture. Featuring Abijan Johnson and in collaboration with choreographer Rebecca A. Ferrell.

Location: U of I Stock Pavilion, 1402 West Pennsylvania Avenue

Wednesday, April 19 · 7:30 pm
Artist Performance | An Experimental Freezing of a Room Through Metaphorical Means (30 minutes)

Enacting two “scores” of artists’ instructions from the longstanding exhibition do it, initiated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, this performance features Autumn Knight as a figure of black motherhood against the courtroom soundtrack of George Zimmerman’s acquittal of the murder of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida in 2013.

Location: Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Pool, 201 East Peabody Drive

Thursdays, May 4 & 11 · 2 pm
In Gallery Performances | In Rehearsal (60 minutes)

Join the exhibition In Rehearsal as a performer negotiates the installation’s physical possibilities and constraints.

Location: KAM Main Level, Rosann Gelvin Noel Annex and Light Court Gallery

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