The studio of acclaimed artist Shinique Smith is pleased to announce Breathing Room: Moon Marked Journey, a film meditation on breath, Indigo, and blue as a color that has long inspired Smith’s art practice. The film will debut at Smith’s forthcoming solo exhibition at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in spring 2022. A live-stream preview of Breathing Room: Moon Marked Journey with a live breathwork performance will take place on Sunday, January 30, 2022, at 1 pm PST.
The original Breathing Room performance by Smith, presented for Open Spaces Kansas City (2018) and at the Baltimore Museum of Art (2020) has evolved into a new visual work. This new work is an homage to blue, one that has been slowly percolating since 2009, when she began to incorporate body prints within her work. With dozens of supporters, Smith successfully funded her Kickstarter campaign to help realize this new iteration of Breathing Room as a film.
“This new, evolved version of Breathing Room is about Indigo, blue, the body, my body as a black woman, and the effect that the blue can have on the body, on memory, and spirit. The film recognizes the amazing blue in every piece of life and the indomitable spirit of Black women. It brings together a sensual experience of fabric, color, breath, light, memory, movement, textiles, sound, and sculpture,” Smith on how Breathing Room has evolved from its first iteration.
The film is written, directed, and produced by Smith and features a cast of talented African American creators and yogis. The voices of poet Glenis Redmond and vocalist Georgia Anne Muldrow will bring a new level of sound to Smith’s film. Redmond will present a newly commissioned poem on the beaches and at former indigo plantations in South Carolina. Muldrow will perform improvised vocals within the Breathing Room ceremonial performance of cloth and breath. Throughout the film, body wrapping performed by dancer and choreographer Jessica Emmanuel and breathwork performed by yoga practitioner Sana Malik will link with imagery and locations that reference Smith’s adoration of Indigo and blue and how the color manifests in her calligraphy and textile-based artworks.
“With roots in Ancient Peru, India, Japan, and Africa, Indigo was considered in many cultures to represent the path to the infinite and bring one closer to the sky, a color, and history that continues to inspire. Indigo was a significant cash crop alongside cotton during the slave trade and used as currency. The painful truth is realizing that hundreds of thousands of individual African lives were each traded for 2-3 measures of this beautiful blue cloth,” Smith on the significance of Indigo.
Breathing Room: Moon Marked Journey film preview and live performance will stream on YouTube on Sunday, January 30 at 1 pm PST.
RSVP link: bit.ly/MoonMarkedJourney
Shinique Smith, Writer, Director, and ProducerShinique Smith’s multidisciplinary practice includes painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation, and performance. Smith has built a complex visual vocabulary that resonates on intimate and social scales, exploring ideas of transformation and ritual through materials such as fabric, clothing, personal belongings, breath, bundling, collage, and gesture. Her totemic works bear the presence of her body and serve as containers that operate at the convergence of consumption, displacement, and spiritual sanctuary.
Based in Los Angeles, Smith’s work has been featured in exhibitions and collections of many prestigious institutions, including Baltimore Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, LACMA, Denver Art Museum, Minneapolis Art Institute, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Whitney Museum, and Studio Museum in Harlem. Smith has received awards from Joan Mitchell Foundation, Tiffany Foundation, Skowhegan, and Anonymous Was a Woman. Smith earned an MAT from Museum School and Tufts University, and her BFA and MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, where she was awarded the Alumni Medal of Honor.
Cast of Performers
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Georgia Anne Muldrow is a singer, producer, songwriter born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her father was an instrument inventor for Eddie Harris and her mother, Rickie Byars, a singer with the Pharoah Sanders Ensemble. Still, in her teens, she relocated to New York, where she lived briefly and recorded seven songs for her 2005 self-released EP, “Worthnothings.”
Many in the independent scene first got wind of her after she collaborated with the Platinum Pied Pipers on their much-celebrated debut “Triple P.” After that, she signed with underground heavyweights Stones Throw Records to re-issue her “Worthnothings” EP and release her full-length debut, “Olesi: Fragments Of An Earth.”
Since then, she has had many different collaborative efforts, both independent and mainstream, that have flown under the radar, like her duets with Erykah Badu, “Fly Away” on Sa-Ra’ “Hollywood Recordings” album, and “Master Teacher” on Erykah’ last album, “New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War”. She produced and sang lead vocals for the song “Roses” from Mos Def’s current album, “The Ecstatic.”
Georgia is also known for an abstract production and writing style that breaks from normal song structure, as seen in most of her previous releases.
Award-winning poet and teaching artist Glenis Redmond has been a literary community leader for twenty-seven years. This past year Glenis was awarded South Carolina’s highest award, The Governor’s Award for the Arts, through the South Carolina Arts Commission. Glenis is also Kennedy Center Teaching Artist in Washington DC and a Cave Canem alumni poet. In 2016, she toured to Muscat, Oman, to conduct workshops and poetry readings for the US State Department. That year, she earned her title, Road Warrior Poet.
Though Glenis is renowned both nationally and internationally, she relishes her work in her hometown. As the Poet-in-Residence at the Peace Center in Greenville, she co-founded a literary program called Peace Voices from 2012-2019. She fostered workshops, poetic conversations, and book clubs where she mentored and coached youth poets with this program. Glenis is the originator of the first poetry slam in Greenville in 1994. For the last eleven years, she has also been the Artist-in-Residence at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ.
Glenis is a North Carolina Literary Fellowship Recipient. She also helped create the first Writer-in-Residence at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Her work has been showcased on NPR and PBS and most recently published in Orion Magazine, The New York Times, The North Carolina Literary Review, Obsidian Literature, Arts in the African Diaspora, StorySouth, About Place, and Carolina Muse. Glenis has three books of poetry published, and her fourth book, The Listening Skin, will be published by Four Way Books in 2022.
Jessica Emmanuel is a Los Angeles-based dancer, choreographer, performance artist, educator, and curator. She studied Dance & Choreography at the BOCES Cultural Arts Center in New York and graduated from The California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Performance & Choreography. Jessica is the founder of Mothership LA and a co-founder of the theater-based artist collective Poor Dog Group. Her work has been presented internationally at the Bootleg Theater, Live Arts Exchange Festival, the New Original Works Festival at REDCAT, Montserrat DTLA, Highways Performance Space, Zoukak Studios (Lebanon), The Getty Villa, Interferences Festival (Romania), Baruch Performing Arts Center, The Curtis R. Preim Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and The Contemporary Art Museum Santa Barbara. She has choreographed/performed for Poor Dog Group, Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, The MOVEMENT Movement, Ania Catherine Genevieve Carson, Bryan Reynolds, Paul Outlaw, No)one. Art House and Stacy Dawson Sterns. Jessica has also curated art events at various locations in Los Angeles.
Focused on combining movement with the mind, Sana Malik, RYT-500, is an aerial artist teaching Hatha Yoga & Guided Meditation instructor in Los Angeles, CA.
Media inquiries, please contact Jessica McCormack at firstname.lastname@example.org.