We look forward to seeing you this September at &Now: Points of Convergence!
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Sunday, September 22 • 8:30am - 12:00pm
Blue Monologue

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“One feels his two-ness, —an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” –W. E. B. DuBois, “Striving of the Negro People.”

Blue Monologue is a video triptych. In it, an “American” and a “Negro” dispassionately observe a third, centered, figure. The outermost two are differentiated only by their apparel—one dressed as a lay person, the other in an ambiguous blue uniform.

Both attempt to “place” the center figure, also in uniform, who grooves soulfully to inaudible music. Together, they consider: is she insufficiently identifying as “blue” (American) by over identifying as black? Or does the blue uniform thwart her claim on the darker color?

Although alone in her unadorned room, the center figure moves self-consciously into and out of the frame, seemingly captured by the unrelenting double gaze. By dancing, she investigates her sovereignty—as a diasporic black woman and an American—while the adjacent two look on, their frames spliced intermittently with inter-titles, chronicling and scrutinizing every facet of her form.

Throughout, all three figures are illuminated by a television’s blue light. The blinking glow reminds the audience of a network of audiences; those two adjacent surveyors are now, also, subjects of surveillance.

In image, movement, and text, Blue Monologue asks: how do we “feel [her] two-ness”? Or rather, how do we use intersections of race, gender, class, and nationality to better see one another without reinforcing prisons of identity?


Jo Stewart

Jo Stewart is a movement-theater artist, poet, and educator. She uses a combination of gesture, voice, and improvisational scores to make work that meets notions of blackness with queered mythologies. She has previously been an artist in residence at Azule (2019), the Old American... Read More →

Lyndsay Ellis Bloom

Lyndsay Ellis Bloom (b. Florida, USA) is a filmmaker and artist working in experimental cinema and film installation. Bloom’s process involves putting media archeology into practice, investigating the physical properties of celluloid film, and considering intersections between the... Read More →

Sunday September 22, 2019 8:30am - 12:00pm PDT

Attendees (5)