Autumn Knight makes performances that continually exist in relation: between artist and audience, individual and collective, private and public. Drawing from histories in theatre, video art, and improvisation, Knight’s performances question the expectations of their viewers. These interrogations are formal—upending conventions of how theatre is presented and engaged with—and provide a more nuanced examination of social relations. Utilizing monologues, dialogues with herself, and exchanges with individuals in the audience, Knight’s work might easily be described as using “audience participation.” Although direct engagement and activation of the spectator are often present in her performances, Knight does more than simply participate with her viewers: she implicates them. Collapsing the social contract of the fourth wall, Knight demands of her audience an active viewership, where listening and speaking guide the complex dynamics of race, gender, and power.
For her engagement with Western Front, Knight was originally invited to present an exhibition and performance on-site in Vancouver. Within the context of COVID-19, in which travel and public gatherings are restricted, Knight will instead make a new performance to be viewed online. Capitalizing on these limitations, Knight’s new performance draws on her background in performance and video, and further develops a technical structure first employed while in residence at The Kitchen (New York) in the summer of 2020. Here, the frame of a live video stream is the proscenium stage. Using her studio in New York as a set, and working closely with a video production team employing multiple cameras and switchers, Knight’s new work pushes at the edges of what is “live.”
A recording of the performance will be made available two days after the live performance.
Camera Operation and Video Design by Ross Karre, Adele Fournet and Merve Kayan
Sound Performance by Levy Lorenzo
Animations by Valerie Caesar
Sound Source Curation by Autumn Knight
Live stream hosting provided by digitice.org, a project of the International Contemporary Ensemble
An online conversation between Autumn Knight, dance artist Justine A. Chambers, and curator Pablo de Ocampo will occur online on April 7, 2021 from 2-3PM PDT. Event details here.
Autumn Knight is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist working with performance, installation, video, and text. Knight’s video and performance work has been viewed within several institutions, including Human Resources LA (Los Angeles), On the Boards (Seattle), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Studio Museum in Harlem, and, most recently, Abrons Art Center and The Kitchen (both in New York).