October 2018 In Dance

uprising eventually made its way to the center of the plu- tocratic, apathetic empire – the United States – spread- ing first like wildfire from the thousands of redlined neighborhoods of black Americans. Having success- fully dismantled Western imperialism, ecoterrorism, colonial-settler projects and white supremacy, new lead- ers emerge in this blighted terrain. Faluda Islam (Zulfikar),

Community Space and a studio that never locked its back door and the strong belief and practice that community makes us stron- ger and better and more vulnerable and true. I am thinking lately about dancing and money. To be honest, this is something I am always thinking about. Dancing as a femi- nized form that thus doesn’t yield much profit. Dancing as a body based practice. Dancing as witchcraft. Dancing as an inef- fable and adjacent practice to living. Danc- ing as a form that speaks to things that we just can’t fucking speak to in any other way. Dancing that has both ruined and saved my life. I have no savings to speak of, no retire- ment, no job security, but I have logged hun- dreds of hours of ecstasy and delirium and I have learned to make myself invisible, to be part of the wind and to set myself on fire. In small town Texas, the dance halls and the gun clubs are in the same building. These are often the buildings that are rented for family reunions, weddings, and the like. I have been thinking about these buildings a lot: shared spaces in the midst of brutally hot and shadeless pastures with a few scruffy cattle on them so the owner gets the live- stock tax break; land with more gnarly and spiky mesquite trees than anything else; land with grass that is full of spikes and fire ants and rattlesnakes and scorpions. It is in fact a pretty brutal landscape, so the guns thing makes sense to me. But why dance? Why a dance hall? How is it that these people who teach their men not to move there faces and teach their women to say yes ma’am and yes sir never go to church without mascara on, are the same people who build huge beauti- ful monuments to movement with soaring ceilings and beautiful floors in the middle of the countryside? The cynical part of me sees this as a part of the capitalist machinery of fostering coupling, and childbearing as a means towards the creation of capital in the form of a workforce, but part of me wants to

the other side, and in this way it becomes a very intimate and active experience for the audience as they decide how they wish to participate with the performance, and also become part of the performance and vis- ible in this mobilization. Where you choose to direct your gaze also becomes part of the performance. We’re also interested in what the audience experiences when they are seated. What the mysterious, imaginal space is that is created through seeing the curtains sway as we dance near, hearing our breath or our voices, seeing our feet as they move and stand still, or catching occasional glimpses of our bodies as they momentarily appear if we sit or move close to the ground. We’re curi- ous about what can and can’t be transmitted through this intermittent and only occasional access, and what this does and doesn’t pro- duce in the bodies of the audience. We want to use the idea of peep show to experiment with ways of investigating the lines between public and private, and the possibility of being alone onstage together with each mem- ber of the audience simultaneously. jose e abad, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and Gabriel Christian: Alif 1 is for Annals As artists across phenotypically brown dia- sporas, we three must allow ourselves the breadth of narrative usually denied us in front of audiences used to witnessing only a myopic entanglement of bodies and stories. Working in San Francisco has been instruc- tive to us about the kingpin of survival methodologies for (brown) artists: trans- disciplinarity. Gabriel, Zulfi, and jose each metastasized through the arts until, by fate, we collided. Since then, we have collaborated in every permutation of a duet, but never as a triad. We have varying relations to Grav- ity, either having been commissioned, fiscally sponsored, or brought in as a collaborator. Our work/world initiates in the aftermath of our envisioned global queer revolution of apocalyptic proportions. Flaring up in the Middle East and the African continent, this

a bearded Muslim drag queen guerrilla warrior

was one of those martyred, killed by American-backed rebels and, miraculously, resurrected using Wifi technol-

Rachael Dichter / photo by Elena Zhukova

in which Black radicalism reigned in black leather and the Islamic bloc of nations held less of a religious identity and more a leftist and anti-imperialist one. Many blamed the death of these movements on the neo-liber- alism or neo-conservatism of the 1980s (and are they really that different?), but could a simpler reason have been heterosexual hubris? It seems fitting to me that at this point in time, Gravity asked us to show things in this group show. Gravity is one of the organiza- tions in the Bay Area that continues to give me a tiny spark of a hope that perhaps live art-making can provide some sort of actual IRL sustainability. Gravity is one of the orga- nizations who continues to believe in eccen- tric, illegible and sometimes unmarketable art-making as important to support. Gravity believes that we have the right to make a liv- ing from our work and Gravity works hard to move us towards finding that in each of our practices. Gravity is an organization that has not forgotten its roots in the days of 848 Abby Crain: Lindenau (Rie Club)—party for the other siblings

ogy. Her resurrection confuses the borders of time, asks us to suspend our expired mythos for her arrival. Her survival is contingent on Black Bussy (Gabriel), a night/mare born at the ruins of the Stud Bar in San Francisco, and jose, a necro- mancer and re/cycler, as no future can ever truly be a simple, solitary project. What does the world post-radical-liber- atory-revolution look like when its play- ers are queer as fuck, high femme, high glamour and more extra than terrestrial? Do we make the same mistakes with each other or do we correct the pains inflicted on us by those who came before: straight white men with a narrow sense of fashion, politics, desire, time and space? This dystopia emerges from the Quran and the Day of Judgement, symbolism associated with the Arabic letter Alif, sto- rytelling traditions in South Asia and the Middle East, Afrofuturism and memories. Most importantly, however, these past- futures are a distorted way of returning us to our predecessors, those wound up in the movement of the 1950s, -60s and -70s,

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in dance OCT 2018

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