Fred Moten, Miss Prissy and M Lamar lined up for ARIKA14 Episode 6: Make a Way Out of No Way
The experimental performance mini-festival questions racial and sexual nonconformity in its sixth outing
When the Arika organisation took a side-step from curating experimental music festivals in a now booming scene, they laid the groundwork for their Instal and Kill Your Timid Notion events. The more holistically inclined series of themed Episodes they then embarked on seemed to chime with a renewed hunger for ideas and seditious thought. While Episodes still featured performances and screenings, they were consciously not made the centrepiece of events that involved discussions and debates which questioned the relationship between artist and audience, and indeed the structures of such events themselves.
In Episodes 4 and 5, Arika concentrated on the musical and political liberation expressed by the black community through jazz, and a similar state of transcendence found for the queer and trans community through the House Ballroom scene. Episode 6 in part fuses both experiences in Make A Way Out of No Way, which over three days looks beyond the nuclear family conformity of primetime mainstream to the deliberate political and artistic choices required to do something more rebelliously wayward.
Artists taking part in Make A Way Out of No Way include radical black poet Fred Moten, queen of black working class dance form, Krump, Miss Prissy, and operatic diva M Lamar's performance of queer black requiem, ‘Speculum Orun: Shackled to the Dead’.
‘Race is an invention and a fiction,’ says Barry Esson, who, alongside Bryony McIntyre, have run Arika since the organisation's inception 13 years ago. ‘Sex is an invention and a fiction. All sorts of these definitions are used to normalise us and control us. This Episode is looking at that, and how different communities come out of that and learn to express themselves within that landscape.’
Tramway, Glasgow, Fri 26–Sun 28 Sep.