How does the dichotomy of urban vs rural serve us and can we embody/perform ‘access’ as marginalized people?
During this residency Joy and Isabelle wish to further their research as part of a larger project called ‘PROJECT: PROPOSAL’. In ‘Propositions of Engagement’. They will further research on solo one-to-one performance, romance, intimacy, consent, agency (feminism, queer theory), real vs fake, ritual, beguilement and romance/courtship.
The structure of proposition serves as the basis for generating text and performance. Allowing them to reflect, produce, [re]generate material based on the embodied performance of the rural and the performance of self via voice, movement and automatic writing. The methodology surrounding this project has been developed through a resistance of and opposition to definitions of the ‘rural’. Through this project Joy and Isabelle are proposing a definition of rural within which they can work, and that they have defined themselves, which focuses on intersectionalities — rather than existing within the dichotomy of urban and rural. What they mean by this is: does this dichotomy serve us? Joy and Isabelle acknowledge the inherent romanticism associated with the rural and have chosen to direct their attention to this constructed romance by using the vehicle of spousal relationships as a medium. Coming from an ancestry where the relationship to land and ‘countryside’ — which happens to be the etymological root of rural — is not romantic, where instead, this narrative was interrupted and disrupted by the colonial project, it seems necessary to focus on romance as a tool for social activism and performance.
In this project they are engaging in a (re)generative process, that antagonised the line between social practice and art as life. It is through this project that they propose to talk about the intersection of rural within the frame of their own cultural narrative, to talk about ethnicity, race, class, sexuality and gender through their own current margins and the lens of commodification of self in order to survive.
About Joy Mariama Smith
Joy Mariama Smith a native Philadelphian relocated to the Netherlands to complete an MFA program at the Dutch Art Institute, Smith’s work primarily addresses the conundrum of projected identities in various contexts. For example, they* do not make work explicitly about being black, their approach is to question what ‘blackness’ is as a social construct and what others may assume about them as a product of that construct. Smith uses the same tactic with gender, sexuality, and class. Rooted in socially engaged art practice, Smith is a performance/installation/movement artist, curator and architectural designer.They have a strong improvisational practice spanning 20 years. Smith is the co-founder of the COLLAGE Festival, and has shown work in various festivals in the US; most recently the SoLow Festival in Philadelphia, PA. They co-facilitate Couples Therapy, a lab focusing on collaboration between artists. Smith is currently investigating efficiency in collaborative processes, and ‘real time’ as an artistic medium. When they choose to teach, they actively try to uphold inclusive spaces. A sub-theme, or ongoing question in their work is: What is the interplay between the body and it’s physical environment?
they/them/their*: third person singular gender-neutral pronoun
About Isabelle Sully
Isabelle Sully is an Australian artist temporarily based in Rotterdam who works across writing and visual platforms, as well as collaborative and curatorial projects. In 2015 she performed as part of Non-Transmittable Form, a public outcome of collective research presented at the Jakarta Biennale, Indonesia. Earlier in 2015 she self-published the first editions of Buffet Publication. The publication was then invited to launch at World Food Books, Melbourne, as well as the National Gallery of Victoria Art Book Fair. Isabelle was also commissioned by West Space Journal Volumn 4, where she produced a text which was then performed as a script as part of the public program at the NGV. She is currently working on a roaming curatorial project called Salon Gallery, which has already received critical attention in Frieze Magazine. Isabelle is also undertaking a Masters at the Dutch Art Institute, the Netherlands.