Passage & Place

Passage & Place

PASSAGE & PLACE at the National Queer Arts Festival 2014

OPENING: Sunday, June 1st
Alley Cat Books Gallery
More details TBD

Passage & Place is a multimedia visual arts exhibition, book project, and skillshare series that explores displacement & movement, freedom & incarceration, and home & im/migration at the intersection of queerness.

How do our individual and collective bodies affect and politicize the space around them, and how does the space around us affect and politicize our individual and collective bodies? How do our identities inform the way we understand movement/displacement and freedom/confinement? In what ways can coping mechanisms transform into intentional acts of strengthening?

Featured artists include Black Salt Collective’s Sarah Biscarra-Dilley and Grace Rosario Perkins, Paper Buck in collaboration with members of the Transgender, Gender Variant & Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), and Zeph Fishlyn in collaboration with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. Curator Lex Non Scripta and Annah Anti-Palindrome will display a collection of artwork and letters from incarcerated and non-incarcerated queers addressing ideas of and relationships to Home.

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ANNAH ANTI-PALINDROME is a 32 year old queer/femme who was raised in the rural, working-class craters at the base of the sierra foothills. She is interested in exploring the ways that her home of origin constructed her early sense of self, as well as the ways that separation from that home (via juvenile detention centers, addiction, rehabilitation clinics, travel and relocation) have displaced her from that original sense of self over time. She is interested in exploring the ways we are often required to reclaim and redefine ourselves as we move (by force orchoice) further away from what we once knew home to be.

SARAH (SASS) BISCARRA-DILLEY is a multi-disciplinary artist, basketweaver, chancla-thrower and member of Black Salt Collective. Her work explores the spaces between the worlds; between blood sickness and bloodlines, between grief and joy, between body and land, between the spatial and the temporal, between personal authority and collective responsibility. She is anchored in the intention and practices of Indigenous decolonization: through cartographic upheaval, through contradiction, through complexity, through communion.
Her work has been exhibited throughout the US and Canada; showcased by MoCNA curator Ryan Rice at the 2012 Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s (NAISA) annual meeting, presented the Sexuality Studies Association’s keynote lecture at First People’s House, part of the 2013 Congress of Humanities in Victoria, B.C., and awarded, alongside her remarkable co-conjurers Grace Rosario Perkins, Anna Luisa Petrisko and Adee Roberson, the 2014 So/Ex Alternative Exposure grant for the cosmic collaborations of Black Salt Collective.

PAPER BUCK is a printmaker, multimedia visual artist and grassroots organizer currently based in the occupied Ohlone/Chocenyo territories of Oakland, CA. He uses politicized creative projects, collaborative and cross-disciplinary approaches to play at the confluence of traditional visual art production and the work of building social movements. His projects attempt to reckon with the histories of supremacy and oppression we struggle within our societies to transform. Recent works place familial historical narratives into broader socio-political context to explore the development of white supremacy in North America and beyond, and to examine our collective relationships to undoing it’s hold on our societies globally. Drawing on his relationships to queer, feminist, anti-colonial and anti-racist projects, he hopes to illuminate transformative potentials across history and futurity. He is the Printmaking Studio Manager at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA, and has been a volunteer at the Transgender, Gender-variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), for three years.

ZEPH FISH works as a visual artist, object maker, and activist at the intersections of art, social justice, and the transgressive body. Since 2011 Zeph helped move 35 friends due to eviction and has focused on creative direct action responding to the economic crisis and displacement, working with the Horizontal Alliance of Very Organized Queers and (currently) with the Heart of the City Collective. From 2007-2010 Zeph worked as a researcher, illustrator and storyteller with the Beehive Design Collective’s True Cost of Coal campaign, an intricate portable mural and workshop developed in collaboration with Appalachian grassroots organizations that has traveled to hundreds of cities in the US and internationally. Zeph also served as a set designer for Gold Fish: the Musical (a campy queer musical about California water politics, still in post-production), and co-Art Director for Maggots and Men, an experimental film twisting the Russian Revolution to queer ends.

GRACE ROSARIO PERKINS has spent a large chunk of time residing on the Akimel O’odham Indian Reservation (Blackwater AZ) and on the Navajo Nation (Fort Defiance AZ). This upbringing has affected her body of work which consists of repetitive motifs of women, mountainscapes, abstract patterns, and shapes built from a consciousness in which memory, familial identity, pop culture, and obsessive mark making are paired with text.
In 2012, Grace was part of a group of women who founded the Black Salt Collective, a small collective with aims to make work that “embodies cultural and contemporary narratives” and increase the visibility of queer women of color artists.

LEX NON SCRIPTA  is a 34 year old, working-class, trans/genderqueer/dandy multi-media artist, curator, and activist from the shores of the San Francisco Bay. Having lived in over 34 different homes throughout the U.S. over the course of their life, they are interested in exploring the ways that transience and displacement inform how we navigate the world, and how we build, sustain and invest in community.
Lex’s creative focus is heavily informed by social justice/practice/responsibility, transgressive and liberatory politics, and the spirit of collaboration. In addition to exhibiting their work throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada & Mexico, Lex co-founded Aorta Magazine: by/for/about women & queers in the arts, is a former resident of Million Fishes Arts Collective, was co-organizer for the Transformative Arts Practice Space at the 2013 Allied Media Conference (Detroit), and was most recently a participant in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Creative Ecosystem/Body Politic Think Tank. Passage & Place is Lex’s fourth curatorial collaboration for NQAF, after Imagine How Free We Can Get: A Radical Queer Walking Tour of the Mission (2010), Dirtstar: Take Root (2011), and Best Revenge: A Beautiful Fuck You (2012).



Call for submissions:

The concept of Home is often defined by one’s relationship to place- one’s connection to, or displacement from, a geographical or structural location. In thinking about diaspora, a person’s Home may be a place they have never physically been- it may be less of a physical place and more of a conceptual one. When considering chosen and forced im/emigration, incarceration, or territories occupied by military force, one’s concept of Home may not simply be defined by a single static place- or by place at all. In the context of queer identities, many of us who have chosen to disengage, or have been disowned from our families of origin, define Home through our interpersonal relationships to chosen family and community.

Some of us may associate particular people in our lives with a sense of Home. For some of us, Home may be laden in the sight of an object, a smell, a sound, a phrase. One’s concept of Home may be best conjured up by the act of movement, the practice of tradition, or the retelling of significant events.

What is it that signifies Home to you? Consider drafting a letter to that place/person/object/etc.

Imagine being able to communicate with Home directly– what would you say? What is your relationship to each other at this point in time? Has it changed? If so, in what ways? What lies in the space between you and Home?

This is a call for letters written, and visual art created from You to Home. A collection of these letters and images will be bound and printed into an anthology released in conjunction with the National Queer Arts Festival, 2014.

Final deadline to submit work is 5pm on March 1st, 2014.


Passage & Place
PO Box 22469
Oakland CA 94609

Selected letters and visual art will be displayed during the PASSAGE & PLACE exhibition in June 2014.

Contributors selected for print will receive a copy of the printed anthology.
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PASSAGE & PLACE aims to connect conversations of localized displacement and gentrification to more expansive conversations around immigration, imprisonment, community building across intersections, mental health and spirit, and the ways in which queerness interfaces with these. How do our individual and collective bodies affect and politicize the spaces around them, and how do the spaces around us affect and politicize our individual and collective bodies? How are notions of movement/displacement and freedom/confinement constructed, informed by, critiqued, and deconstructed by our individual and collective identities? In what ways do the coping mechanisms of trauma and dissociation transform into intentional acts of strengthening?

PASSAGE & PLACE asks its participants and audience to connect their own experience to a broader narrative about the impacts of movement and place-making in physical, liminal, and metaphorical space in three parts: an art exhibition, a panel discussion of participating artists, and a printed anthology of visual and written works.The printed project will incorporate works of art sourced via an open call for contributions, a curated collection of essays, and letters from both free-world artists/writers and queer prisoners.

PASSAGE & PLACE is curated and coordinated by Annah Anti-Palindrome and Lex Non Scripta.