In the Project room, taisha paggett and Ashley Hunt will create a “black box,” a darkened installation that builds upon their recent “Par Course” projects. Working under the general research categories of movement, thought and politics, Hunt and Paggett’s Par Course works consist of choreographic installations, offering scripts, prompts and reflections to a viewer in order to engage their sensory and political presence, often based upon themes, images and actions generated in workshops.
Ashley Hunt is an artist and activist who uses video, photography, mapping and writing to engage social movements, modes of learning and public discourse. Among his interests are structures that allow people to accumulate power and those which keep others from getting power, while learning from the ways people come to know, respond to and conceive of themselves within these structures. Rather than seeing art and activism as two exclusive spheres of practice, he approaches them as complimentary, drawing upon the ideas of social movements and cultural theory alike — the theorizing and practices of each informing the other. This has included investigations into the prison, the demise of welfare state institutions, war and disaster capitalism, documentary representations and political activism. His recent performance, Notes on the Emptying of a City, explores the first-person politics of being in New Orleans with a camera in the months following Hurricane Katrina, when he engaged with community activists to research the city’s refusal to evacuate the Orleans Parish Prison Other projects include a number of works included under the umbrella of The Corrections Documentary Project (www.correctionsproject.com), which centers around the contemporary growth of prisons and their centrality to today’s economic restructuring and the politics of race; 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, a collaboration with Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Katya Sander and David Thorne, and an ongoing collaboration wtih Taisha Paggett, On Movement, Thought and Politics.
Taisha Paggett is a Los Angeles and Chicago based artist and co-founder of the dance journal project itch. Her work and collaborations for the stage, gallery and public sphere have been presented locally, nationally and internationally. Her work includes individual and collaborative investigations into questions of the body, agency and the phenomenology of race. In addition to her group choreography and solo durational works, she has worked collaboratively, toured with and made significant creative contributions to the projects of Meg Wolfe, Victoria Marks, David Roussève, Cid Pearlman, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Baker-Tarpaga Projects, Kelly Nipper and Rebecca Alson-Milkman. Paggett is a former member of the Ultra-red and maintains an ongoing collaborative project with visual artist Ashley Hunt, "On movement, thought and politics," which has taken form as workshop, performance, video and mixed media installation. She holds an MFA from UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and is currently a member of the Dance Faculty of Columbia College in Chicago. Paggett will be included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.