BERKELEY, CA.- The University of California
, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
(BAM/PFA) present Emily Roysdon: If I Dont Move Can You Hear Me? / MATRIX 235, the artist and writers first solo museum show in the United States. Emily Roysdon produces projects at the intersection of social, political, and aesthetic space, evincing an interest in the invisible histories of public sites, the potencies of both language and movement, and the possibilities of abstraction as a formal and mental construct. Her practice is shaped by collaboration, and its implication of negotiation, improvisation, and dialogical thinking. This is embodied in her activities as the editor and cofounder of the influential queer feminist journal and artist collective LTTR; as a member of the band MEN; and as a curator, most recently of Ecstatic Resistance.
For this exhibition, Roysdon has paired videos that she recently produced in Stockholm with photographic pieces made in Berkeley; these works are part of Roysdons evolving vocabulary around movement, choreography, collectivity, and abstraction. For videos produced in Stockholm, Roysdon used Sergels Torg, a public square planned as the location for all political speech in the city, as a site to think through the complexities of public space, vernacular movement, and regulation. This joins a new photographic work produced improvisationally on-site in Berkeley, that engages with the limits, framing, and representation of movement. Still images are silkscreened with a vocabulary of bodily gestures, creating experimental scores for performance that layer time and implied action in physical space. Together the works set forth an exploration of these interrelated themesmovement, struggle, improvisation, impossibilityacross conceptual, material, and real gestures.
As part of the exhibition Roysdon has invited pairs of other writers and thinkers to consider the projects growing vocabulary of use, regulation, structure, and frame in a new publication that is distributed in the gallery. Contributors include Michelle Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros, Craig Willse and Silvana DePaula, Eileen Myles and Leopoldine Core, Melissa Anderson and Nathan Lee, Andrea Geyer and Jane Anderson, Matt Wolf and Chris Moukarbel, Ridykeulous, Francesco Gagliardi and Isla Leaver-Yap, Tirza True Latimer and Adrienne Skye Roberts, and Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Jeanine Oleson. The publication is designed by Studio SM, Stockholm.
Emily Roysdons recent and upcoming projects include West Street, an artists book combining her work with photographs from the estate of Alvin Baltrop, commissioned by Printed Matters New York Art Book Fair; 2010 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Mixed Use: Manhattan at the Reina Sofia, Madrid; Manifesta 8 in Murcia, Spain; Bucharest Biennial; Greater New York at MOMA PS1, New York; and a solo project at Konsthall C, Stockholm.