The Congolese choreographer and dance artist’s work was among those programmed for this year’s BMW Tate Live Exhibition, alongside other performances by Okwui Okpokwasili and Tanya Lukin Linklater. These were cancelled when Tate’s four sites closed due to the coronavirus. However, Linyekula and those of his collaborators who had already made it to London worked with Tate to stage a one-off, site-specific work. This was performed to camera in the empty Tanks after only a few hours of rehearsals.
My Body, My Archive is a performance re-invented for the particular situation of this exhibition and its closure to the public. It combines segments of his works Sur les traces de Dinozord 2006, Statue of Loss 2014, Banataba 2017 and Congo 2019.
In this autobiographical performance, Linyekula questions ancient knowledge stored in the body against the relatively short written history found in books. Companions, dancers, actors and musicians accompany him in this journey, helping him to tell stories and reactivate collective and personal memories. In the current climate, his work, which explores themes of connection, community and fragility of the body, has added poignancy and resonance.
BMW Tate Live Exhibition
Within distinct practices grown from dance, Faustin Linyekula, Okwui Okpokwasili and Tanya Lukin Linklater are concerned with how history is held in the body. The cyclical nature of time, inheritance and the dynamics of storytelling are common issues addressed in their respective works.
Through their unique approaches, they raise some related questions about shared memory, visibility and the notion of tradition in relation to artistic forms and gestures.
Read interviews with all three artists in the exhibition booklet.
Centring on his experiences of social and political tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He blends theatre, dance, film and music to build what he terms a 'circle' of connection between himself, his collaborators and the audience.
Linyekula presents un-ticketed sound and film installations in the South Tank and the Transformers in addition to the ticketed My Body, My Archive performance.
Okpokwasili is an artist, performer, choreographer and writer and she often bases her practice on disruptive forms of storytelling.
During gallery hours, you can experience and participate in Okpokwasili’s un-ticketed Sitting on a Man’s Head in the East Tank and see Poor People’s TV Room Solo installation in the Tanks Lobby for free. Both pieces centre on installations designed by Okpokwasili’s partner, Peter Born. Okpokwasili also performs in the ticketed Poor People’s TV Room Solo.
Tanya Lukin Linklater
Lukin Linklater creates a new work, drawings from her own autobiography as it meets the politics of indigenous water-protection and the history of Treaty. Lukin Linklater builds a sculptural structure from floral kohkum scarves to be experienced in relation to movement and text that she will stage as performance within the space.
Collaborating with dancers and composers, Lukin Linklater bases her performances and around scores, including poems. These expansive poems evoke her memories of childhood, places, and relationships.
For the duration of the exhibition, visitors can experience Lukin Linklater’s un-ticketed installation which includes her film The Treaty is in the Body.