We’re delighted to present works by Tabita Rezaire, including the theatrical world premiere of Orbit Diapson. Based in French Guyana (a province of France in South America, still remaining from colonial days), and frequently making work in Africa, Rezaire is a healer, artist, and farmer whose multi-faceted practice has revolved around concerns of the internet as a colonial technology, the possibilities of digital interfaces for spiritual and ancestral information, African spirituality, ecological collapse, untold histories of Black womxn, decolonizing uses of technology, and the power of the womb. The works we are exhibiting gather imagery from the internet, machinima, appropriated films, and her own interviews with philosophers and others in vivid and colorful geometric landscapes.
Tabita Rezaire is currently birthing AMAKABA, a space for the sciences and arts of the body, the earth and the sky. Anchored in Amazonian soil under the guidance of the forest, AMAKABA seeks to provide spiritual processes, agro-ecological nourishment, and cultural-scientific offerings to deepen our inner experience and share Amazonian wisdom. Amakaba currently takes care of a cacao farm on the Mhury mountain and is working on two pedagogical gardens, the first for medicinal plants for womb health, the second for vegetal dyes.
Amakaba is also opening a forest school and training doulas. Currently offering yoga classes, astronomical observation session, participatory farming gatherings, and celebrations, Amakaba is in service to each other, the land, the ancestors, and the great unseen, AMAKABA is a vision for collective healing. https://tabitarezaire.com/
In addition to the works being screened in person, with a remote discussion with Rezaire, three earlier works of hers will be available online for viewing before or after the show, from Monday September 11 to Friday September 22, available through the Filmforum website.
This program is made possible by generous support from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
An extended interview with Rezaire by Eleanor Ford is available at Rhizome here.
Our in person program screened the following:
2017, color, sound, digital, 13:04
Premium Connect envisions a study of information and communication technologies exploring African divination systems, the fungi underworld, ancestors communication and quantum physics to (re)think our information conduits. Overcoming the organism-spirit-device divide, this work explores spiritual connections as communication networks and the possibilities of decolonial technologies. Premium Connect investigates the cybernetic spaces where the organic, technological and spiritual worlds connect. How can we use biological or metaphysical systems to fuel technological process of information, control and governance?
Contrary to the Eurocentric-biased thinking, our information super highway might find its roots in African spirituality. Significant research attributes the birth of binary mathematics - which is the foundation principle of computing sciences - to African divination systems such as Ifa from the Yoruba people, of West Africa. We have much to recover in terms of connectivity and its potentialities. As modern science just recently discovered the role of underground fungi networks used by plants to communicate and transfer information, ancient tradition have long known how to communicate with nature and download its knowledge.This study of dynamic networks from artificial, spiritual and biological environments digs into the politics of possibilities, where a techno-consciousness could nurture a mind-body-spirit-technology symbiosis.
2021, Video, 21:12
Commissioned by Museo Madre, IT
Los Angeles Premiere
Farmers’ Wisdom explores how land, societies and people can heal from the legacies of colonialism. The artist draws on Afro-diasporic and indigenous knowledge systems and practices of care, growth and transformation. Rezaire interviews farmers, seeking their guidance as she begins her own journey into agriculture.Cacao D’Amazonie (2021) follows the farmers’ mutual kinship with the forest, exploring how this translates into their work. It is one of a series of videos that question how local, scientific and spiritual knowledge is passed on from generation to generation.
2021, color, sound, digital, 44:44
Los Angeles Premiere, and World Premiere of single-channel version
The stone circles in South Africa that are sometimes referred to as “the birth place of the sun” or “Adam’s Calendar” (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/adams-calendar ) are full of mysteries. Some regard them sacred sites of ancestral spirituality, while others have suggested a connection with extraterrestrial beings. It isn’t just believers in alternative cosmologies who are looking for aliens—NASA is also systematically searching for evidence of extraterrestrial life. This curiosity is driven partly by a desire to colonize new worlds, because we are rapidly destroying the one we have. The ecological crisis is alarming, and the decline in bee populations is thought by some to herald the apocalypse.
Hallucinatory and immersive, Orbit Diapason draws all these threads together to weave a tale about the world of the present, and the mythologies of the future. Whether the future promises escape routes or solutions for present-day problems, depends on our connection to the womb of the earth—so we’re told. The film raises questions about the human tendency towards imperialism and the desire for interaction with alien life. Reflecting on our attitude towards the universe ultimately brings us closer to an understanding of how we live together on Earth. Normally, Orbit Diapason is presented in a honeycomb dome structure.
If you missed it don't sweat LA Film Forum will be hosting online screenings of the following work for you to enjoy at home and with friends and family:
Sorry for Real
2015, digital, color, sound, 17 min.
View at https://vimeo.com/128877463
Sorry For Real is a ‘holographic apology on behalf of the Western world’. Through a fantasized smart-phone conversation, the work questions the power imbalances within an apology-forgiveness narrative. What is the function of an apology? Who benefits from the apology? What are the power structures hidden behind our apologetic age?
The work seeks to virtually capture the violent histories of slavery, colonialism,
and the continued exploitation of African and indigenous bodies and lands.
Unapologetically, this cyber exchange addresses the politics of ‘reparations’, and the
need to decolonize technologies and reconciliation strategies.
Sugar Walls Teardom
2016, digital, color, sound, 21:30
View at https://vimeo.com/171318210
Sugar Walls Teardom reveals the contributions of Black womxn’s wombs to the advancement of modern medical science and technology. During slavery, Black womxn’s bodies were used and abused as commodities for laborious work in plantations, sexual slavery, reproductive exploitation and medical experiments. Anarcha, Betsey and Lucy, were among the captive guinea pigs of Dr. Marion Sims, the so-called ‘father of modern gynecology’, who tortured countless enslaved womxn in the name of science.
Unacknowledged, Black womxn’s wombs have been central to the biomedical economy as the story of Henrietta Lacks – whose stolen cervix cells became the first immortal cells leading to medical breakthrough - reminds us. Biological warfare against Black womxn is still pervasive in today’s pharmaceutical industry.Sugar Walls Teardom celebrates womb technology through an account of coercive anatomic politics and pays homage to these wombs; their contributions have not been forgotten.
Deep Down Tidal
2017, digital, color, sound, 18:44
View at https://vimeo.com/248887185
Commissioned for Citizen X - Human, Nature & Robots Rights by Oregaard Museum, Denmark
Deep Down Tidal excavates the power of water as a conductive interface for communication. From submarine cables to sunken cities, drowned bodies, hidden histories of navigations and sacred signal transmissions, the ocean is home to a complex set of communication networks. As modern information and communication technologies become omnipresent in our industrialized realities, we urgently need to understand the cultural, political and environmental forces that have shaped them. Looking at the infrastructure of submarine fiber optic cables that transfers our digital data, it is striking to realize that the cables are layered onto colonial shipping routes. Once again the bottom of the sea becomes the interface of painful yet celebrated advancements masking the violent deeds of modernity.
Deep Down Tidal navigates the ocean as a graveyard for Black knowledge and technologies.From Atlantis, to the ‘Middle passage’, or refuge seekers presently drowning in the Mediterranean, the ocean abyss carries lost histories and broken lineages while simultaneously providing the global infrastructure for our current telecommunications. Could the violence of the Internet lie in its physical architecture?
Like countless African and indigenous traditional sciences, research in physics now suggest that water has the ability to memorize and copy information, disseminating it through its streams. What data is our world’s water holding? What messages are we encoding into our waters? Beyond historical sorrow, water is a portal to other realities as its mysterious sea life of mermaids, water deities, and serpent spirits celebrated in many cosmologies remind us. Deep Down Tidal enquires the intricate cosmological, spiritual, political and technological entangled narratives sprung from water as an interface to understand the legacies of colonialism.
Odette et Noria Majokko
2022, Video, 11:06
Co-commissioned by E-WERK Luckenwalde (DE) and Biennale Gherdëina (IT)
One of her video interview series, Art of Birth, (2022 - ongoing)
Revisiting “personhood” through the lens of the divine feminine and its role in the creation of life, in Art of Birth we experience the transmission of four women who, from their respective traditions, have supported and cared for the initiation of motherhood: Mrs Yapara from the Indigenous Lokono tradition, Odette Majokko and Noria Majokko from the Maroon Saramaka tradition, and Mrs Myriam Kerrel from the Creole tradition. Womb Wisdom is a window into AMAKABA’s research process and the artist’s own journey as a doula, as Rezaire follows in the footsteps of her grandmother and great-grandmother, both midwives
Tabita Rezaire is infinity longing to experience itself in human form. Her path as an artist, devotee, yogi, doula, and farmer is all geared towards manifesting the divine in herself and beyond. As an eternal seeker, Tabita’s yearning for connection finds expression in her cross-dimensional practices, which envision network sciences - organic, electronic and spiritual - as healing technologies to serve the shift towards heart consciousness. Embracing digital, corporeal and ancestral memory, she digs into scientific imaginaries and mystical realms to tackle the colonial wounds and energetic imbalances that affect the songs of our body-mind-spirits. Through screen interfaces and healing circles, her offerings aim to nurture our collective growth and expand our capacity for togetherness.
Tabita is based near Cayenne in French Guyana, where she is currently studying Agriculture and birthing AMAKABA - her vision for collective healing in the Amazonian forest. Tabita is devoted to becoming a mother to the world.Her offerings have been shared widely – Centre Pompidou, Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; MASP, São Paulo; Serpentine, London; MoMA, NY; New Museum, NY; Gropius Bau, Berlin; MMOMA, Moscow; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; ICA London; V&A London; National Gallery Denmark; The Broad LA; MoCADA, NY; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, Paris – and presented for international biennales in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kochi, Athens, and Berlin and Sydney. She is represented by the Goodman Gallery in South Africa.
Matazi Weathers is a temporal and spatial farmer from Los Angeles always in the pursuit of new potentialities. They are the Assistant Curator of Film at LACMA , co-curated Strong-Sissy Black Movie Night - a cinema and political education space. They founded Black Bloom, a Black farmers cooperative in Los Angeles that provides free education and mentorship to Black folks learning to grow. Previously, they’ve worked at the California African American Museum, The Underground Museum, Critical Resistance LA, REDCAT, Echo Park Film Center, and more. Matazi is active artistically as an image maker and storyteller - mostly through film and photography and is dedicated to an abolitionist and decolonial ethos in life and film, working to bring new visions to life that have the potential to materially change our realities.