Tabita Rezaire: Orbit Diapason
Tabita Rezaire: Orbit Diapason
Commissioned in part by Los Angeles Filmforum, through a generous grant from the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
Masks are still required at Filmforum shows - N95 or KN95.
Two films will be at the in-person screening; three other films will be available online from September 18- September 30.
Filmforum has commissioned five artists to make new work, generously funded by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and over the next year will be presenting the premieres of the works, including discussions with the artists.
Tabita Rezaire is the first of our recipients. 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.
Rezaire’s work has been presented around the world: 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 in international biennales in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kochi, Athens, and Berlin and Sydney.
In addition to the two works being screened in person, with a remote discussion with Rezaire. Three earlier works of hers are available online for viewing before or after the show, from Sunday September 18 to Friday September 30, available below, under each title (Sorry for Real, Sugar Walls Teardown, Deep Down Tidal)
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.
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.
Los Angeles Filmforum screenings are supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture, the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and the California Community Foundation. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
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. Orbit Diapason is presented in a honeycomb dome structure.
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.
Sorry for Real
Screening Online: https://vimeo.com/128877463
2015, digital, color, sound, 17 min.
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
Screening online: https://vimeo.com/171318210
2016, digital, color, sound, 21:30
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
Screening Online: https://vimeo.com/248887185
2017, digital, color, sound, 18:44
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.