Kaneza Schaal is a New York City–based theater artist. Her recent work Go Forth premiered at Performance Space 122 and then showed at the Genocide Memorial Amphitheater in Kigali, Rwanda; Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans; Wesleyan University Center for the Arts; and in Cairo, Egypt at the International Contemporary Theater Festival. Schaal seeks to build touring networks in the Global South and new models for South-South artistic exchange. Her new work JACK & was commissioned by Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, On The Boards, REDCAT, the Center for Contemporary Art (Cincinnati), and the Walker Art Center, and will also be presented by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, LUMBERYARD, and in BAM’s 2018 Next Wave Festival. Her work with the Wooster Group, Elevator Repair Service, Richard Maxwell/New York City Players, Claude Wampler, and Dean Moss has brought her to venues including Centre Pompidou, Royal Lyceum Theater Edinburgh, the Whitney Museum, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
WE WANTED A REVOLUTION: BLACK RADICAL WOMEN, 1965-85
AT THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM
This exhibition added years to my life. Thank you, Rujeko Hockley and team for your clarity of vision. Thank you for the artistic family reunion of relatives known and estranged; thank you for situating and enveloping me in a legacy. Thank you, Michele Obama, for knowing it was something you needed to see.
DANSPACE PROJECT’S GALA: HONORING REBEL ANGELS DOUGLAS CRIMP, ISHMAEL HOUSTON-JONES, AND LUCY SEXTON
Ralph Lemon reads a letter to Ishmael Houston-Jones. Laughter, rebuttals, heckling. Conversations that happen across years and years of making. Little gold nuggets falling in our laps—and a great night of performances.
Anisia Uzeyman and Saul Williams weaving magic on screen and off, from their first collaboration on TEY to Dreamstates, a new film written and directed by Uzeyman. It left me whirling and hungry for whatever comes next. Little Instagram wisps leave a trail of future work… golden computer shoes on Rwandan soil in the land of a thousand hills.
AGNES GUND SELLS LICHTENSTEIN PAINTING
TO CREATE A NEW FUND TO END MASS INCARCERATION
I like a mic drop. I like a gauntlet thrown. I like a challenge to one’s peers. I like the implied “Who’s next?”
FLAGS OF NO NATION
AT TALLER JOSÉ CLEMENTE OROZCO, GUADALAJARA
Christopher Myers’s two giant tapestries on protest and migration struck to the heart of this year. For a moment I could hold the Women’s March in DC and living during the largest mass migration in human history at the same time. These flag-like works capture the movement of people around the world beyond nation and the syncretic forces that fuel us.
MUGABE IS DEPOSED
At age 93, the 37-year reign of Mugabe ends—a reminder that this too will pass. Also that the seeds our leaders sow are annuals; they must be dug out by the roots. (Annuals as opposed to perennials… yes? My partner says that my political plant metaphors are too obscure.) Also, can’t lie: the man had style, that will be missed.
KAAREM BY CHUONG PHAM
The elegant lines of Chuong Pham. Can I wear Kaarem forever? Yes please.
An eruption echoes into the future and past. The light hurts so good. More light, more light, more light… How do we refract it into the future forever?
A TRIBE CALLED RED’S STADIUM POW WOW
AND WE ARE THE HALLUCI NATION
This single and album lit up my year. (True, both were released in 2016 but they played Music Hall Minneapolis in 2017!)
BRONX GOTHIC, THE FILM
A glorious document of Okwui Okpokwasili’s Bronx Gothic. Let us put to quiet rest the wide-angle shot from the back of the house and make new forms to meet the life of ephemeral works. Let us make mythological renderings, containers that in their own form meet our content. I am ablaze with enthusiasm to explore this forefront.