Black & White Photo: by Wilf Speller, collage by Phoebe Collings-James
Purple photos: George Knegtel
Green photos: Johanne Karlsrud
Charting psycho-emotional landscapes and mapping them on to the physical, Phoebe Collings-James and Jamila Johnson-Small work with their multi-dimensional bodies as the primary technology and source material for a collaborative live performance Sound as Weapon, Sounds 4 Survival that is embodied through a symbiotic relationship between dance, music and sculpture.
The group forms a chorus centred around a conceptual deconstruction of ‘percussion’ as it functions instrumentally and also as a radical proposition to the various ways you could think about the power of ‘striking an object’ and the impact of the sonic as resonating frequencies and vibrations. Their bodies navigate the sensory labour of being ‘played’.
For each performance of this work, Phoebe Collings-James and Jamila Johnson-Small a.k.a. Last Yearz Interesting Negro are joined by a different cast of three other artists. The performance takes place at Progress Bar. Progress Bar aims to represent radical equality, communality and hopefulness. It is a growing community of artists, academics and activists who occupy clubs for a better politics. When confronted with the world today – institutional inequality, neofascism, platform capitalism, austerity and a dying planet – being happy becomes a political act.
Commissioned by Bergen Kunsthall and Sonic Acts (2018) as part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Based on work developed in residency at Wysing Arts Centre.