Joy Mariama Smith: Resisting Spatial Appropriation: On Politicized Bodies, Space, and Performance Installation

Advisor/tutor: Marina Vishmidt
Arnhem, June 2017


The work "Resisting Spatial Appropriation: On Politicized Bodies, Space, and Performance Installation" is an investigation into systems of oppression that are demonstrated within the field of performance installation. The components of this work are offered to raise awareness among artists, curators, and audiences by revealing structures and systems that invisibly police spatial prohibitions and allowances according to perceptions of race. Resisting Spatial Appropriation invites a nonlinear approach to absorbing and contemplating an array of materials dealing with racism, whiteness, the various effects of performance installation on viewers, definitions of performance itself, analyses and discussion of particular works by artists of color as regards use of space, and the life experience of its author, Joy Mariama Smith. The reader is invited to discover their own patterns of understanding within, around, and through this array, with particular attention to the problem of constructing and performing in racialized space as a marginalized body.