DATE: “Friday, October 3, 2014 – 5-7PM”
LOCATION: “Roaming”
PERFORMANCE: “The Poetics of Trespassing”

Thomas, with a nylon over his head, wanders throughout the neighborhood, gradually adding additional items to his body, first a tightly wound metal wire around his head and face (creating a painful looking, rapidly layered criss cross pattern), then chaining a string of railroad spikes to his waist (where they drape and clatter against each other at his knees). From here Thomas moves along Milwaukee avenue, dropping the spikes as he goes. He pulls dirt up from a tree and creates an impromptu monument, a railroad spike sticking straight out of the mound of dirt. Once at the Polish Triangle, Thomas uses black electrical tape to adhere more ties to his body.

Thomas investigates the histories, symbols and images that construct notions of Black identity within black personhood – from the plantation to factory worker, from the kitchen cook to the house nanny, from the athlete to the waiter, from the broom to flour, from the thing to the object.

Thomas examines, deconstructs and reconstructs notions of visibility, hyper-visibility, passing, trespassing, eroticised and marginalised representations of the black body in relation to disposable labor, domestic service and notions of thingness amongst materials as a way to address blackness outside of a codependent binary structure of existence. Perhaps, blackness lies within black queerness, within the black freak, within black non-conformity.

Keijaun R. Thomas is a New York/Chicago-based artist creating live performance and multimedia installations that oscillate between movement and materials that function as tools, objects and structures as well as a visual language that can be read, observed and repeated within spatial, temporal and sensorial environments. Thomas earned his Masters degree from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago.

See Photo Documentation
See Video Documentation