Kenji C. Liu
Curated Exhibition

Talking Bodies

This group exhibition commissioned 6 poets and writers to visualize bodies in an audiovisual digital documentation. Left: Kenji C. Liu, “You Make a Half of Me” 2016.

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curated exhibition

Talking Bodies

Bringing together six Filipino American and Asian American emerging poets and writers, the Center for Art and Thought commissioned them to “to create an audiovisual document of them reading their work.” 
 
We asked our participants the broad question, How do poets and writers write, think, and visualize bodies, the body, their body? The answers to this question—addressing colonialism, gender, geography, the everyday, the unknown and more—become the foundation for Talking Bodies. As you will see, each video captures the creativity of the poets and writers and pushes them to reconcile “voice” and “body” as they focus on the digital screen. 
 
Talking Bodies means literally and doubly.  The contributors are “talking bodies”—bodies who speak—as they record themselves digitally.  And Talking Bodies also “talks [about] bodies.” As these authors write about bodies, they connect theirs to others and to the global and historical processes that have constituted these bodies. These bodies are corporeal, psychic, and epistemic. 
 
This virtual exhibition captures writers as visual artists, especially in the ways they produce themselves speaking their work for the digital screen. 
 
Contributors’ works will be published in staggered waves from early June to early July 2016, after which the whole exhibition will be archived permanently on CA+T’s website.
 
Co-curated by Jan Christian Bernabe and Alex Ratanapratum.
 
Contributors include Kimberly Alidio, Jason Bayan, Rachelle Cruz, Kenji C. Liu, Angela Peñaredondo, and Melissa R. Sipin 
 
Special thanks to the Andy Warhol Foundation and the California Institute of Contemporary Arts for fiscal support.
 
Summer 2016
 

You Make a Half of Me

Kenji C. Liu

2016 Digital video recording Duration: 1m 29s Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Kenji C. Liu

b. 1977

Born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Taiwanese father, the laws at the time excluded me from Japanese citizenship. Because of my father, I was an alien and a ward of the Republic of China, a place I had never seen. Ironic, considering that my father was born into the Japanese Empire. This legal twist, among several others I have explored in my poetry collection Map of an Onion, is a major crux in my creative and scholarly practice.

I am interested in the documents of the state, or what documentation does or does not permit. By document I mean anything from citizenship or residence papers to federal laws or medical examinations. How does a document, or a series of documents, create a certain kind of person, a certain kind of body?

Simultaneously, my experiential practice as a vipassana meditator provides a different yet compatible perspective on personhood and embodiment—that ultimately, what we take to be natural or solid are neither. That what we consider to be a solid self is an amalgamated series of reactions to our experiences.

My current work is the decolonial exploration of an intersection—between the formation of a legal subject (by legal I don’t mean a person given legitimacy through law, but rather a type of person defined and created by law, whether citizen, resident, alien, undocumented, gender, race, etc.) and the formation of our sense of solid self, forged through very personal yet also social, political, economic experiences.

In this work I draw heavily on post-structural and post-colonial scholarship, attempting to sense into biopolitics and governmentality as they are deployed, as we deploy them, as deployment occurs. Equally important are Theravadan Buddhist suttas explicating the ways we form a sense of self (dependent origination or paticcasamuppada), the Four Noble Truths, and the cessation of dukkha. Together, these bodies of thought provide a view into not only how the self is made, but also how it can be remade or unmade—an essential insight for the practice of decolonization.

My poetry collection Map of an Onion is national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. My poetry is in many places, including American Poetry Review, Action Yes!, Split This Rock’s poem of the week series, four anthologies, and a chapbook, You Left Without Your Shoes. I have received fellowships from Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Djerassi, and the Community of Writers, and hold an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation.

Photo credit: Margarita Corporan

 

location

X
  • Born: Kyoto, Japan
  • Based: Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Also Based in: Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

You Make a Half of Me (screen capture)

Kenji C. Liu

2016 Screen capture of video performance Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Kenji C. Liu

b. 1977

Born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Taiwanese father, the laws at the time excluded me from Japanese citizenship. Because of my father, I was an alien and a ward of the Republic of China, a place I had never seen. Ironic, considering that my father was born into the Japanese Empire. This legal twist, among several others I have explored in my poetry collection Map of an Onion, is a major crux in my creative and scholarly practice.

I am interested in the documents of the state, or what documentation does or does not permit. By document I mean anything from citizenship or residence papers to federal laws or medical examinations. How does a document, or a series of documents, create a certain kind of person, a certain kind of body?

Simultaneously, my experiential practice as a vipassana meditator provides a different yet compatible perspective on personhood and embodiment—that ultimately, what we take to be natural or solid are neither. That what we consider to be a solid self is an amalgamated series of reactions to our experiences.

My current work is the decolonial exploration of an intersection—between the formation of a legal subject (by legal I don’t mean a person given legitimacy through law, but rather a type of person defined and created by law, whether citizen, resident, alien, undocumented, gender, race, etc.) and the formation of our sense of solid self, forged through very personal yet also social, political, economic experiences.

In this work I draw heavily on post-structural and post-colonial scholarship, attempting to sense into biopolitics and governmentality as they are deployed, as we deploy them, as deployment occurs. Equally important are Theravadan Buddhist suttas explicating the ways we form a sense of self (dependent origination or paticcasamuppada), the Four Noble Truths, and the cessation of dukkha. Together, these bodies of thought provide a view into not only how the self is made, but also how it can be remade or unmade—an essential insight for the practice of decolonization.

My poetry collection Map of an Onion is national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. My poetry is in many places, including American Poetry Review, Action Yes!, Split This Rock’s poem of the week series, four anthologies, and a chapbook, You Left Without Your Shoes. I have received fellowships from Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Djerassi, and the Community of Writers, and hold an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation.

Photo credit: Margarita Corporan

 

location

X
  • Born: Kyoto, Japan
  • Based: Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Also Based in: Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Eve's Mistress

Angela Peñaredondo

2016 Digital video recording Duration: 1m 11s Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Angela Peñaredondo

b. 1979

Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a Pilipinx poet and artist (on other days, she identifies as a usual ghost, subdued comet, or part-time animal). Her first full-length book, All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, 2016) is the winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. She is the author of a chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AAWW’s The Margins, Four Way Review, Cream City Review, Southern Humanities Review, South Dakota Review, Dusie and elsewhere. She is a VONA/Voices of our Nations Art fellow as well as a recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant, the Gluck Program of the Arts Fellowship, Naropa University’s Zora Neal Hurston Award, Squaw Valley Writers Fellowship, and Fishtrap Fellowship. She has received scholarships from Tin House, Split This Rock, Dzanc Books' International Literary Program, and others.

location

X
  • Born: Iloilo City, Philippines
  • Based: Southern California, CA, USA

comments

X

Eve's Mistress (screen capture)

Angela Peñaredondo

2016 Screen capture of video performance Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Angela Peñaredondo

b. 1979

Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a Pilipinx poet and artist (on other days, she identifies as a usual ghost, subdued comet, or part-time animal). Her first full-length book, All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, 2016) is the winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. She is the author of a chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AAWW’s The Margins, Four Way Review, Cream City Review, Southern Humanities Review, South Dakota Review, Dusie and elsewhere. She is a VONA/Voices of our Nations Art fellow as well as a recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant, the Gluck Program of the Arts Fellowship, Naropa University’s Zora Neal Hurston Award, Squaw Valley Writers Fellowship, and Fishtrap Fellowship. She has received scholarships from Tin House, Split This Rock, Dzanc Books' International Literary Program, and others.

location

X
  • Born: Iloilo City, Philippines
  • Based: Southern California, CA, USA

comments

X

The Young

Angela Peñaredondo

2016 Digital video recording Duration: 2m 38s Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Angela Peñaredondo

b. 1979

Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a Pilipinx poet and artist (on other days, she identifies as a usual ghost, subdued comet, or part-time animal). Her first full-length book, All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, 2016) is the winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. She is the author of a chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AAWW’s The Margins, Four Way Review, Cream City Review, Southern Humanities Review, South Dakota Review, Dusie and elsewhere. She is a VONA/Voices of our Nations Art fellow as well as a recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant, the Gluck Program of the Arts Fellowship, Naropa University’s Zora Neal Hurston Award, Squaw Valley Writers Fellowship, and Fishtrap Fellowship. She has received scholarships from Tin House, Split This Rock, Dzanc Books' International Literary Program, and others.

location

X
  • Born: Iloilo City, Philippines
  • Based: Southern California, CA, USA

comments

X

The Young (screen capture)

Angela Peñaredondo

2016 Screen capture of video performance Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Angela Peñaredondo

b. 1979

Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a Pilipinx poet and artist (on other days, she identifies as a usual ghost, subdued comet, or part-time animal). Her first full-length book, All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, 2016) is the winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. She is the author of a chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AAWW’s The Margins, Four Way Review, Cream City Review, Southern Humanities Review, South Dakota Review, Dusie and elsewhere. She is a VONA/Voices of our Nations Art fellow as well as a recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant, the Gluck Program of the Arts Fellowship, Naropa University’s Zora Neal Hurston Award, Squaw Valley Writers Fellowship, and Fishtrap Fellowship. She has received scholarships from Tin House, Split This Rock, Dzanc Books' International Literary Program, and others.

location

X
  • Born: Iloilo City, Philippines
  • Based: Southern California, CA, USA

comments

X

When The Saints Turned into Carnival Dancers

Angela Peñaredondo

2016 Digital video recording Duration: 3m 45s Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Angela Peñaredondo

b. 1979

Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a Pilipinx poet and artist (on other days, she identifies as a usual ghost, subdued comet, or part-time animal). Her first full-length book, All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, 2016) is the winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. She is the author of a chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AAWW’s The Margins, Four Way Review, Cream City Review, Southern Humanities Review, South Dakota Review, Dusie and elsewhere. She is a VONA/Voices of our Nations Art fellow as well as a recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant, the Gluck Program of the Arts Fellowship, Naropa University’s Zora Neal Hurston Award, Squaw Valley Writers Fellowship, and Fishtrap Fellowship. She has received scholarships from Tin House, Split This Rock, Dzanc Books' International Literary Program, and others.

location

X
  • Born: Iloilo City, Philippines
  • Based: Southern California, CA, USA

comments

X

When the Saints Turned to Carnival Dancers (screen capture)

Angela Peñaredondo

2016 Screen capture of video performance Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Angela Peñaredondo

b. 1979

Born in Iloilo City, Philippines, Angela Peñaredondo is a Pilipinx poet and artist (on other days, she identifies as a usual ghost, subdued comet, or part-time animal). Her first full-length book, All Things Lose Thousands of Times (Inlandia Institute, 2016) is the winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. She is the author of a chapbook, Maroon (Jamii Publications, 2015). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in AAWW’s The Margins, Four Way Review, Cream City Review, Southern Humanities Review, South Dakota Review, Dusie and elsewhere. She is a VONA/Voices of our Nations Art fellow as well as a recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant, the Gluck Program of the Arts Fellowship, Naropa University’s Zora Neal Hurston Award, Squaw Valley Writers Fellowship, and Fishtrap Fellowship. She has received scholarships from Tin House, Split This Rock, Dzanc Books' International Literary Program, and others.

location

X
  • Born: Iloilo City, Philippines
  • Based: Southern California, CA, USA

comments

X

To Become Darna

Rachelle Cruz

2016 Digital video recording Duration: 1m 39s Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Rachelle Cruz

b. 1985

Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California. She is the author of the chapbook SelfPortrait as Rumor and Blood ( Dancing Girl Press, 2012) and coeditor with Melissa Sipin of Kuwento: Lost Things, An Anthology of Philippine Myths (Carayan Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in As/Us , New California Writing 2013 (Heyday Books), the Los Angeles Review of Books , Yellow Medicine Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Lit Pub, The Bakery, Stone Highway, The Collagist, Bone Bouquet, PANK Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Splinter Generation, KCET's Departures Series, and Inlandia: A Literary Journey, among others. She hosts The BloodJet Writing Hour on Blog Talk Radio, and is the Podcast Editor at The Collagist. She is a recent recipient of the Manuel G. Flores Scholarship from the Philippine American Writers and Arists, Inc (PAWA). An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives, writes, and teaches in Southern California.

location

X
  • Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Based: Brea, CA, USA

comments

X

To Become Darna (screen capture)

Rachelle Cruz

2016 Screen capture of video performance Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Rachelle Cruz

b. 1985

Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California. She is the author of the chapbook SelfPortrait as Rumor and Blood ( Dancing Girl Press, 2012) and coeditor with Melissa Sipin of Kuwento: Lost Things, An Anthology of Philippine Myths (Carayan Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in As/Us , New California Writing 2013 (Heyday Books), the Los Angeles Review of Books , Yellow Medicine Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Lit Pub, The Bakery, Stone Highway, The Collagist, Bone Bouquet, PANK Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Splinter Generation, KCET's Departures Series, and Inlandia: A Literary Journey, among others. She hosts The BloodJet Writing Hour on Blog Talk Radio, and is the Podcast Editor at The Collagist. She is a recent recipient of the Manuel G. Flores Scholarship from the Philippine American Writers and Arists, Inc (PAWA). An Emerging Voices Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow and a VONA writer, she lives, writes, and teaches in Southern California.

location

X
  • Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Based: Brea, CA, USA

comments

X