Nora Chipaumire: Portrait of myself as my father. 16.08.2018, Tanz im August, Sophiensael, Berlin.

The ring, the space, the landscape: hot, heavy, ready to be cracked open. “Turn off your phone”: the performers are scolding us like a father would or a state would dictate and ‘the champion’ Chipaumire constantly talks and talks––when the champion asks “what’s my name?” I recall the all the nameless deads of the Middle Passage Epistemology, I recall the delay, a nothingness as Fred Moten mentions in his texts, or I recall James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On the Mountain (in which the writer gives hints to his father’s problematic masculinity as well as the burden of racism), I recall John Coltrane’s repetitive improv, playing the head of Confirmation twenty times. It’s dirty, it’s demanding, it’s punk; “change the way you perceive the African,” repeats the champion and they read a poem, a somniloquy: “black black midnight black chocolate black Mississippi black black black lives always matters black what time is it black black it’s time for the black.” The words and movements visit us again and again, the same lyrics join us, say, 30 minutes later and in the repetition of word(ing)s a monument, a myth occurs from the haze. A manifesto written by Chipaumire on her father, which is for sure about her; a self-portrait of the artist as a man.

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