Performance by Autumn Knight

Mar 31, 2021





5:00 – 7:00 p.m.


For her engagement with Western Front, Autumn Knight was originally invited to present an exhibition and performance on-site in Vancouver, Canada. Within the context of COVID-19, in which travel and public gatherings were restricted, Knight instead made a new performance to be viewed online. Capitalizing on these limitations, Knight’s two-hour performance drew on her background in theatre and video, and further developed a technical structure she first employed while in residence at The Kitchen, New York, in the summer of 2020. 

The frame of the live video stream acted as the proscenium stage which Knight employed a variety of media to activate: digital drawing, text, coloured cellophane gels, sound, photographs, projections, animation, lights, ephemera, and various objects. Her selection of props gesture to abolitionist politics, spirituality, the prison industrial complex, and Black aesthetics in popular culture to question how collective memory informs identity. Her material investigation was scored by a discordant soundtrack composed of absurdist monologues, sampled music, dialogue from sitcoms, live vocals, the ticking of a clicker counter, and ambient sounds. Together, the layering of these elements merge into an entropic composition of audio, image, and citation directed towards exposing mechanisms of power. Using her studio in New York as a set and working closely with a video production team, Knight engaged multiple cameras and switchers to push at the edges of what is public, private, and “live.” 

The performance was followed by a conversation between Knight, curator Pablo de Ocampo, and artist Justine A. Chambers.

Curated by Pablo de Ocampo.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.