The (chrysalis) Archives – jaamil olawale kosoko

jaamil, with an arm extended outwards, is visible in silhouette against a backdrop of colorful light refractions.
jaamil olawale kosoko, Photo courtesy of the Artist

The (chrysalis) Archives
jaamil olawale kosoko

Installation Activation
June 9, 6pm
FREE (Reservation Requested)

June 7-9, 12-5pm
June 14 & 16, 12-5pm
June 15, 2-7pm
June 21-23, 12-5pm
The Arts Center at Governors Island, Lower Gallery
FREE, Drop-In

Multidisciplinary artist jaamil olawale kosoko presented an exhibition incorporating video installation, photographic imagery, sculpture, and performance in the Lower Gallery at The Arts Center at Governors Island as part of their evolving visual performance practice that combined Black and queer theoretical, literary, and spiritual lineages with biographical and bodily knowledge. The exhibition incorporated past works including the film Chameleon (A Visual Album), three-channel video and installation Syllabus for Black Love, as well as photo and documentation of past performances. The multi-media installation included a performance activation titled (chrysalis: activation 1)—a hybrid media performance work that integrated sculpture, moving image, original poetry, and emergent choreographic strategies prompted by the audience. The work examined concepts of metamorphosis, intergenerational knowledge, blood memory, negative space, and the environmental grief that lingered in the aftermath of the living gesture.

Performers: jaamil olawale kosoko, Black Maij, Everett-Asis Saunders 
Performance Doulas: Ebony Noelle Golden & Aziza Tucker 
Lighting Design: LD DeArmon
Creative Producer: Michelle Daly

jaamil olawale kosoko is an artist-in-residence with LMCC's Extended Life Dance Development Program supported, in part, by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Accessibility: The Lower Gallery is ground floor and fully wheelchair accessible.

The activation was interpreted in ASL by SignNexus, the official ASL sponsor of LMCC.

Activation Length: 1 hour

Dance Reflections by Van Clef & Arpels
Sign Nexus Logo
jaamil olawale kosoko stands in front of a light blue body of water, looking into the camera. jaamil is wearing a top with gold and black print and a beaded gold headpiece.

jaamil olawale kosoko is a multi-spirited Nigerian American author, performance artist, and curator of Yoruba and Natchez descent originally from Detroit, MI. kosoko works across the creative realms of live art performance, video, sculpture, and poetry. As an educator and community organizer, they approach politics and education as extensions of their creative process. Through ritual, embodied poetics, Black critical studies, and queer theories of the body, kosoko conjures and crafts perpetual modes of freedom, healing, and care when/where/however possible. kosoko’s works have toured internationally to venues such as Abrons Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, Fusebox Festival, Montréal Arts Interculturels (CA), TakeMeSomewhere (UK), Tanz im August (DE), and Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival (Norway), among many others. Their practice has been honored with awards including the 2022 Slamdance Jury Prize for Best Experimental Short film, 2021/22 MacDowell Fellowship, 2020 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Choreography, and the 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellowship.

Additional funding and support for The (chrysalis) Archives was provided by MAP Fund, LMCC Extended Life program, MacDowell, Dance Advancement Fund, Subcircle Residency, La Becque Residency (Switzerland), PCT Fellowship, UT Austin Visiting Lecture Residency, and friends of kosoko performance studio.

Dance Reflections by Van Clef & Arpels
Dance Reflections by Van Clef & Arpels

jaamil olawale kosoko was presented as part of the 2024 River to River Festival, with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels. Profoundly attached to the world of dance since its origins, the High Jewelry Maison strengthens its commitment with Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Guided by the values of creation, transmission and education, this initiative aims to support artists and institutions in presenting choreographic heritage, while also promoting new productions.

Since its launch in 2020, it has promoted numerous dance companies for their creations as well as the presentation of multiple performances around the world.

The program is complemented each year by major events, including the Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels Festival, whose first edition took place in London in March 2022.

This support further extends to awareness-raising actions focused on dance culture for the broadest possible audience, professionals and amateurs alike.