Up In Arms Development Residency
18 October 2021 -
30 October 2021, 6.30pm–8pm
Anna-Maria Nabirye and Annie Saunders bring Up In Arms, their mutli-platform, multi-year ongoing project examining intersectionality and interpersonal communication, representation and the meaning of solidarity, to New Art Exchange for a two-week residency. The artists will engage in archival work to delve into the core elements and conceptual framework of the project, and develop the visual exhibition component, comprising audio, video and photographs.
Up in Arms is a transmedia performance project that removes the boundaries between process and product, utilizing performance, visual art, and social practice. Created by Anna-Maria Nabirye and Annie Saunders, participants are invited, two at a time, to re-embody and re-create the iconic 1971 portrait of activists and friends Dorothy Pitman-Hughes and Gloria Steinem. In doing so, the artists create a space for meaningful dialogue around racism, feminism, and friendship. The project consists of multiple engagement points: the intimate portrait and dialogue experience for two friends, colleagues, or family members, the documentation of that process (which is edited into a multimedia live performance by the artists as a part of the engagement), and the resulting "final products" -- the footage, audio and portraits -- which comprise a visual art installation. Using the materials generated through residency and installation, the artists are compiling a book project, the Up in Arms Handbook for Intersectional Collaboration.
Up In Arms is represented and produced in the UK by Artsadmin and in the US by Octopus Theatricals. The work has been developed with residencies, performances and live events at The Showroom Gallery, Toynbee Studios, and no.w.here space. London, UK, MANA contemporary, Jersey City, USA, The International Women's Film Festival, Dortmund, Germany, The Association of Austrian Women Artists, Vienna, and online for the WOW (Women of the World) Global 24 Festival.
About the artists:
Anna-Maria Nabirye is a multi-disciplinary artists who performs, collaborates and initiates projects across social practice, fiction, documentary, theatre, screen, visual arts and fashion. Her work is focused on the narratives of Black Women within the African Diaspora.As a collaborative artist/performer, she has co-directed/devised The Scar (HOME< The Delfina Foundation, London Film Festival), Hold Your Ground (Film and Video Umbrella) & The Paper Man (Improbable Theatre). Her own projects include Black Joy Matters (Hastings Museum & Art Gallery), Motherhoody (with Jess Mabel Jones, The Albany), One Prick At A Time (with Jess Mabel Jones, Kings College London), No Word For A Pier in Lusoga & Coming to Our Census? - Imagining An Alternative Census (De La Warr Pavilion). She co-founded and runs fashion brand AFRORETRO - a cultural mash-up of Ugandan and British culture & the community organisation Afri-Co-Lab CIC; a creative entity which tells stories of the African diaspora through upcycled fashion and textiles (commissioned by Royal Court, V&A, Southbank Centre, Brighton Museum and awarded Yink Shonibare's Guest Projects Africa residency). Recent acting roles include Mephisto [A Rhapsody] (The Gate, 2019), Les Blancs (National THeatre) and Macbeth/Boudica/A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Globe), Elizabeth is Missing, Informer, Collateral (BBC).
Annie Saunders is a multidisciplinary creator and director of site-specific experiences, and has created award-winning multi-platform projects. Her location and time-based audio experience CURRENT for Arts Brookfield in Lower Manhattan won the Tribeca Festival's Immersive Award for Best Creative Nonfiction and the Tribeca X Award in the Immersive category. Her installation The Home, a headphone-based experience for one audience member at a time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, won the D&AD Yellow Pencil (Creative Excellence for Spatial Design and Installation Design) and APA Ideas Awards in the UK for Best Experiential Project and Best Use of Technology for Good. The work in archives in the Department of Film at MOMA NYC. She is a member of the inaugural ONX Studio, an invited accelerator for artists working in extended reality to develop significant works for the public realm through NEW INC, the New Museum and the Onassis Foundation, and an alumnus of the Devised Theater Working Group for next-generation performance-makers at the Public Theater. Saunders is the founder and artistic director of site-specific performance company Wilderness, and her experimental project The Wreck for Opera Omaha was called 'ingenious...a persuasive expression of complex female feeling,' by the Wall Street Journal.
Up in Arms will have an open studio on Friday 29th October, 6.30-8pm (during Season Launch), with a selection of documentation and process available to view, and the artists will be present for questions and conversation.