It is impossible to say everything here so I leave you with this | SERAFINE1369

It is recommended that you play with speakers or headphones as sound features low bass.

The commission comes with an accompanying text to be read or listened to after and/or whilst watching the commission: read & listen here.

I am thinking about skin, as boundary, as border site – for exchange, the manifestation of internal and external happenings and also the largest organ of our bodies and as such, a place of messages. Skin is involved in balance, orientation, relation…Skin as interface.

Skin is an organ that speaks to me loudly, a site of sensitivity, protection, defence, warning signs, as well as communing and absorbing resource from sun and other skin foods. Sun is a big thing for me, a site of particular interest, resonance, astrological affinity and a constant craving as a body formed for another climate born onto this non-tropical island. 

This was a dance for the outside, with the outsides of myself up against, in relation to, distinct surfaces, visible and invisible touching. Thinking about communication, connection and ways of being together that are flowing and intimate and influential without being overstated or stated explicitly, thinking about exposure and sensation of what is there, not being described in language or conventional social gesture.

I am practicing sensing, through skin and slowness – what is there, what is passing through, what is coming up and out and this a kind of threshold crossing/traversing/dancing state of holding or opening or clearing space or trying to become space. Trying to feel and listen out for voices away from/between/around language. Internal and external. Central and peripheral. In exchange. Receiving and releasing. Distinct and entangled. Always moving.

I chose not to shoot any new footage for this commission, and to work with what was already t/here, an attempt to unravel and elaborate on/from/through this archive footage, bound in time. This is part of a project towards consciously recycling, working with transforming or reframing relationships to past works, the words and objects and movements that are formed and left behind like hollowed out shells. Being with the cyclical, chaotic and irregular flows of time, like weather, moving in relation affecting and responding.

This video work is accompanied by a small edition of 10 handmade body butters, continuing the conversation with skin as border and as interface. To receive one please send an email request to  [email protected] with your address, and also any known allergies

Concept, choreography, performance SERAFINE1369
Camera Katarzyna Perlak
Sound Josh Anio Grigg
Voice SERAFINE1369

Featuring documentation from performance ‘I I I (something flat, something cosmic, something endless)’ commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and performed at The Bluecoat, 2021

Accompanying text edited by SERAFINE1369 featuring contributions from Alice MacKenzie, Anouk Thériault, Antonija Livingstone, Fernanda Muñoz-Newsome, Harun Morrison, Jamila Johnson-Small, Nissa Nishikawa, Phoebe Collings-James, Zinzi Buchanan

Please note: If you can’t watch the video above, please try this Vimeo link here.

SERAFINE1369 (previously Last Yearz Interesting Negro) is the London based artist, dancer, writer and facilitator, Jamila Johnson-Small. SERAFINE1369 works with dancing as a philosophical undertaking, a political project with ethical psycho-spiritual ramifications for being-in-the-world; dancing as intimate technology.  This work brings an urgency around understandings of, and sensitivity to, connection, distinction, relation and context, SERAFINE1369’s approach is experiential, embodied and structural.

SERAFINE1369 works with darkness, voice, movement, overwhelm, vibration, inviting forms to emerge and mutate, interrupting the fiction of linear time; atmospheric landscapes created through the live unfolding of the tensions between things that produce meaning. Their raw material is messages from an oracular body, on personal/structural/symptomatic/somatic/psychic levels. Always thinking about the metabolic – impact and exchange through/in/as movement – choreography becomes a ritual decomposition process for channelling, challenging and unsettling embodied (internalised or naturalised) concepts. 

SERAFINE1369 has a relational, cumulative and often collaborative practice, gathering and transmitting information through working in various constellations, at different scales and in different roles. SERAFINE1369 makes performance, installation, sound, video and text that elaborate on their research into bodies, systems, movement and dance as a tool for divination, towards making spaces that might hold the complex, multiple and contradictory, spaces that consider movement and transformation as inevitable.

Commissioned by performingborders in April 2022
Supported by Necessity Fund