Breathing Room
Ligia Lewis
January 29 12pm — February 16 5pm, 2019
Reception February 2nd at 2pm

Performance artist and choreographer Ligia Lewis’ research residency at Or Gallery is part of a constellation of events where artists and guest-speakers think alongside her on themes in performance and gesture. Or Gallery will transform into the ‘Breathing Room,’ a publicly accessible rehearsal space and reading room where Lewis will break from her near-constant touring schedule to view performance archives, respond to texts and develop ideas with visitors including performance artist Keyon Gaskin (Portland, OR).

Photo: Martha Glenn Courtesy of HAU

Breathing Room: opening reception and roundtable
On Saturday February 2 at 2pm, Or Gallery will host a roundtable on the performing body with presentations by Joshua Chambers-Letson (Northwestern University) and Tina Post (University of Chicago) who will be joined in conversation by Laura U. Marks (SFU) and moderator Phanuel Antwi (UBC). These talks are presented in collaboration with the 2019 PuSH Festival.

No Reading After the Internet
On Wednesday February 6th at 6pm, Lewis and Amy Kazymerchyk will lead an edition of ‘No Reading After the Internet,’ a salon series where cultural texts are read aloud by participants as a method of reforming publics and experimenting with the act of reading, as its own media form, in the contemporary moment. Participation in No Reading After the Internet is free and open to everyone, regardless of their familiarity with a text or its author. Texts will be handed out at the salon. No pre-reading or research is required. Please RSVP to

Participant Bios
Through her performance practice, Ligia Lewis engages affect, empathy, and the sensate, her choreography considers the social implications of the body while evoking its potentiality. In 2017, Lewis was awarded a Bessie for Outstanding Production for her work, “minor matter” and the Prix Jardin d’Europe for “Sorrow Swag.”

Keyon Gaskin’s artist statement reads “keyon gaskin prefers not to contextualize their art with their credentials.”
Their practice develops gesture and embodiment as a means of entangling space, audience, artist, curator, gallery and sites beyond.

Joshua Chambers-Letson is a writer and performance theorist who researches and teaches courses in performance studies, critical race theory, political theory, and queer of color critique. His work places performance studies in conversation with a diverse set of fields including black studies, Asian American studies, Latinx studies, art history, legal studies, and Marxist theory to ask two central questions: How do black, brown, Asian, queer, and trans people (alongside other minoritarian subjects) use performance both to survive the destruction and devaluation of their (our) lives and lifeworlds? And how does performance become a means for rehearsing and enacting new worlds and new ways of being in the world together?

Tina Post’s work is preoccupied with racial performativity, especially (though not exclusively) the ways that black Americans perform racial identity. What modes of embodiment assert belonging or dis-belonging, and how? When do racialized subjects confirm and when do they subvert the expectations of their identitarian positions, and to what end? How do other factors of embodiment (gender, dis/ability, hybridity, and so forth) color these performances? She approaches such questions primarily through the lenses of affect and performance studies, using literature, visual culture, fine art, theater, and movement as examples and objects of study.

Laura U. Marks works on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus. Her most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). She programs experimental media for venues around the world and is Grant Strate University Professor in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.

Phanuel Antwi is assistant professor of English at University of British Columbia. He writes, researches, and teaches critical black studies; settler colonial studies; black Atlantic and diaspora studies; Canadian literature and culture since 1830; critical race, gender, and sexuality studies; and material cultures. He has published articles in Interventions, Affinities, and Studies in Canadian Literature, and he is completing a book-length project titled “Currencies of Blackness: Faithfulness, Cheerfulness and Politeness in Settler Writing.”

Amy Kazymerchyk is an Independent curator. She has paid particular attention to moving image and time-based practices, with intrigue and care towards their encounters with cinema, music, literature, painting, dance and performance.

The Or Gallery acknowledges its presence on unceded xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.

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Or Gallery

555 Hamilton St.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6B 2R1

T. +1 604.683.7395
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Gallery hours 12 - 5PM
Tuesday - Saturday

Free Admission