Awardee: Malik Gaines

Visual Arts, 2012

Malik Gaines is an Assistant Professor of Performance Studies at New York University. Apart from My Barbarian, Gaines has written articles for arts publications and exhibition catalogues, and monograph texts for artists including Andrea Bowers, Mark Bradford, Glenn Ligon and  Wangechi Mutu. He has organized exhibitions and programs independently, including Fade: African American Artists in LA for theCity of Los Angeles (2004), Read Me! at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena (2008), and Quadruple-Consciousness at Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2010). Gaines serves as Curator-at-Large for the non-profit gallery LAXART, Los Angeles, where since 2005 he has organized performances, programs and exhibitions. Gaines holds a PhD in Performance Studies from UCLA (2011). Other performance projects include a voice-and-piano solo act and a family music combo called The Gaines.

Project: Post-Living Ante-Action Theater

Post-Living Ante-Action Theater is a public performance and video installation to be shown in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas, resulting from workshops with artists in both countries. The work will be generated in close collaboration with local participants using techniques developed by My Barbarian, a Los Angeles-based performance collective, as part of an ongoing project. Workshops and cultural research with participating artists will result in visual, musical, theatrical and politically critical public demonstrations. Documentation of this process as well as original work will ultimately form a video installation that will explore themes of collaboration and participation in uneasy partnerships.

Collab: My Barbarian

My Barbarian is a collective consisting of Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade, founded in 2000 in Los Angeles. My Barbarian has had solo exhibitions at Participant Inc. (New York), Museo El Eco (Mexico City) and the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles). The group has presented performance works internationally and been included in the 2005 and 2007 Performa Biennials, the 2006 and 2008 California Biennials, the 2007 Montreal Biennial and the 2009 Baltic Triennial. In 2008, My Barbarian developed the Post-Living Ante-Action Theater (PoLAAT), a performance methodology and set of collaborative workshop exercises that facilitates group-building, cultural exchange and political critique through imaginative reenactments.