Joya: AiR / Vivian Chinasa + Rosie Cooper / UK


Vivian Chinasa…

“The fact of seeing is not a reference for believing; in nature there are many performances that surpass human knowledge. For example, I place myself in a landscape, interacting with the concept of scale, distance, and composition. I jump up and down, imitating a Kenyan man, who being engaged in his cultural dance seeks to reach beyond what is seen.  Though I am seen by the land and by a camera and thus the person operating the camera, the performance that I am engaged in is not the only performance happening”.

“Every jump creates a shift in the environment that I am in; each creature reacts to the sound of my feet pounding the dusty, dirt tracks. The crickets jump to find a space of refugee; the flies fly to come back to where they were. The ground itself id hard and dusty, riddled with sharp broken stones, my feet starts to resemble a war zone.

The complexity of the landscape heightens in this very small moment of interaction. Suddenly what seemed like a performance for the camera, an action initiated by me the human becomes a negotiation between my body and the land that it belongs to.

My practice is my politics and my engagement with the system I chose to live in.

I am not historical or futuristic; I am not an image of any imagination nor am I a history book formed out of misogyny. My process is to perform my truth, to find my identity and define that identity through movement.  When I move, I move with my history.

The land is my first point of call; it is a canvas of expression. I am here on a one week residency with Rosie cooper a multi-disciplinary artist; working on establishing a collaborative process that embeds identity, culture and performance in the land.

We have been creating a series of images and films’ looking at my body in relation to this landscape and my memories of growing up in Nigeria in a landscape so different from this yet through performance becomes a place of many similarities”.

Rosie Cooper…

As a filmmaker and photographer with a background of studying fine art, I thrive on the challenge of conveying ideas through a unique perspective of articulate editing, colours and imagery manipulation. I pursue a range of collaborative projects both within the arts, music and business and thrive on those engagements of a brief and inspire to produce their idea or a feeling into a visual reality, a tangible form of art.

Within my practice I find inspiration and motivation in landscape and nature in general, where ever I am. I must have access to solitude with nature, maybe it’s an obsession or maybe it’s necessary in order to process & create, what ever it is. I am still trying to figure it out and my filmmaking and photography is a reflection of that search.

Collaborating with Vivian, a performance artist within this space has been a new and a reflective experience. Allowing us to work very closely together everyday, has opened a space both in mind and body to a new type of focus and openness in our practices and have fully engaged and intertwined. This experience has empowered our confidence within each other for future collaborations to come”.

Rachel Arena