Headlands Center for the Arts

taisha paggett

california | performance/dance
Artist in Residence Program 2015

Artist Statement

I make things and am interested in what bodies do. I believe language is tricky, thoughts are powerful, and that people are most beautiful when looking up. My work takes up individual and collaborative investigations into questions of the body, agency, and the phenomenology of race, and it aims to unfasten fixed narratives of the Black body. I attempt to activate my audiences, bring them a bit closer and into the frame of the performance experience so as to realize the intimacy of that exchange. Similarly, my work departs from conventional notions of virtuosity and dancemaking so as to discover new economies of embodied and collective meaning-making.

While At Headlands

While at Headlands, I’ll have the opportunity to take up questions of nature and belonging and delve into the work of Ana Mendieta, Tanya Lukin-Linklater and other artists whose practices involve(d) joining the body with land. How might I engage in movement explorations that upend and re-arrange the fantasies and expectations we uphold of “the land?” How might my investigations stand-in for a desire to reconcile traumatic histories of the Black body and land? I will develop physical vocabulary that draws on notions of yielding, visibility/invisibility and disappearance, and attempt to live in these investigations over the duration of my residency along with movement collaborators. These explorations will culminate in a project that I will present in the fall at LACE in Los Angeles.


 Work Samples

Decomposition of a Continuous Whole from taisha paggett on Vimeo.

A Composite Field – 2 from ashley on Vimeo.

Personal Website