"Caught Up in the Moment"

An Overview of my Artistic Involvement

"Salt, Fat, Ashes, Heat." (2020)

Created By: Eva Margarita

Directed By: Breanna Taylor

Produced By: Mateo Hurtado

Stage Managed By: Yarie Vazquez

In Association With: The Brown Theatre Collective & The Tank NYC

In exploration of an anarchive of blackness, in everyday life, Eva Margarita’s ‘Salt, Fat, Ashes, Heat,’ digests the idea of consuming the other. Done through a cooking practice, this conjuring aims to trace the cyclical flow of gathering, knowledge, and mourning for black folks across the Americas. Taking an endo-cannibalistic approach, Eva Margarita resorted to cook three different entrees with her father’s ashes to not only honor his spirit but to show how communities pass on knowledge through a practice in eating and conjuring with another. To consume the flesh is to commit to its history and its (re)invention. Taking place over the course of 12 hours, ‘Salt, Fat, Ashes, Heat’ served as a journey in memory, flesh, and the human need to accompany one another in life and death.

*In the spirit of conjuring an anarchive and embracing the notion of 'you had to be there to see it,'  the performance is not available for viewing, but please click on the 'learn more' box below to hear Eva speak on her project and the continuation of conjuring. You can also click the 'panel,' tab to see the panel discussion about the performance. 
IMG_0922.jpeg
"PARADISE PARK: A VISUAL POEM." (2020)

A POEM FOR MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

I was inspired to write this poem after viewing some images from @blackarchives.co on Instagram! With so much of my focus being on my water project, I try and let flow of whatever I feel, think, etc. I imagined this poem being an accompanying voice to the beautiful people at the park, living life as best as they could. The fun of being in the water, the holiness of the baptisms, and how that fun and holiness comes together to meet with God wherever you are. Enjoy!

Sources:

1. State of Florida Archive

2. National Geographic

"MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! : THE WATER AND THE ZOMBIE" (2020)

This film is just one of many drafts. It was also the film presented at my Masters Symposium for NYU's Performance Studies department. 

Written By: Breanna Taylor

Directed By: Breanna Taylor

Edited By: Marquise Mays & Breanna Taylor

Narration By: Breanna Taylor

A short film analyzing the complicated relationship between Black people and bodies of water. In the spirit of something being lost below the waves, only to resurface again; I am looking for what emerges or resurfaces from this study to help make sense of how water has been weaponized against Black bodies, looking specifically at the Atlantic Ocean.

 I revisit the time period of enslavement to explain how Black people have become a relic of the impacts of forcible and violent movement across the ocean. Strategically utilizing this word 'relic,' I am making a connection to the 'zombie' horror figure, in which I use as a way to highlight the theme of “experimentation/zombification,” of the Black person as it relates to enslavement, positioning the ocean as the site of experimentation. The zombie will also be used to emphasize the topic of embodiment and social death as it relates to anti-blackness. It is my goal to not only bring about new ways of understanding the relationship between Black people and water, but how we continue to wade through death everyday.  

Tidal Wave.jpg
_Living Dead._.png
"LIVING DEAD" (2020)

Written By: Breanna Taylor

Directed By: Breanna Taylor

Actor: Breanna Taylor

Edited By: Marquise Mays & Breanna Taylor

Cinematography By: Marquise Mays

"Living Dead," seeks to explore the confines of social death through the lens of Blackness. Honing in on the concept of "social death," I employ the "zombie' horror figure as a way to critique this deadness and its cause. This film in connection to "Distant Memories," is the foundational work on my project "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY," in which I will examine how social death and Blackness have been embodied (the zombie), in response to water being used as a site of execution, punishment, and horror. 

"DISTANT MEMORIES" (2020)

Written By: Breanna Taylor

Directed By: Breanna Taylor

Actor: Jabril "Is" Muhammed

Assistant Director(s): Emily Mondrus & Blair Taller

Distant Memories, an experimental, non-dialogue film hones in on the nightmare of Saz, who is tortured by water dreams. In connection to my project, "MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!, I wanted to experiment with dream elements and the concept of "ghostly" presence. Just a little context in case some of the material goes over your head:

 

I’m doing a project about the relationship between black bodies and water, and how water has been used as a weapon (site of execution) during enslavement into the present. The character in the film is basically having nightmares about people being thrown overboard and drowning, which signals to embodied trauma, or the way the body processes and responds to trauma. The character gets scared once he realizes his dreams might have actually manifested a spirit from the deep.

reSURRECTION.jpg
"reSURRECTION" (2019)

Organization: New Sanctuary Coalition

Series: Writing for Rights

Written By: Andre Ford

Directed By: Ray Dubois

Performers: Amelia Fowler; Brandice Peltier;

Breanna Taylor

Writing for Rights is a series of short play readings to benefit New Sanctuary Coalition, an NYC-based

organization working to stop the inhumane system of deportations and detentions in this country.

"reSURRECTION" seeks to honor the lives of Black transwimmin and Queer folx who have since passed

on due to the incessant violence of homophobia/transphobia and inadequate health care.

"THE PERFECT WOMAN" (2019)

Created By: Beatrice Antoine-Martino; Malavika Nair; Breanna Taylor

An artistic overview of the social constraints of womxnhood. Alongside a live, in-class installation where peers were invited to "construct" what they thought made the perfect womxn (use the creators as canvases to write/draw/attach signs/notes on) each creator was tasked with job of creating audio/video splices based on the responses from fellow peers about what they thought made the "perfect" womxn. Below is the audio splice from the perspective of what it means to be a Black womxn, while also juggling these outdated and white-centered expectations of womxnhood.

Responses From: Chanel Sims; Marquise Mays; Sasha VanAllen; Lukas Woodyard; Quindasia Manley; Stephan Hall; Kimberly Edwards; Shakiem "Sha Glizzy" Tucker; Daniel "Chocolate" Murrell; Justin; Cheyenne; Kimauri; Breanna Taylor

The Perfect Womxn (2019)
00:00 / 06:02

Spillers, Hortense. "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book." Diacritics 17.2 (1987): 65-81.

PW.JPG
Humane Experiment.jpg

"THE HUMANE EXPERIMENT: The Encounter" (2019)

Created By: Jasmine Kiah
Written By: Jasmine Kiah & Breanna Taylor
Co-Directed By: Jasmine Kiah & Breanna Taylor

Filmed By: Dequadray White

The Humane Experiment is a series of performances that focuses on Blackness and how blackness responds and interact in the face of whiteness and/or white supremacy. The Humane Experiment also asserts pessimistic elements that ultimately prompts its audience to a pessimistic state of mind leading to revolution. Using artistic mediums such as acting, poetry, dance, song, movement, visual arts, and film to demonstrate its purpose, we believe this is something that the UW-Madison campus and community can greatly benefit from.

"DANCE REEL" (2018)

Video Created By: Tiffany Ike

Dancer: Breanna Taylor

Exhibiting a broad range of movement diversity in dance genres like (African Dance, Ballet, Contemporary/Technique, and Modern). Most of the performances were generated from the full year I studied dance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a dance major (2016-2017), before declaring and graduating with a degree in Afro-American Studies with an Arts Emphasis in May of 2019. For some of the performances shown, I assisted with choreography and direction. 

"DRAPING' SERIES" (2018)

Created By: Kennedie King & Tiffany Ike

Photography/Videography By: Duke Virginia

Performers/Choreographers: Zawadi Carroll, Jamie Dawson, Synovia Knox, & Breanna Taylor

‘Draping’ is a seven-episode short film series that examines the complexity of Black femme identities and the durag as a cultural artifact, while serving as an exploration of interdisciplinary cinematography. The project seeks to increase representation of intersectional Black womanhood on screen and challenge conventional approaches to storytelling and visual composition via a multi-medium platform that includes: film, photography, poetry, dance, fashion etc.

"DA MOVES: YO WADDUP" (2017)

Co-Director(s): 

Corves "CJ" Harris

Breanna Taylor

Choreographer(s):

Corves "CJ" Harris

Breanna Taylor