Open Access

Margaret Laurena Kemp

An Untitled Project Involving Bodies, Dirt, and Space

Friday, February 24, 2017, 7PM

Free for Montalvo members and Students with ID: Call 408-961-5849 or email Chris Wilcox to RSVP.

VENUE: Lucas Artists Program Commons

Service fees may apply and are non-refundable.
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Margaret Laurena Kemp
Photo: Airyka Rockefeller
This event is presented as part of Montalvo Arts Center’s program series, Open Access—your opportunity to connect with Artists Fellows and Guest Artists at the Lucas Artists Program. This program is designed to offer audiences a behind the scenes view into how artists generate ideas, as well as showcase works in process and fully realized new work. Open Access offerings include conversations, performances, screenings, and culinary events. It also has a virtual presence as an online blog and archive. Find out more at

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Join us as Margaret Laurena Kemp presents a new performance work, part of An Untitled Project Involving Bodies, Dirt, and Space -- an ongoing investigation exploring the racialized body as text in the American landscape. This new performance incorporates imagery from the work she presented at Montalvo during the July 2016 5 Hour Sculpture festival. Utilizing verbal and non-verbal utterances, Kemp explores the politics of silence, space, commodification of flesh, forced migration, and African American myths of flight -- while also delving into issues of place, identity, and authorship. 

In addition, Lucas Artist Fellows Eric Moe, Yasuhiro Usui, and Hiroaki Morita will discuss their latest works.


Kemp is a multi-disciplinary performing artist and theatre educator, investigating authorship and spatial politics through performance. Within her performance practice Kemp is interested in questioning the how systems of scientific and social engineering manipulate voice, breath, flesh, communities and the natural world. She is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance at University of California, Davis, and is also currently touring her original theatrical work Confluence (previously entitled A Negro Speaks of Rivers) in which she uses spoken word, movement, original sound and video projection to explore the multifaceted nature of Afro-Caribbean cultural identity in the United States. Kemp has performed nationally and internationally at such venues as Beyond Baroque Arts Center (Los Angeles, California); The Magnet Theatre (Cape Town, South Africa);  Theatre of Changes (Athens, Greece); La Mama Theatre (Melbourne, Australia); and Red Pear Theatre (Antibes, France). Her film credits include a critically acclaimed starring role in the Brazilian film Children of God.


Our new theme for Open Access in 2017: filmmakers, performance artists, composers, visual artists, and writers will probe wide-ranging creative change-making strategies, and share art works that serve as platforms for critical reflection, advocacy, collaboration, public dialogue, democratic action, and the development of alternative social models and imaginaries.