Languid Hands: Towards a Black Testimony

26 October - 20 December 2019
Location: Stroom, Hogewal 1-9, The Hague
Open: Wed - Sun, 12-17 hrs

Saturday 26 October 2019
Special opening event
17:00-23:00 hrs: opening, film, talks + performance program
Join 26 October facebook event

22:00-03:00 hrs: afterparty (at The Grey Space in The Middle) - free admission
Join Afterparty facebook event

Sunday 27 October 2019
17:00-19:30 hrs: second day of events with artist talks and a performance by Black Quantum Futurism
Join 27 October facebook event

In Towards a Black Testimony, the London-based artistic and curatorial duo Languid Hands (comprised of Imani Robinson and Rabz Lansiquot) brings together artists, thinkers, writers, listeners and speakers, wanderers and wonderers, to explore the complexity of Black Testimony. In the exhibition space of Stroom Den Haag, Languid Hands will present their new moving image work Towards a Black Testimony: Prayer/Protest/Peace (commissioned by Jerwood Arts, London, UK).

Drawing on archival imagery, Black geographies, and the dying declarations of Black Martyrs, the 40-minute film examines Black Testimony as obscured, ignored and undermined. This work borrows its subtitle - Prayer/Protest/Peace - from the third track on jazz drummer and composer Max Roach's 1960 album We Insist! which features jazz vocalist Abbey Lincoln. Using this composition as the underlying structure for the film itself, Languid Hands presents three chapters or mediations on death and dying and consider the im/possibility of Black Testimony. The script draws from a variety of well and lesser known Black texts, weaving the audience through a performative lecture written and delivered by Imani Robinson and carefully annotated by Rabz Lansiquot's archival exploration.

During an interactive public program at Stroom on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October 2019, Languid Hands has commissioned artists to respond to their work in a series of interventions, discussions and performances, with contributions from Black Quantum Futurism (Camae Ayewa & Rasheeda Philips), Shenece Oretha, Rebecca Bellantoni and Zinzi Minott. Languid Hands has also invited Deborah Cameron to facilitate a series of workshops with young People of Color, engaging with themes of Black Testimony in the context of The Hague.

Saturday 26 October 2019
Location: Stroom Den Haag
17:00-19:00 hrs: Languid Hands Q&A:
with Rabz Lansiquot, Imani Robinson, and Lua Vollaard
Screening of Towards a Black Testimony: Prayer/Protest/Peace
19:00-21.30 hrs: Performances by:
Zinzi Minott: IN MOVEMENT
Rebecca Bellantoni: HOW GREAT THOU ART
Shenece Oretha: HERE, PRESENT

After the program on Saturday there will be an afterparty (22:00-03:00 hrs) at The Grey Space in the Middle. Organized by Narges Mohammedi. With the DJs: Rabz, DJ Fitgirl, Latoya en Fatima Ferrari. Admission: free.

Sunday 27 October 2019, 17:00-19:30 hrs
Location: Stroom Den Haag

17:00-17:45 hrs: Artist round table featuring Camae Ayewa, Rasheeda Phillips, Rebecca Bellantoni, Shenece Oretha, Rabz Lansiquot, and Imani Robinson.
17:45-18:30 hrs: Break
18:30-19:30 hrs: performance Black Quantum Futurism (title to be announced)


Languid Hands
Languid Hands is an artistic and curatorial collaboration between DJ, filmmaker and programmer Rabz Lansiquot, and writer, facilitator and live art practitioner Imani Robinson. They began collaborating together in 2015, through their work with the collective sorryyoufeeluncomfortable (SYFU), exploring Black and queer studies, Black creative practice, Black liberatory praxis and queer methodologies.

Black Quantum Futurism
Black Quantum Futurism is a collaboration between Camae Ayewa (Moor Mother) & Rasheedah Philips. They will present an immersive performance in response to the themes of Towards a Black Testimony of which sound is a central element. Their performances include voice, the live composition of electronic music and noise, film and three dimensional setting. BQF is a new approach to living and experiencing reality by way of the manipulation of space-time in order to see into possible futures, and/or collapse space-time into a desired future in order to bring about that future's reality. This vision and practice derives its facets, tenets, and qualities from quantum physics and Black/African cultural traditions of consciousness, time, and space.

Shenece Oretha
Shenece Oretha is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in London. Her works negotiate the physicality of sound. Creating space for collectivity, poly-vocality and to emphasise listening as an embodied practice. Converging installations, performance, text, print and sculpture to shape moments of communion and ceremony. She draws a connection between the working of sound, feeling and Black experience through all areas of her practice. In 2019 Shenece presented her first solo project Testing Grounds with not/nowhere and Kammer Klang at the Café Oto. Recently she has presented work at Somerset House; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Tate Modern & Britain and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.
Rebecca Bellantoni
Rebecca Bellantoni is an artist based in London. Bellantoni mines everyday occurrences and abstracts them. Investigating, through the lens of metaphysics, comparative theology, philosophy, religion and spirituality and the aesthetics of them. She gently prises apart the concept of the accepted/expected ‘real' and the experiential ‘real'; looking at how these removed borders may offer meditative experiences and portals to self, collective reasoning and healing thought. Her practice is wide ranging and encompasses video, performance, photography, textiles, printmaking, sculpture, writing and sound-text.
Recent work has been shown at Ravens Row, London, Mimosa House, London, PUBLICs, Helsinki, Palais de Tokyo, Paris and The Womens Art Library. Recent collaborative performances with Rowdy SS have taken place at 180 The Strand, Block Universe performance art festival, Shangri-la, Glastonbury festival and E-WERK Luckenwalde, Berlin.

Zinzi Minott
Zinzi Minott's work focuses on the relationship between dance, bodies and politics. Strongly identifying as a dancer, she seeks to complicate the boundaries of dance and the place of black female bodies within the form. Her work explores how dance is perceived through the prisms of race, queer culture, gender and class. Zinzi is interested in the space between dance and other art forms, and though her practice is driven through dance, the outcomes range from performance and live art to sound, film, dances and object-based work.


Our House, your Home
Languid Hands is the third guest in the experimental program Our House, your Home, in which Stroom Den Haag invites international organizations to take over the exhibition space, to do the things they find most urgent, fitting, or challenging.
Our two earlier guests were: Visual Culture Research Center from Kyiv (Ukraine) and left gallery, online platform based in Berlin (Germany).

Towards a Black Testimony is made possible through the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund and the City of The Hague.

Towards a Black Testimony
photo: courtesy the artists
Towards a Black Testimony
'We Insist!", Max Roach album (1960)