• Keioui Keijaun Thomas <br>Artist Talk & Glory Be… Poetry Reading

Keioui Keijaun Thomas
Artist Talk & Glory Be… Poetry Reading

January 12, 2024
5:00 PM

Join us in the Oasis, a space for programming and rest in the exhibition Keioui Keijaun Thomas: Magma & Pearls, for an evening presenting an artist talk and poetry readings by the artist.

At 5pm, the evening will begin with an artist talk by exhibiting artist Keioui Keijaun Thomas. She will discuss her interdisciplinary and research-oriented artistic practice and process, presenting past projects and current work. 

At 6pm, Thomas hosts the inaugural Glory Be… series of poetry readings centers Trans, Queer, Black, Indigenous, and POC life and stories. Titled Glory Be… Black Trans Vision & Queer Revolution, the reading features poets Isis Awad, zee rashida, and Keioui Keijaun Thomas.


About the poets

Isis Awad is a curator, writer, and poet from Cairo, Egypt. She is the Founding Director of Executive Care*, a non profit art organization at the service of trans and queer artists of color from performance and nightlife. She also puts together national conferences aiming to find solutions for youth homelessness in the U.S. as Events Manager at the non profit org. Point Source Youth. 

zee rashida (she/her) is a system-impacted disabled gender fluid trans woman who has participated in abolitionist youth organizing for 10+ years. Recently, she has gotten safe housing after being chronically houseless for several years and completing her Bachelor of Arts in Critical Black Studies and Geography. So, she is prioritizing earthwork and community as her birthright to heal generational and current-day trauma via “Herstoracle Readings”. Her next dream is to compile and publish her interdisciplinary artwork (which includes storytelling, poetry, ceramics, divination, political education) of her TRANSition genealogy from a Christian Fundamentalist Conservative Black family into her prized possession: her tender gender: trans womanhood as an African Traditional Religious Priestess. rashida’s work centers on Climate Justice, particularly Solar Punk Aesthetics, African Traditional Religions, Healing Art-Cultural Work, Oral Tradition, Black Feminist Geography, Gender and Political Education Doula work, Reproductive Justice, Trans Healthcare, Transformative & Restorative Justice, Disability Justice, Healing Justice, Abolitionism, her System Impacted Community and Political Prisoners. Her current projects are initiating a gender doula program for baby trans femmes, performing poetry, and facilitating workshops as a political educator. Outside of work, she enjoys roller dancing, slow walks in nature, looking at the stars, and reading black lesbian feminism with a squishmellow. you can follow her on IG@artbymoonra

Keioui Keijaun Thomas is a New York-based artist. She creates live performance and multimedia installations that address blackness outside of a codependent, binary structure of existence. Her performances combine rhapsodic layers of live and recorded voice, slipping between various modes of address, to explore the pleasures and pressures of dependency, care, and support. By centering self and communal care in real-time, Thomas’ practice aims to build bridges of understanding and community. Thomas has presented work both nationally and internationally at The Rhubarb Festival, Toronto (2023); Skopje Pride Queer Arts Festival, Skopje, Macedonia (2020); Dweller Festival, Brooklyn (2020); ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio, Finland (2019); Fierce Festival, Birmingham, UK (2019); Time-Based Art Festival, Portland (2016); Rapid Pulse Performance Art Festival, Chicago (2016); SPILL Festival of Performance, Ipswich, UK (2014); Out of Site Festival, Chicago (2014). Solo performances at The Knockdown Center, New York (2018), Harvard University, Cambridge (2018); Performance Space UK, Folkestone, UK (2016); Housing NY, Brooklyn (2016); and Human Resources, Los Angeles (2015). Select group exhibitions at Performance Space, New York (2019); Wrightwood 659, Chicago (2019); Arnolfini, Bristol, UK (2019); Artists Space, New York (2018); Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston (2018); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2018); Human Resources, Los Angeles (2018); Broad Museum, Los Angeles (2017); New Normal, Istanbul and Beirut (2017); Encuentro 2016, Santiago (2016); Centro Cultural del México Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2016); EXPO Chicago, Chicago (2015); Théâtre de la Ville, Paris (2015). Solo exhibitions include No Longer Strange Fruit, JOAN, California (2023),  Come Hell or High Femmes, Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio (2022); and Hands Up, Ass Out, Participant Inc., New York (2021). Thomas is a 2022 recipient of the MAP Fund, the inaugural winner of the Queer|Art 2020 Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists, and the Franklin Furnace Fund Recipient for 2018. She earned her Masters degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA with Honors from the School of Visual Arts in New York.


About the Exhibition

Magma & Pearls: Oceans Rise and Fall Like Meteorites is the first solo museum exhibition by artist and performer Keioui Keijaun Thomas presenting a large-scale sculptural installation, video, performance, and community-generated programming. The exhibition builds on over a decade of the artist’s work exploring the affective and material conditions of Black and trans identity and expands on her ongoing practice of world-building to create spaces of safety, joy, and healing. The artist transforms MOCA’s Great Hall into a post-apocalyptic geography to imagine new ways to relate to the American landscape centering interdependent systems of care for all living beings.