Basil KincaidPerformance/Textile Artist
Basil became interested in performance art when he stumbled upon the work of Clifford Owens. He also identified with Owens, who had stated in interviews that the feeling of ‘being invisible’ was the inspiration for his work. “This sensation of invisibility is something that I have confronted in my own work around identity”, says Kincaid. “Also, Michael Brown’s murder made me think more about the invisibility and disposability of the black body within the American cultural landscape.”
Basil’s first performances were in Ghana collaborating with Sere Attukwei Clotty and a group called GoLokal. Upon returning home, he began a collaboration with Audrey Simes, a dancer, choreographer and performance artist. They began performing together with several other artists within the current chapter of The Reclamation Project, a long term project that Kincaid spearheaded in 2012 with Damon Davis and Eric ‘Prospect’ White.
Kincaid doesn’t relate to the idea of being frustrated with race and socioeconomic inequality within the black community, but rather with the global structure of white supremacy, and a desensitization to quotidian state sanctioned murder and cultural assassination. “My frustration lies in the idea that privilege is for the oppressed to dismantle or assimilate to. In the sage words of Lilla Watson,’If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.’ Our mutual liberation as human beings is intertwined. As a man, I must do my part to dismantle patriarchy and to that same end the task is on white people to come to terms with their participation in white supremacy and to take action to dismantle the cycles of oppression.
To build and move forward are byproducts of any honest creative work. When we encounter vulnerability and honesty, it’s activates an awareness of our inner personal and collective potential. Intercultural fear is fueled by a lack of open expression. This festival is an opportunity for people to be vulnerable together, making it a space of hope by nature. My work focuses on valuing ourselves and each other by collecting, shaping and telling our stories–cherishing our place in a legacy of greatness.
Kincaid’s hope for the outcome of StART is to see people that don’t normally interact coming together. “I would like to see us break down some of the cultural barriers and fears that keep us from growing as a city. I hope that this event can be a wake up call, a call to action encouraging us to be our best selves together, acknowledging and valuing our differences as well as our lived experiences.”