Video still from Laying Fire (2023).
Teateret, Kristiansand, Kongens gate 2
14 February 2024 at 18:00

Notes from Queer Black Archives

Film screening laying fire (2023) followed by a discussion and archival sharing presentation with video artist Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor and writer Lara Okafor.

Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor’s laying fire (2023) is an experimental memory work on intimacy. Using real life portraits of queer Black Norwegian femmes, the film explores revolutionary ways of being in partnership with our beloveds and ourselves. The film questions societal expectations of gender and sexuality and how to interrogate these expectations through a queer Black lens.

Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor is a video artist and researcher. Her roots are in the Southern United States, born in Mississippi and bred in Florida on former Timucan land. Taylor’s work manifests through text, dialogue and video. Her work centers on themes of ritual, social politics and identity mythology of Black and Indigenous folks. She hosted and moderated the salon series, Black in Berlin until 2017. Her video work, Muttererde (2017), a series that calls for femme forms of ancestral history, has been screened in over ten countries. Her latest video work, Laying Fire (2023), is currently touring. In addition to her visual art practice, Taylor has published texts for Vogue Germany, Billedkunst, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Bergen Kunsthall, Haus der Kunst, DADDY Magazine, and Yppé Art Journal. Taylor is currently a PhD fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

Lara Okafor (they/them) is a writer, software developer, and organiser. They are interested in prison abolition, speculative fiction, queerness, and how those topics overlap with technology. Lara has a BSc and MSc in Computer Science. They have written a thesis about digital security for queer people of colour, a short story (Sevenfold) which was published in the Norwegian sci-fi anthology A Line Through Gravity, and pieces published in the magazines Fett and Samora Forum, and they’ve been a regular columnist for Billedkunst. They have also participated and moderated panels, held workshops and talks about topics usually within (and between) the fields of art, technology, and activism at places such as the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), MUNCH, Kunsthall Trondheim, and Kunstnernes Hus.

The screening and conversation is part of the event series Billedkunst Live and has been produced in close collaboration with the Competence Unit for Gender and Sexual Diversity at UiA and Teateret in Kristiansand.

Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor. Photo: Photo: Justine Olivia Tellier⁠.
Lara Okafor. Photo: Chai Saeidi⁠.