Queen For A Day: screening and book launch at ICA

Friday 15 September
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Screening 12–7pm
Talk/book launch 7–8.30pm
Book free tickets

Coinciding with the release of artist Deborah-Joyce Holman’s book Queen for a Day, this event is a day-long screening of Holman’s Moment 2 (2022), followed by an in-person reading by Francis Whorrall-Campbell and conversation with the artist, Imani Mason Jordan and Rebecca Bellantoni.

Queen for a Day is Holman’s debut publication, staging a conversation between two of the artist’s films, Moment and Moment 2 (2022), and the work of cinema verité they take as a primary material: Shirley Clarke’s film Portrait of Jason (1967). One ‘queen’ of this title is Jason Holliday, the Black gay male subject at the centre of Clarke’s film with whom Holman wants to act in solidarity. Finding Jason captured by the extractive gaze and exhausting line of questioning of a white female director, Holman works to reproduce his words, rather than his image, placing them as looping samples of script in the mouths of two performers, Imani Mason Jordan (Moment) and Rebecca Bellantoni (Moment and Moment 2). The loop is intended to be liberatory, a way of paying homage to Jason’s utterances via repetition, and to render them abstract and opaque, allowing the new script – included in this book as a series of textual interludes – to function as camouflage.

The new publication features newly commissioned essays by Olamiju Fajemisin, Noémi Michel and Francis Whorrall-Campbell, and an interview with Holman and curator Cédric Fauq, who all offer close analyses of both works, opening up diverse ways of understanding Holman’s aesthetic strategies and politics of representation via film history, decolonial and queer theory.

Co-published by Book Works and Luma Westbau, with the generous support from ICA London, Arts Council England and the Swiss Cultural Fund UK.

Moment was shown at the ICA as part of Image Behaviour. Moment 2 was exhibited at CFGNY at SculptureCenter, New York City (2023), schwarzescafé, Luma Westbau, Zürich (2022) and Cordova, Barcelona (2022).

Queen For A Day will be available in the ICA Bookshop. If you are unable to attend the event, you can preorder the book here.

Queen For A Day: screening and book launch at ICA; ; January 1970; Artist: Holman, Deborah-Joyce; Contributors: Fajemisin, Olamiju; Fauq, Cédric; Michel, Noémi; Whorrall-Campbell, Francis; | Publisher: Book Works and Luma Westbau: