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credits + tracklist

.GIF Stream is a curatorial project imagined by Ada M. Patterson, during the NLS 2020 Curatorial & Art Writing Fellowship, with the support of New Local Space, Kingston. 

New Local Space is a non-profit contemporary visual art initiative in Kingston, Jamaica that operates as a subsidiary of Creative Sounds Ltd. Through funded residencies, fellowships and internships NLS support the work of visual artists committed to breaking new ground in their disciplines, and to connect such artists to the global contemporary art community.

 

This project is made possible in part through a partnership with the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development Next Gen Programme.

Love and eternal gratitude to Adrii Holder, Ark Ramsay, Lisa Harewood, Ewan Atkinson, Ark Ramsay, Nastassia Rambarran, Jovanté Anderson, Deborah Anzinger, Amanda McIntyre, Ronald Cummings, Daniella Rose-King, Dave Williams, Clementine Edwards, Geo Wyeth, Mannequins in Motion, SHE Barbados, EQUALS Barbados, and SOPHIE.

 *:・゚✧*:・゚

01 crisis

for Geo Wyeth

In a complicated way, I’m happy for these moments, for this turn of events. And, in a difficult way, I’m happy that crisis could turn us together like this.

02 underwater

for SHE Barbados (Sexuality, Health & Empowerment)

Each day, you let it melt into you, you let it drop below the surface. The ripples it leaves move with the kind of slowness and subtlety that can keep you undetectable—it could hide itself in raindrops. And with each day, you feel a little bit different—it could hardly be measured except for maybe that little tingle in your nipples and a fresh clinginess from the grasp of your shirt. You feel a little bit softer and you walk with a little more rhythm—and I don’t think that’s chemical, I think you’re just happier that you could hold your own narrative again, that your drowned life could find another kind of breath below the surface. Maybe it is chemical, a pill that lets you breathe underwater.

03 holding our breath

for Ark Ramsay

I’m waiting for them in a car park. They get into my car and before I move off, they hug me with a sigh of relief. It feels like they had been holding their breath since the last time we spoke. And in their touch, it feels like I had been holding my breath too. How had we learned how to hold our breath for that long?

 

 

04 canefields

for Ark Ramsay and their upcoming novel

It's funny—and by funny, I mean harrowing—how a canefield can take you where you didn't know you needed to be. I couldn't anticipate the time travel of canefields. I am reminded of the place of canefields in your novel and how they hold hidden worlds of possibility. How your passage through them could be a transformation in itself. How each journey, each dangerous move your characters make always feels like a crossing of cane, even when there's not a field to be seen.

 

05 deva pt. 1

for Adrii Holder, founder of Mannequins in Motion

Image courtesy Lisa Harewood & Shari Petti

Deva, who taught you how to loop the moon through needles, and dress in threads of night? Dusted in moonlight, you conjure moments in your moves. I see you when the sea is black and doused in glitter. I feel you in the glow of night seen through gullies’ teeth. Hell, I see you right now, shaming the cosmos out of frame, view and concern. And then your mask becomes a strobe-light at the height of the song and I just—

sometimes there aren’t any words, Deva. Only feelings.

06 too far out

for Jovanté Anderson

What kinds of life do funny, queer and off people find too far out into the water? And where are we going when we go too far out? An impossible life might not be going anywhere. Or they might not ever reach where they’re going. They might drown too far out on their way there. Or too far out might be far enough.

07 manchineel

for Charlie

I want to be a sea for you. I want to love you in a salt that keeps things lasting. I want to hesitate this moment longer on the water. I want to give these words the love they need. So the sea might take them from me, to you, over there, where you’re too far out to come back. I need you to know I remember you now, on the water and in the trees. I remember you in manchineel, amber light, sundown sweat and voices too soft for Soca. 

08 love this place

for Barbados

The fact that it is difficult for me to love this place, makes me know this love matters. Mine is a love that struggles to be loving. It takes work, and can't be given to me in the way some people here have it out of ignorance and ease or from a kind of defaulting. I need to love this place with intention or not at all.

09 deva pt. 2

for Adrii Holder, founder of Mannequins in Motion

Image courtesy Lisa Harewood & Shari Petti

But these feelings aren’t only for the glamour. It was never only about the glamour. Your presence in this place of all places—you made life and more life to spare for some of us who needed it. I want to thank you for being visible in a place that hates to see it. Thank you for showing up when we weren’t able to show up for ourselves. Thank you for carving homes in stares. Being seen and being loved are not mutually exclusive. Thank you for teaching us in sequins. There are sisters to be found in shimmers and starlight. Thank you for arriving before words. I didn’t need “trans*” to love where you were taking me. I don’t need no queer theories when you are living proof. 

Deva, all the poui in bloom have nothing on you.  But I don’t know if they know that yet. I don’t know if they know the pain of losing starlight.  

10 screaming to be let out

for my pronouns

I wonder when I’ll chance upon my pronoun, washed ashore like trash. I wonder when I’ll chance upon my gender, bottled, bloated and beached in the drift of crab husks, emptied shells, blue fishing line and other kinds of detritus. I wonder when I’ll find my buried name, screaming to be let out.

11 waves

for SOPHIE

The waves kept coming in white, shining back with nothing to be seen. They could only be heard in an illegible roar. Although it was daytime, the moon was still felt, pulling and pulling up and up the shoreline. And with the waves came the grief. Young trans* people everywhere unable to find the words. There were no words shoring with the grief. A loss as illegible as the roaring of the ocean. Loud and meaningless. Loud and turbulent. And with the waves came the love. Young trans* people everywhere remembering what you gave us. The club nights. The soundtracks to our transitions. Whole new worlds to dream in. A loss as heavy as the pulling moon. A loss written in rising waves and gravity. Weeping and turbulent. 

12 hold all of it

for Ewan Atkinson and his "Only in Our Imagination"  (2017)

I came to unpick these fragments in a very different mind. I had wanted to tell you how I’d miss you if I lost you. I would have feigned your disappearance just to tell you that. Just to picture the weight of my loss—even if only for a moment. I had hoped to drown you in the wordless white of faded posters, unsent messages and unseen photographs—just to make a point. And how tragic that all would have been. How murderous and scarce. With these elegies, I have been attending to queer lives at the edge of disappearance. And I keep saying how I refuse to let another queer life disappear. But what would I have been doing if not burying you and him alive? Not wanting to relive his life is not the same as honouring his absence. I can hold all of it. All of me. All of him. All of her. All of them. All of you. All of us. 

 

☽༓・*˚⁺‧

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
All content © Ada M. Patterson, 2021 All rights reserved.