ZINZI MINOTT (UK)
Residency period: May-July 2023
At La Becque, Minott offered a continuation of her body-based research The Unruly Body, which considers the possibility of freedom of movement for the Black body and how that links to the sea and green space through durational movement, daily unruly movement session consultations, and the development of theories surrounding bodily freedom. Using both theoretical and speculative references ranging from Black dance theory, improvisational theories, runaway stories of the enslaved, Blackness and botany and somatic theories, this practice allows us to consider letting go of the notions of ruling bodies, nature and the planet. The project has manifested as dances, video, creative writing, manifesto, sculptural and performative installation with organic matter, using plant references from Caribbean countries where her heritage stems from.
My residency was made up of a lot of swimming, and thinking, and doing.
I thought a lot about paint, formally, I spent some time thinking about Caravaggio, Blackness. I thought a lot about being an anomaly in the space I was in and how exhausting, and stressful that was. I read James Baldwin’s text on being Black in Switzerland. That was helpful, and we shared all the same experiences. That was sad. I thought a lot about different kinds of Black, and what the colour offers me.
I swam, I ate cheese. I thought extensively about Europe and. I painted.
I thought about abstraction, read about abstraction. I made sounds. I thought about capturing movement. then I painted. I dance and I moved and I painted. I thought about how to move my practice from the ephemeral to the tangible.
I developed a big love for ceramics and by accident discovered a new medium to work with. This was exciting, challenging and helped me find my feet in a quick sand of making.
Colour was hard, every colour that interested me was too bright and difficult to locate for the ceramics. We managed.
My biggest achievements were rest, priority and new mediums. And Swimming, and cheese and wine. — Zinzi Minott
Zinzi Minott’s work focuses on the relationship between dance, bodies and politics. She explores how dance is perceived through the prisms of race, queer culture, gender and class. She is specifically interested in the place of Black women’s bodies within the form. As a dancer and filmmaker, she seeks to complicate the boundaries of dance, seeing her live performance, filmic explorations and objects as different, but connected manifestations of dance and body-based outcomes and inquiry. Minott is interested in ideas of broken narrative, disturbed lineage and how the use of the glitch can help us to consider notions of racism one experiences through the span of a Black life.
1-4: Zinzi Minott, La Becque, 2023, photo Matthieu Croizier
5-12: Zinzi Minott, La Becque Open Studios, 2023, photo Aurélien Haslebacher