Choreographies of Disclosure: What the Mind Forgets is a socially engaged, long-form project, organized and curated by performance artist Jadelynn Stahl in collaboration with LGBTQ multidisciplinary artists who have been impacted by sexual violence. The project seeks to create tangible, visionary spaces which uplift the voices of queer and trans survivors and secondary- survivors; voices that are often left out, co-opted or forgotten in the mainstream movement to end sexual assault. The exhibition manifests artistic provocations which endeavor to incite dialogues surrounding the impact of sexual violence as it intersects with queer and trans identities, as well as community forums which center queer and trans visions of a world without the ever-present threat of sexual assault – a world in which we are the architects of our own healing and liberation.

The project is an artistic investigation into how the traumatized body is perceived and how the somatic expressions of an individual who has experienced assault are interpreted. It reflects queer and trans assault survivor’s stories in a different way: through the ways our bodies speak when our words are not enough. Survivor-collaborators have consented to share aspects of their story(ies) with Stahl, who then transformed these disclosures into pieces of written choreography – sequences of actions which function both as performative instruction and poetic document. These documents were then provided to Bay Area queer and trans artists, who developed multidisciplinary works to the content in the medium of their choosing, all responses to the somatic expressions of a survivor in the act of disclosure.

Throughout the process, survivors had co-authorship and final say regarding the outcome of each work, allowing the process to therefore become restorative, as each remained the indisputable expert of their, her or his own stories. The resulting artistic works – four written choreographies and four response works – anchor the exhibition, and are supplemented by performances, panels, as well as community forums facilitated by local organizers, artists and community leaders. These events will provide opportunities for transformative encounters within our artistic and social communities, celebrating and reflecting upon queer and trans survival, resistance and resilience.

Participating Artists: Eliza Barrios, Cassandra Clark, Oriana Doria-Quesada, Leslie Dreyer, Kin Folkz, Lydia Greer, Angela Hennessy, Jo Howard, Vanessa Rochelle Lewis, LeahAnn Mitchell #lamfemmebear, Quinn Peck, Reaa Puri, Azin Seraj, The Haus of Devine and Jadelynn Stahl.

Banner Image: Still from closing performance, Visioning Textiles, Se(o)wing Rows of Preservation, J. Stahl, 2019.

This project’s site is still in progress.

For more information, please contact Jadelynn Stahl at jadelynnstahl@gmail.com, or use the Contact function on this page.

This project was made possible through the support of the East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation, and through the donations of numerous community members. Additional funds were provided by Pro Arts’ Visual Art Program partners the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program.