The Portal

Autumn Knight: WALL

Autumn Knight, WALL, (2016/2019). Performance, total run time approximately forty-five minutes. Danspace Project, New York, NY. Natasha L. Turner and Autumn Knight. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee 2017.4. Photo © Paula Court.

Autumn Knight, WALL, (2016/2019). Performance, total run time approximately forty-five minutes. Danspace Project, New York, NY. Mia Matthias, Natasha L. Turner, Sixx Teague, Sydney Rodriguez, Krystique Bright, Mzuri Hudson, Sandra Parris, Shelly Montrose, Leila Fuentes, Autumn Knight, Tanisha Jones, and Niala Epps. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee 2017.4. Photo © Paula Court.

Autumn Knight: WALL celebrates The Studio Museum in Harlem’s (Studio Museum) acquisition of WALL (2014–16) by 2016–17 artist in residence Autumn Knight. Featuring the first performance to enter the Museum’s permanent collection, Autumn Knight: WALL is being presented by the Studio Museum and Danspace Project. Performed by Knight in collaboration with Natasha L. Turner, the work features a femme/black-identifying ensemble and portrays a series of sounds, rituals, and actions influenced by the Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem and the Galveston Seawall in Texas, and reimagines walls through black feminist experience as psychological, spiritual, and embodied places. Knight creates a sanctuary through this performance: a loosely defined internal space where burdens can be placed, imagination is fostered, and mental and physical survival strategies can emerge. First staged in Galveston in 2014 and subsequently in Houston in 2016, these are the first New York City performances.

Autumn Knight: WALL marks an important phase in the Studio Museum’s acquisition process, ensuring that the embodied knowledge of Knight’s performance and participatory practice is contextualized within the Museum’s collection. The acquisition of WALL is directed by living archives specialist Cori Olinghouse on behalf of The Portal. The collaboration builds on an existing partnership between the Studio Museum and Danspace Project through its ongoing support of performance artists of color.