BASEERA KHAN AND PATRICIA OKOUMOU IN DIALOGUE
FEBRUARY 27 – MARCH 5, 2022
Editor: Isaiah Davis
Cameras: Glen Fogel, Jordan Strafer
Patricia Okoumou and Mbemba Makouela Okoumou’s wardrobe: Suze GX Designs and Amy Volchok
Artwork: Jonathan Berger, Untitled (Emily Anderson and Mark Utter, with Erica Heilman), 2019,
installation view at Participant Inc, New York. Jonathan Berger: An Introduction to Nameless Love was co-organized by Participant Inc, New York, and Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University.
Produced in conjunction with the New Orleans Museum of Art's 2020 Exhibition Mending the Sky
Audio: Seth Boonchai
Open captioning: 3play Media
Recorded on: August 7, 2020
As part of the public launch of Baseera Khan, Core-On (Core Dash On), published by PARTICIPANT PRESS and HOUSING, we are pleased to premiere a conversation between Khan and the New York based social activist Patricia Okoumou on PARTICIPANT AFTER DARK. This intimate dialogue took place during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now functions as a timestamped moment between Khan and Okoumou to discus the rigors behind climbing as both a pragmatic and artistically imbued act of corporea decolonization. Endurance is another generative component for both artists and activists within the psycho-emotional and physical realms. Okoumou’s sociopolitical labor centers the constant need for social justice reform, gender equity, and human rights. In 2018, Okoumou climbed the Statue of Liberty as a solidified act of protest against immigration policy enacted by the previous administration. In public appearances including this video, Okoumou and her son Mbemba Makouela Okoumou don handmade army green outfits with texts that talk back to the former first lady’s “I really don’t care. Do u?” jacket.
For her 2017 solo exhibition at PARTICIPANT, Khan presented and scaled Braidrage, a 12x15 rock climbing wall with rocks that were made using resin casts of Khan’s body and guiding ropes of braided hair. Her Psychedelic Prayer Rugs occupied an area of the exhibition equipped with a shelving unit and book stand functioning as a Reading Room, On Purpose, where one could read a variety of books and view personal archives that comprised research related to the exhibition. The Reading Room, On Purpose contained one handcrafted book, compiled b the artist, called Core-On (pronounced ‘core dash on’) – Khan’s Qur'an, which told the story of her work through images, notes, and mappings. On the occasion of her 2021 solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, I Am an Archive, Participant Press and Housing published an edition of 600 copies of this book (ISBN 978-1-7354028-0-2 134 pages, printing by PUBLICIDE INC).