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Joshua Solas

first performed on September 21, 2018
SiTE:LAB, Grand Rapids, MI
performed seven times in 2018


Jersey City, NJ


“Brown, Carmine, and Blue.” was a large scale installation piece that included thirteen days of performances where I used my body to dissect certain themes surrounding my blackness, femininity, and queerness. I was concerned with the effects of trauma and how that informs my identity. Over the course of this two-week performance piece, I had “build days” where I carried over 300 cinder blocks up two flights of stairs, painted them black, and built large structures within the space. Each build day was dedicated to a black woman who lost their life and voice to a senseless act of violence and policing.

This performance was an act of therapy in a way—a love letter to myself—and a way of honoring the lives of women who were unable to reach their full potential. The repetitive action forced me to question how we carry pain. There were moments when I couldn’t feel my arms. My legs shook from exhaustion. I was in pain—so much pain. There is weight that we carry every day and pain that it brings into our lives. We mask pain, constantly carrying the weight of our lives, silently.

As I silently moved through the space, sometimes unnoticed, I reflected on my existence as a black woman and the existence of so many black women in my life. In spite of the constant pain that we are forced to carry and mask, we constantly keep moving forward. We constantly keep going and because of that truth, I’ll never give up. My ancestors never had that choice and because of their unwavering dedication to build a better future, I am here. I am able to exist.

With love.