Torkwase Dyson, I Can Drink the Distance: Plantationocene in 2 Acts, performed at Pace Gallery, New York, November 22, 2019 © Torkwase Dyson. Photo: Maria Baranova.

Pace Live

Torkwase Dyson

Liquid A Place

Oct 7, 9, and 11, 2021
5 Hanover Square
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Torkwase Dyson’s sculptural installation and collaborative performance program Liquid A Place centres on the concept of water in explorations of perception, liberation, and memory.

In Pace's new London gallery on Hanover Square, Dyson’s sculptures operate as both installation and backdrop, presiding over a series of performances and readings by leading Black writers, poets, dancers, and musicians. Dyson’s selection and careful organisation of each performance is predicated upon her research, often stemming from direct experience, key texts, and her own poetic writing and approach to Black Compositional Thought—a working philosophy at the core of Dyson’s exploratory practice that considers how architecture, geographies, and other physical and nonphysical spaces have been composed and inhabited by Black and brown bodies throughout history.

Event Details

Torkwase Dyson: Liquid A Place

A. Encounters
Thursday, Oct 7, 4 PM

B. 2000 Black
Saturday, Oct 9, 1 PM & 4 PM

C. Precarity-Scale
Monday, Oct 11, 1 PM & 4 PM

5 Hanover Square

How to Attend

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Please join waitlist to be notified of future ticket releases.

A. Encounters

Thursday, Oct 7, 2021
5 Hanover Square
Performers include: Harry Alexander, Maëva Berthelot, Dionne Brand, Joseph Funnell, Tyehimba Jess, and Malik Nashad Sharpe.
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In A. Encounters, the first of three performances, Dyson asks what it means when one system meets another. What are the productive tensions and potential outcomes of such an encounter, when different forces or realities collide? These convergences might include a dancer meeting an object, a sculpture meeting a poem, a reader meeting an audience. A. Encounters is sound tracked by poet and musician Tyehimba Jess’s haunting harmonica and includes a reading by Dionne Brand from her hypnotic and extended work of poetry Ossuaries (2010), in which the central character, Yasmine, contemplates the periodic crises of a contemporary life lived nomadically.

B. 2000 Black

Saturday, Oct 9, 2021
1 PM & 4 PM BST
5 Hanover Square
Performers include: Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks, Christina Sharpe, Rowdy SS, and GAIKA.
Featuring collaborative soft sculptures, EMBODY, by Shani Ha.
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In the performance B. 2000 Black, which is named for a song by South Central Los Angeles-born musician Roy Ayers, Dyson muses on lyrics that consider the state of Black liberation in the year 2000. Returning to Ayers’s words, Dyson asks when change will occur and how long is too long. B. 2000 Black includes readings by curator LeRonn P. Brooks and professor, theorist, and writer Christina Sharpe.

Music creates through lines in Liquid A Place, and the programme’s primary soundtrack and composition is supplied by the London-based musician GAIKA, whose Caribbean-influenced contemporary gothic dancehall music is deeply engaged with Jamaican sound system culture and Black diasporic sound. Music is a key component of Black Compositional Thought, serving as a vehicle for stored and shared histories through language and lyrics, rhythm, drum, and bass.

C. Precarity-Scale

Monday, Oct 11, 2021
1 PM & 4 PM BST
5 Hanover Square
Performers include: Maëva Berthelot, and GAIKA, with a sound piece by Ron Trent
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In the final performance, C. Precarity-Scale, the audience is invited to examine histories of extraction as they relate to human bodies and mineral resources. In Dyson’s rhythmic and expressive poetry and description, the artist asks viewers to consider “the scale of the hurricane, the scale of the tsunami, the scale of hatred, the scale of love. Scale is the question of the 21st century. What of scaling down, of drawing down? What of advancement and the scale of liberation?” Such questions are addressed through direct readings as well as the abstract and poetic encounters of movement and sound. C. Precarity-Scale features a collaborative work with legendary Chicago house and techno musician Ron Trent, a childhood friend of Dyson and a pioneer of dance music. Working with a series of vocal samples, inhalations, and exhalations from key Black female musicians archived by Dyson, the new track “Necessary Indeterminacies” (2021) by Kwase and Ron—as they were known as teens—breathes new life into found sound. In the last moments of the song, delivered as a haunting historic work of house music, Dyson reads from her poem “Necessary Indeterminacies”.


Liquid A Place
Limited-Edition Dubplate, 2021

Liquid A Place will be accompanied by the release of a limited-edition double A-side dubplate from Pace Publishing. The dubplate includes two tracks commissioned for use in the performance series: “Necessary Indeterminacies” (2021), a collaboration between Dyson and Trent, and “Marchioness” (2021), a track by GAIKA. Dubplates—master records from which vinyl is pressed—have been instrumental in disseminating reggae, jungle, garage, and grime music across African and Caribbean diasporas in the UK. Within Dyson’s practice, the dubplate functions as a vehicle for Black Compositional Thought.

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Photo: Suzie Howell

Torkwase Dyson

Torkwase Dyson (b. 1973, Chicago) describes herself as a painter working across multiple mediums to explore the continuity between ecology, infrastructure, and architecture. Dyson’s abstract works are visual and material systems used to construct fusions of surface tension, movement, scale, real and finite space. With an emphasis on the ways black and brown bodies perceive and negotiate space as information, Dyson looks to spatial liberation strategies from historical and contemporary perspectives, seeking to uncover new understandings of the potential for more liveable geographies. Dyson received a BA from Tougaloo College in 1996, a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999 and MFA from Yale School of Art in painting/printmaking in 2003. Torkwase Dyson lives in New York.

Learn More


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Photo: Michael Baker

Harry Alexander

Harry Alexander trained at Bird College. He has been a member of Michael Clark Company since 2010, started performing with Julie Cunningham & Company in 2016 and has also danced choreography by Lea Anderson, Carlos Pons Guerra and Thick and Tight. He is represented by Kult London and has worked with photographers including Oliver Hadlee Pearch, Bruno Staub and Tim Walker. Harry was awarded ‘Best Emerging Artist’ at the Critics Circle National Dance Awards in 2017.


Photo: Paul Calver

Maëva Berthelot

Maëva Berthelot is a choreographer, performer, movement director and teacher whose mode of working unfolds along the threshold between experimental, performative and collaborative approaches.

After graduating in 2003 from Paris Superior Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Maëva has collaborated with choreographers such as Emanuel Gat, Ohad Naharin, Sharon Eyal, Clod Ensemble and Hofesh Shechter Company. Drawing from improvisational and somatic practices, her research is rooted in a movement practice which is an ongoing inquiry into the themes of consciousness, transformation, healing, death and rebirth. Her work intends to instil a dialogue between visible and invisible, drawing attention to the tension between conscious/unconscious, material/immaterial realms and on the play between rehearsed and improvised. Fascinated by the phenomenon of channeling, Maëva is constantly exploring ways to steer the body into trance, dream/self hypnotic states, with an emphasis on the importance of preparation in order to access those states in which the body can be utilised as a sensitive, awakened and connected vessel.

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Photo: Clea Christakos-Gee

Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand is a renowned poet, novelist, and essayist known for formal experimentation and the beauty and urgency of her work. Brand’s award-winning poetry books include Land to Light On; thirsty; Inventory; and Ossuaries (winner of the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize). Her latest, The Blue Clerk, an essay poem, won the Trillium Book Award. Theory, her latest of five novels, won the Toronto Book Award. She is the author of the influential nonfiction work, A Map to the Door of No Return. Her most recent non-fiction work is An Autobiography of the Autobiography of Reading. Brand is a recipient of the Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction, 2021. She served as Toronto’s third Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2012 and was named to the Order of Canada in 2017. She is Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.

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Photo: Leronn P. Brooks

Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks

Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks is the Associate Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections (specializing in African American collections) at the Getty Research Institute. Dr. Brooks is a specialist in African American art, poetics, performance, and Africana Studies. His interviews, essays on African American art, and poetry have appeared in publications for Bomb Magazine, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Spelman Museum of Art, Callaloo Journal, The International Review of African American Art as well as The Aperture Foundation, among others. Dr. Brooks is a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow.

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Photo: Dexter Lander

Joseph Funnell

Joseph Funnell is an interdisciplinary artist, performer and activist based in London, who works to support migrant rights, the LGBTQIA+ community, the movement for black lives and the anti-racist struggle. Their research based practice considers the pedagogical potential of embodiment and emancipatory potential of performing agency within contexts of historic negation. In collaboration with Carlos Maria Romero they facilitate somatic workshops in order to empower queer people of colour. They have presented solo work at Les Urbaines (Lausanne, Switzerland), Steakhouse Live (London), Slap Festival (York), The Albany (London), CLAY (Leeds) and Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski (Warsaw). They have performed internationally with collaborators at institutions including Tate Modern (London), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Swiss Institute (New York), and Somerset House (London).

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Photo: Emmanuel S


GAIKA is a multi-disciplinary artist from South London. Through an experimental and prolific approach that darkly fuses music, art, technology, literature and film into a catch-all aesthetic, GAIKA has created a unique style he terms ‘Ghetto Futurism’.

Variously labelled as an iconoclast, rap agitator and mad scientist GAIKA has carved out a unique legend in the global underground in the 5 years since his first EP Machine. After a series of much-feted mixtapes, he released his debut album Basic Volume in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. This was followed by a series of large-scale audio-visual installations around the world, compositions for film and theatre and music that has never shied away from complex storytelling and rich texture. His sophomore studio album will be out in 2022.

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Photo: John Midgley

Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and Olio. Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.”

Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004–2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000–2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He presented his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference and won a 2016 Lannan Literary Award in Poetry. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2018. Jess is a Distinguished Professor of English at College of Staten Island.

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Photo: Caro Gervay

Rowdy SS

Rowdy SS is a London-born and based multidisciplinary artist. Often working at the intersection/s of sound/music, dance/movement, and live art performance alongside making videos and installation; works make space for, love and intimacy, exploration of identity architecture and the surround societal constructs, mining life to share their vision of said life. Rowdy is a Somerset House Studios Resident Artist and international commissions include: Tate Modern, Baltic, (2021), ICA, Nottingham Contemporary, V&A, Turner Contemporary, Glastonbury Festival, The Yard Theatre, Transmediale, Berlin, Maceos, Milan (2019), Palais De Tokyo, The RA, Block Universe, The Southbank Centre

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Photo: Coralie Jauvin

Shani Ha

Shani Ha (b.1987) is a French-Algerian multidisciplinary artist, based in Paris and New York. Her sculptures, performances, public art, and drawings investigate the somatic fragility of empathy, intimacy, otherness, and humanity at large.

From the intimate to public, individual to collective, singular to universal, ephemeral to permanent, contemplation to action; the abstraction and fluidity of space in her work has been central to her practice. Often found to be a disruptive force, an "infra-ordinaire" scale to create embodied collective moments.

Metamorphose, relation and improvisation define the framework through which she attempts to manifest concrete utopia.

Shani Ha received her MFA from l’École Supérieure des Beaux Arts du Mans. Her work has been presented the Manifesta biennale in Marseille (France), Fiminco Foundation for Jeune Creation (France), Museum of Art and Design of New York (US), Grand Palais (CH), Central Park with NYC Arts in Parks (US), Marseille European Capital of Culture (France) and is part of the CNAP collection.

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Photo: Christina Sharpe

Christina Sharpe

Christina Sharpe is a writer, professor, and Canada Research Chair in Black Studies in the Humanities at York University. She is the author of: In the Wake: On Blackness and Being and Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects. Her third book, Ordinary Notes, will be published in 2022 (Knopf/FSG/Daunt). She is working on a monograph called Black. Still. Life. She has recently published essays in Art in America; Alison Saar Of Aether and Earthe; Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America; Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America; and Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing.

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Malik Nashad Sharpe

Malik Nashad Sharpe is an artist working with choreography. They create performances that are formally experimental and engaged with the construction of atmosphere, affect, and dramaturgy. Their performances often utilise social themes and topics as portals to unveil and unearth ulterior and the undercurrent perspectives. Often making underneath their alias and aesthetics project marikiscrycrycry, they have been especially concerned with the affective and textural qualities of dance and how it can transform, disarm, and critically reflect upon mourning and melancholia.

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Photo: Haley Scott

Ron Trent

A perennial presence in music since the early 90's, Ron Trent is considered to be one of the architects of the Chicago music scene. He began the journey through studying and collecting records from a young age, taking cues from his father who ran a record pool in the late 70's. Outside of running several record labels including, Prescription, Future Vision, Electric Blue Recordings and Music and Power, the last few years has seen Ron Trent making his presence known internationally: from regularly gracing the decks at Berghain in Berlin and making appearances at ADE in Amsterdam, to playing for serious audiophile and music connoisseurs in both London (Need2Soul, Boiler Boom, Brilliant Corners) and Japan (Air, Circus).

  • Pace Live — Torkwase Dyson: Liquid A Place, Oct 7, 2021