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The Political Body

March 31, 2017April 30, 2017

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Trident Gallery is very pleased to present The Political Body, a themed exhibition of art which opens with a performance and a panel discussion on March 31 and April 1, 2017. The exhibition includes work by visual artists Gabrielle Barzaghi, Nadine Boughton, Winston Boyer, Susan Erony, Richard Emmanuel, and Jay Lee Jaroslav. This exhibition is the first time Trident Gallery has shown work by the latter two artists. The visual art of The Political Body engages with the political dimensions of the human body, and with the body as vehicle for the relationships between art and politics. While necessarily limited in scope, the exhibition surveys some of the territory of the subject. Gallery Director Matthew Swift has begun to capture in a blog some of his thoughts about the included works, why he selected them, and what more he learned about them and about the theme, through conversation, reading, and looking during the course of the exhibition.

Opening Performances and Discussion

The Trident Live Art Series will present two seatings of a 60-minute performance by New York City performance artists Monstah Black and Mx. Oops at 8:00pm on Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1. A panel discussion entitled “The Political Body in Art” will take place at 4:00pm Saturday, April 1. Panelists will be the performers Monstah Black and Mx. Oops; visual artists Gabrielle Barzaghi, Nadine Boughton, and Susan Erony; Gloucester Stage Managing Director Jeff Zinn; and musician 3rian King. The moderator will be Trident Live Art Series Director Sarah Slifer Swift.

Both performers will bring original solo intermedia works that combine dance, live music, and visual art elements.

Monstah Black will present Cotton, a dance film accompanied by live musical performance. The work investigates the idea of physical transformation as a source for healing and a means to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder passed on for generations through DNA. Black employs images from slavery as a point of departure, modifying the images into positive iconography to inspire and empower those that suffered and continue to suffer from its ugly legacy.
“It’s a matter of taking the historical facts from the ugly side of history, and then reshaping it for myself and others to achieve empowerment and affirmation,” Black says. “I’m taking the negative, adding magic and making fanciful, majestic, mythological, yet real.”

Black has performed at Art Basel Miami, The Whitney Annual Gala, The Smithsonian, Performa Biennial (NY), Joe’s Pub (NY), Dance New Amsterdam (NY), New York Live Arts, Movement Research (NY), Dixon Place (NY), and Lincoln Center Out Of Doors.

Mx. Oops will present excerpts from the work Carrying Capacity. Mixing elements of Vogue, Capoeira, and Yoga, Carrying Capacity is a dynamic exploration of embodiment. Mx. Oops tries on sometimes divergent ways of being to clumsily see which might fit. Sudden shifts from intimate, quiet moments to loud, erratic passages illuminate both questions of authenticity and mental health. A collage of personal experiences embrace confusion, defining terrains of shame and pleasure.

Mx. Oops, a transhuman, gender-bending, genre-bending, urban arts shaman is performed by Wendell Cooper. Founder of Complex Stability, Cooper creates interdisciplinary work with a focus on the intersection of urban arts and consciousness studies. Carrying Capacity premiered at The American Realness Festival in NYC in January 2017.

Monstah BlackMx. Oops

Closing Party

Trident Gallery will host a Closing Party for The Political Body on Saturday, April 29. Wine and cheese 5–7pm will be followed by a staging of Sonic Images by experimental composer Pauline Oliveros. Further details are on the event page.

About Live Art Series Performances

A $10 suggested donation compensates the artists.

Performances of 30–45 minutes are followed by refreshments and informal conversation among guests and artists.

Walk-in guests are welcome. The capacity for guests varies with the performance configuration and is not known in advance. A conservative, fixed number of seats are designated for reservations. To reserve seats, please

  • use the online RSVP form at the bottom of the event’s page on the Matthew Swift Gallery web site
  • send email to events at TridentGallery.com [Note: this email address is no longer valid]
  • visit or call the gallery

Gallery staff or an automated email will respond to confirm seat reservations or describe the alternatives.

Please do express interest and intentions for Matthew Swift Gallery Facebook events, but unconfirmed Facebook responses cannot be construed as reservations.

Unreserved guests are usually accommodated comfortably: they will be invited to occupy empty seats at the scheduled start time. When seats are fully occupied, standing room and sometimes floor seating are normally available.

If unforeseen circumstances require postponement or cancellation, notices will be posted on the gallery website and social media (Facebook and Twitter).


Founding support for the Live Art Series is provided by Matthew Swift Gallery, which furnishes the venue, provides publicity, and guarantees minimum compensation to the performing artists. Supplementary fiscal support in 2015, 2016, and 2017 has been provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Note: When you reserve, you will get an email reminder. Though it is called a “ticket,” you do not need to print or bring it.