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Swallow the Fish
Gabrielle Civil’s Swallow the Fish is a memoir in performance art that explores the medium from within its beating heart. Adding its voice to black feminist conversations, it combines essays, anecdotes, and meditations with original performance texts to confront audience, motivation, and fears. Both joy and panic appear in Civil’s world of performance, where neither walls ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published February 22nd 2017 by Civil Coping Mechanisms
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I happened upon this book as I was working my way through the Electric Lit list of 34 Books by Women of Color to Read this Year (2017) and didn't know anything about the artist or her practice. What I discovered inside was a delightful and insightful journey along an artist's path to being a practicing performance artist. I am an arts administrator and really geeked out at the intimate look at how works get created and brought to an audience. The format of the book and the honest reflection made ...more
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“Ii do not walk with alienation everywhere I go in the world. I have been to small taverns in rural Ohio, big city bars, San Francisco bath houses, and in all these have felt welcome and happy. But walking through that sunglassed throng, I felt like a Martian. I didn't hate the feeling - indeed, being a black woman in the academy, it wasn't new to me - but it was interesting. I kept wondering: where is the performance? When will the performance start? Is this the performance - me walking through this space without sunglasses with all these Nordic quasi-hipster white people in multi-colored, motorcycle cop sunglasses?”More quotes…