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Jade Montserrat

  • CountryUnited Kingdom


Jade studied the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Drawing at Norwich University of the Arts. She writes reviews for LSE Review of Books and, more recently, The Photographers Gallery blog.

She regards writing as a political tool, as is use of the body whereby performance is allowing using her body to articulate textually. Following her current Occupation residency at Performance Space, and running concurrently with a six-month residency period at Conway Hall as one of the artist/dancers making up the Conway Cohort, she will be taking up a month-long residency at METAL, Southend where an emphasis on text in relation to film and her project “The Rainbow Tribe” will be developed.

Jade began collating ideas for ‘Josephine and the Rainbow Tribe’ initially for a paper presented at Durham University on International Women’s Day earlier this year at a conference entitled Literary Dolls, discussing her interest in Josephine Baker as a Black celebrity and the intersections between race, gender, class, mass identity and celebrity culture today. The research includes an enquiry into the balance between how Baker enabled ownership of her body and persona, the representations and possible manipulations of her body combined with an unapologetic quest for equality and freedom. Essentially the project is looking at radical approaches to freedom: of expression, of speech, to actively participate as community. The scope of the project is broader than Josephine Baker – as broad as the Rainbow Tribe which she’s using as a metaphor and in terms of the word Tribe, a paradox – covering sex and sexuality, desire, race, class, celebrity, mass identity, colonialism, art history, museums, archives, the role of recording and preserving history.

Inscribing and retracing histories and exorcising myth from a contained space, Montserrat’s body, masked and ‘Othered’, onto the page, through drawing print, painting and film, serves to interrogate projected binaries. Hunter or hunted? Occupier or occupied? Archeologist or artifact? Complicit or implicit? Transformer or transformed?

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