Emily Roysdon: If I Don’t Move Can You Hear Me?

Emily Roysdon: If I Don’t Move Can You Hear Me?

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)

Emily Roysdon, “If I Don’t Move Can You Hear Me?,” 2010.
Silkscreen produced in collaboration with Studio SM; 24 x 16 inches.*

December 10, 2010

Emily Roysdon: If I Don’t Move Can You Hear Me?

December 12, 2010 – March 6, 2011

2626 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720


Artist and writer Emily Roysdon produces projects at the intersection of social, political, and aesthetic space, evincing an interest in the invisible histories of public sites, the potencies of both language and movement, and the possibilities of abstraction as a formal and mental construct. Her practice is shaped by collaboration, and its implication of negotiation, improvisation, and dialogical thinking. This is embodied in her activities as the editor and cofounder of the influential queer feminist journal and artist collective LTTR; as a member of the band MEN; and as a curator, most recently of Ecstatic Resistance.

For her first solo museum exhibition in the United States, If I Don’t Move Can You Hear Me? / MATRIX 235, Roysdon has paired videos that she recently produced in Stockholm with photographic pieces made in Berkeley; these works are part of Roysdon’s evolving vocabulary around movement, choreography, collectivity, and abstraction. For videos produced in Stockholm, Roysdon used Sergels Torg, a public square planned as the location for all political speech in the city, as a site to think through the complexities of public space, vernacular movement, and regulation. This joins a new body of photographic work produced improvisationally on-site in Berkeley, that engages with the limits, framing, and representation of movement. Still images are silkscreened with a vocabulary of bodily gestures, creating experimental scores for performance that layer time and implied action in physical space, impossible as they may be to represent or enact in the real world. Videos animate concise gestures to complicate expectations of the moving image in relation to the still images, and to work against the spectacle of performance. Together the works set forth an exploration of these interrelated themes—movement, struggle, improvisation, impossibility—across conceptual, material, and real gestures.

As part of the exhibition Roysdon has invited pairs of other writers and thinkers to consider the project’s growing vocabulary of use, regulation, structure, and frame in a new publication that will be distributed in the gallery. Contributors include Michelle Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros, Craig Willse and Silvana DePaula, Eileen Myles and Leopoldine Core, Melissa Anderson and Nathan Lee, Andrea Geyer and Jane Anderson, Matt Wolf and Chris Moukarbel, Ridykeulous, Francesco Gagliardi and Isla Leaver-Yap, Tirza True Latimer and Adrienne Skye Roberts, and Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Jeanine Oleson. The publication is designed by Studio SM, Stockholm.

Emily Roysdon’s recent and upcoming projects include West Street, an artist’s book combining her work with photographs from the estate of Alvin Baltrop, commissioned by Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair; 2010 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Mixed Use: Manhattan at the Reina Sofia, Madrid; Manifesta 8 in Murcia, Spain; Bucharest Biennial; Greater New York at MOMA PS1, New York; and a solo project at Konsthall C, Stockholm.

Emily Roysdon: If I Don’t Move Can You Hear Me? / MATRIX 235 is curated by Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator Elizabeth Thomas.

Performance and Screening
Sunday, December 12, 3 p.m.
Galleries 1 and B
Emily Roysdon’s frequent collaborators, Craig Willse and Chris Vargas, will present a performative reading of A Queer Relational Associative Project Dictionary, a zine that Roysdon created for her MATRIX exhibition. In addition, Roysdon will screen Social Movement and Story of History, two films in the series that now includes If I Don’t Move Can You Hear Me?
Admission is free.


The MATRIX Program at BAM/PFA is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive


Gallery Hours:

Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; open till 9 p.m. on L@TE Fridays

Closed Monday and Tuesday
Press contact: 
Peter Cavagnaro pcavagnaro@berkeley.edu

*Image above:
Courtesy of the artist.

Emily Roysdon: If I Don't Move Can You Hear Me?
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University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
December 10, 2010

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