Lucila Novoa ~ Draai

artistiek onderzoek - dekolonisatie - performance - autobiografisch - samenwerking

lucie draai (b.1979 Bogotá, Colombia) is an artist based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, holds a Master of Art Praxis Degree from the Dutch Art Institute. As an adoptee of color, displaced from Colombia to the Netherlands – without her consent – her practice proposes to re-think and disturb the social, political terms of order that surround us.

To never settle and always stay in the displacement. A decolonial queer, more than human understanding of the present is necessary and calls for a shift in how we conceptualise being, life, death, and temporality. A proposal for radical imagination, love, care, hope and respect for difference.

from yellow to brown (un)measured against a white background - a new performative work inspired by José Esteban Muñoz’s (1967-2013) ‘The sense of Brown’ and ‘all about love’ by bell hooks (1952 -2021) at Daily Practice, Rotterdam 28.08.2022 - 09.10.2022. I invited Ellen Mary Rooijakkers and Lucciana Bolivar to be part of a transformative process of ‘displacement’, its meaning and manifestation. "In lucie draai’s work, displacement is key and she investigates all its connotations: the loss of a native place and environment, or a literal displacement, voluntarily or unintentionally, and thus ‘movement’. From her personal history of adoption from Colombia to the Netherlands, displacement has set in motion an irreversible process, in which questions about origin and identity remain unanswered, because crucial information is missing and therefore continuous movement may be the only constant and reliable factor. From a decolonial, queer, mindset lucie rethinks what it means to be human and how to reclaim an ethic of care and love. In various disciplines she tries again and again to seek a caring, loving connection with her self, her body, her history and her environment. For ‘from yellow to brown (un)measured against a white background’, lucie invited her dear friend Ellen Mary Rooijakkers to design a costume for the performance to take place in Daily Practice. Ellen has made five ephemeral and literally layered garments from tulle, transparent but at the same time quite stiff material, each in a different (skin)tone. lucie draai asked Lucciana Bolivar as a queer person of color to take analog portrait photos, over a 24-hour period; a conscious choice to look beyond the white, patriarchal, normative gaze. Lucciana spent an evening, night, morning and afternoon with lucie, her partner and their pets. An intimate and realistic portrait on a hot, oppressive summer day. When the sun shines, the figure of the street window moves through the space of Daily Practice. lucie draai has made the movement of this shape part of the exhibition and therefore opening hours have been adjusted. Together with polaroids that reflect the performance on August 28, ‘from yellow to brown (un)measured against a white background’ shows various possible semblances of lucie draai, from realistic to transparent; movements of boundaries, colours, shapes and identities: a constant displacement." Image credit: jhoeko
a tender exchange - as part of the group exhibition HEDEN: AARDE X PARADYS at H47 in Leeuwarden curated by Sanne de Vries from 2 June-23 June 2022. Silkscreens on paper, size 76 x 112 cm and 56 x 78 cm. Video loop on wall. Publication ‘outsider within: a conversation by lucie draai and ketan’, 2nd edition 2022. Image credit: jhoeko ~ i can sense you’re here ~ pulsating from,~ towards ~ the air is humid ~ we are dripping in sweat ~ i am nervous ~ are you ok? ~ we keep on meeting ~ overflowing with excitement ~ a few minutes ~ in the bright sunlight ~ forever darkness ~ i am softly dreaming ~ of our multiplicity ~ in the warmth ~ of the night ~ i look at you ~ burning with curiosity ~ how we are growing ~ into existence ~ i can see me ~ reflected ~ in your slime ~ flowing liquid beings ~ not knowing where we start ~ and where we end ~ it’s hot ~ we are melting ~ i think, i love you ~ for making me feel ok ~ to just be ~ i smile ~ to have you close ~ inside waves of love ~ you and me ~ a tender exchange ~
to (dis)appear ~ the performance of everyday life - As part of the group show The Brain Mixologist at A Tale of A Tub, Rotterdam, 21.08.2021 - 31.10.2021 explores how the figure of the human adoptee of color reclaims their imagination and welcomes the viewer in their world with them. Learn how an uncanny friendship between the artist and a slime mold, Physarum polycephalum, named Ketan, disorientates and redirects fixed notions of knowledge making processes to a live embodied experience. image credit: LNDW Studio
performance to (dis)appear ~ the performance of everyday life - was held during the opening and closing day of The Brain Mixologist on respectively Sunday August 21st and on Sunday October 31st at A Tale of A Tub in Rotterdam. The performance was limited to 5 guests per performance. Each guest was wired with an audio monitoring device including a headset which was in live connection with the performer. An intimate sonic experience in which the audience was called into the depths of the building. On both days the performance was held 4 times on different time slots and lasted for about 10 min. to (dis)appear ~ the performance of everyday life ~ you might feel my presence as a ghostly vibration through waves in silence a phantom-like expression ~ as our desires take shape in the dark or in the light we (dis)appear ~ Video documentation and edit: Areumnari Ee. Audio Support: Any Colour You Like and Fabiënne van den Ierssel. Text Support: Mónica Lacerda. Special thanks to A Tale of A Tub, Eva Posas and the audience without whom there would be no performance to experience.
Outsider within: a conversation by Lucie Draai and Ketan (2020) - Made on the occasion of Test_lab: Of Microbes and Matter at V2_Lab for the Unstable Media, 26 November 2020, Rotterdam (NL); the publication contains an intimate conversation between two friends. Artist Lucie Draai and her friend Ketan: a single celled organism named Slime mold, Physarum polycephalum. They lived together with Lucie’s partner and their two cats for the duration of eights months between December 2018 and Augustus 2019 in Rotterdam (NL). Their conversation touches upon the question of care, interspecies relationships and transnational-transracial human adoption. Weaving personal narratives with Decolonial queer feminist science studies in an effort to disorient and disturb the normative terms of order that surround us within Western globalized societies. We named Ketan after Indonesian sticky rice. Image credit: lucie draai
Caring Together in Decolonial Healing - MA Thesis Critical Theory and Art Praxis Dutch Art Institute 30 dec 2020, Arnhem Thesis Abstract. This thesis explores what it means to be human guided by Sylvia Wynter’s thought provoking trajectory “Towards the Human, after Man” and Denise Ferreira da Silva’s encompassing book Toward a Global Idea of Race (2007); and argues that at the core of contemporary humanness lies a struggle defined by a racialized order of human existence. This struggle informs not only those racialized Others but to varying degrees impacts all human beings on a global scale. As a form of tentacular thinking this thesis contributes in troubling the colonial category of the human by introducing the figure of the human adoptee of color in relation to a decolonial ethics of care and healing. Pushing against normative notions of modes of being human the adoptee of color radically rethinks what it means to reclaim humanness and an ethic of care. Publication of Caring Together in Decolonial Healing, edition of 200. Design by Christoph Clarijs, preface edited by Mónica Lacerda (October 2021) Image credit: lucie draai
Lucie Draai - Botanic_X by Banquet X, DAI, COOP SUMMIT 2019, Cagliari (Sardinia). A performative eating ritual of Physarum polycephalum (Ketan) assisted by Assem Hendawi, Aslak Aamot Kjaerulff and Bjarke Hvass Kure in the Roman Cistern of the Botanical Gardens in Cagliari. Image credit: Nikos Doulos. ”We welcome you into a moist and cold concrete habitat. An invitation to engage in an eating ritual, performed by us humans and a single celled organism named Slime mold, Physarum polycephalum. Imagine a future garden that is not for us". The performance has a limited capacity of 20 people. Bring your living compass.” — As part of this project I made 80 petri dishes (3,5 cm width) with agar and slime mold, presented as living compasses, handed out at the entrance of Botanic_X. Followed by a performance assisted by Assem Hendawi, Aslak Aamot Kjaerulff, Bjarke Hvass Kure taking place in the Roman Cistern in the Botanical Gardens, Cagliari (Sardinia) — while you have been walking through the near future ecopark/ you’re Living Compass/ has been exploring and finding its way on the agar in the petri dish/ hardly visible to our eyes/ it grows and withdraws/ on it’s journey to eat oat flakes/ a compass is known to be a navigational tool/ it gives us direction/ this compass navigates as well/ but it is difficult to predict how/ we are in a future garden/ we plant seeds/ and create a habitat to live in/ what happend if instead of creating an outer garden/ we consciously decide/ to be a garden/ to be a host/ and to welcome outside guests/ to become a garden and/ to become food for the life in this garden/ — DAI-COOP SUMMIT 2019, BanquetX, Cagliari (SAR). Image credit: Nikos Doulos
Ongoing Negotiations - Ongoing Negotiations performed at Dutch Art Institute during Graduation week at Silent Green in Berlin, May 2019 presented as a work in progress. Can we co-exist in the present? Exploring different modes of being and sociality in-between humans and a single-celled organism. Human consciousness and spatial intelligence move side by side in an ongoing negotiation of life. Image credit: Saskia Burggraaf
Lucie Draai - The Entangled Readers/ Ongoing Study Group. As Entangled Readers we practice ways in which text and language might resonate with, and be digested by, the bodies present in the room. We approach reading as a collective, dialogical, and full body activity. By engaging sensorial methodologies with critical thinking we attempt to become receptive to the knowledge present on the page, under our skin and within the spaces between. We explore what tools and conditions might assist us to think through current political climates and open up space for alternative socialities and imaginaries to emerge. The Entangled Readers is initiated by artists Zoë Scoglio and Lucie Draai, acting as a point of connection and opening up of their practices and research. Previous sessions have been held at Shimmer (Rotterdam), Hot Wheels Projects (Athens) as part of the Dutch Art Institute and Van Abbemuseum COOP Academy, at Hordaland Kunstcenter Bergen (Norway). Image credit: Shimmer Rotterdam. More info:
Have you danced today? - Have you danced today? performed at Dutch Art Institute within The Kitchen format in Arnhem (NL), November 2018. Questioning the terms of order, memory, sound, movement, dancing, refusal, oppression, non-local consciousness and Alzheimer's disease. Special thanks to Malin Arnell and Fabiënne van den Ierssel for their generosity.~ when i dance with Fabiënne at home when she plays a record/ i always say go slow/ fast circles make me dizzy/ i can’t focus when we turn in fast speed/ my balance is gone/ so i lean into Fabiënne even more very tight/ i am taller than Fabiënne, but i can still rest my head on her shoulder and feel safe/ slow dancing with Fabiënne feels great/ slow dancing with Malin is something else/ i feel responsible/ i want to relax and lean into her body, but something is witholding me/ thoughts/ i am thinking almost all the time while i am dancing with Malin/ how long are we dancing right now/ my perception of time is gone/ lost in time and space/ i am thinking about sociality’s/ alternative modes of thinking/ of being alone together/ alternative modes of narrativity/ memory/ performance/ lived experience/ are we home/ when are we going home/ are you taking me home/ i don’t belong here/ i am not sure if I belong here/ is this my home/ this is not my home/ they say it is, but they are wrong/ this can not be my home/ where I am/ i can’t remember/ are we leaving now/ can you take me home/ one more song/ i packed my bags/ i am ready to go/ i lost my memory/ i lost my sense of self/ i can’t remember/ i hear music/ i am dancing/ non-local consciousness/ Alzheimers disease/ different stages/ i feel like i am fighting not to think/ to relax and enjoy this moment/ there comes another corner/ we are turning in circles/ slowly swaying/ shall i try to lead/ or just follow/ in silence/ i guess Malin is leading/ does she feel secure or vulnerable/ she has been dancing with other strangers before me/ i will follow her lead for now/ maybe later i can try to take control and be more guiding/ how close is too close/ can it not be close enough/ slow dancing is not the same as close dancing/ distance/ how much distance is there/ does she know i have a girlfriend/ i feel weird/ i can feel your touch on my back/ my arms rest on your hips/ i could rest my head on your shoulder/ but i don’t/ is that too intimate for me/ she might think I like her/ does she know I have a girlfriend/ i can’t stop thinking/ the fan is nice/ it brings me back to sensing/ to feel her touch/ why do we move in circles/ swaying back and forth without turning in circles is that an option too/ but how do I communicate this/ also remember this is not a sexual encounter or is it/ a sensual encounter/ what kind of encounter is this/ the longer I think/ the more confident I am/ this is a political encounter/ very uncertain/ my body is confused/ focus on the fans/ keeping my body cool/ are people still watching us/ my eyes are closed/ i can hear people talking/ they are not whispering/ they are talking/ sometimes quiet loud actually/ it’s difficult for me to cancel out the sound of people talking/ how would it feel if i lay my head into her arms/ i wonder/ but i don’t act/ what happens when I try to kiss her/ no/ wrong context/ my body feels disconnected/ in a way i feel comforted and embraced/ how does Malin feel/ i think she want me to feel comfortable/ maybe being held/ being supported/ is this a ritual/ a healing ritual maybe/ difference without separation/ i lost my sense of self/ i don’t need to know/ i can’t remember/ don’t tell me what to do/ the words/ i am dancing/ are you leaving/ i am going/ everything feels uncertain/ i am scared/ don’t be scared/ i am here/ have you danced today/ be careful/ don’t dance too fast/ i don’t have to think/ i remember this song/ i remember this rhythm/ i can’t find words/ the words seem lost/ my feet remember/ the moves/ i don’t have to think/ dancing is comforting/ it feels like an embrace/ dancing feels like an embrace/ i feel being held/ dancing is certainty/ i don’t need to go anywhere/ i can just be in the moment/ nobody can tell me what to do/ i am free/ i can dance!