Keioui Keijaun Thomas (b. 1989, based in Brooklyn, New
York) creates live performance and multimedia installations that address blackness outside of a codependent, binary structure of existence. Her work investigates the histories, symbols, and images
that construct notions of Black identity within black personhood.
The materials employed by Thomas function as tools, objects, and
structures to compose a visual language that can be read, observed, and repeated within spatial, temporal, and sensorial environments. Through movement and matter, Thomas deconstructs,
and reconstructs notions of visibility, hyper-visibility, passing, trespassing, eroticized, and marginalized representations of black bodies in relation to disposable labor, domestic service, and notions of
thingness. Her performances combine rhapsodic layers of live and
recorded voice, reciting her own poetry and slipping between various modes of address, to explore the pleasures and pressures of
dependency, care, and support. Thomas underscores the endurance and intimacy that care work demands from those expected
to perform it — predominantly black women, black femmes, and
people of color. By centering self and communal care in real-time,
Thomas’ practice aims to build bridges of understanding, and community, to create safer spaces for black people and people of color.
Thomas is the inaugural winner of the Queer|Art 2020 Illuminations
Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists and the Franklin Furnace Fund Recipient for 2018. She earned her Masters degree from
the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA with Honors
from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.