‘ON LOVE’

an experimental performance installation

Poetry and project conception: Naila Kaleta Mae

Cello : Rebecca Foon

Sound design and composition : Pohanna Pyne Feinberg

Text by Naila,

We shielded our eyes from the sun struggling to see Nigger Rock; the 300 foot black rock shaped like a whale that the black population in St. Armand (Québec) used as a headstone for their dead as early as the 18th Century. But, Nigger Rock is on private property now and permission is needed to visit. It is rumoured that years ago the remains of the dead were dug with tractors and dumped elsewhere. I began to contemplate black people’s experiences of love in Canada through the text on love long before I heard of Nigger Rock. Arguably, the TransAtlantic Slave Trade made ‘black’ as an ethnicity possible such that regardless of one’s lineage, to inhabit a black body in Canada is to embody an economy of violence from which the Canadian state distances itself.

It is rumoured that love is the fine balance between hope and despair. ‘on love’ attempts that balance.

this work was commissioned by Engrenage Noir and The Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts generously provided financial support.