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    Limbic Juice, 2021. Image courtesy of Ajla Yi.
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    Dustguzzler, 2018. Image courtesy of Lxo Cohen.
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    Limbic Juice, 2021. Image courtesy of Ajla Yi.

Ajla Yi and Lxo Cohen

What drew you to each other’s practice?

As two independent early-career professionals we met after recently graduating from different MFA courses at Goldsmiths University of London, we'd never officially collaborated before. However, we’ve regularly found ourselves doing verbal story-writing and improvised acting for fun in phone conversations, often fictionalising characters and creating scenes dealing with trans-human body-modifications and post-human situations.

How will you use the 1:1 FUND?

Based on our mutual interest in trans aesthetics, gender narratives and world-building, our idea for collaboration is to buy us time to hold five collaborative writing workshop days together.

Why did you choose the idea you will be working on?

Being both trans* ourselves, our personal and professional lives have seen us both explore the temporality and exponentiality of bodies, through which we’ve been establishing a collaborative dialogue and mutual understanding of the ways in which the current binary narrative on bodies and genders can be deconstructed. One of these ways is through the means of speculative-fictional writing and poetry. This idea will also put into practice our need and desire to think and work in each other’s company, becoming attentive to the importance of the oracular, personal memories and experiences, and the collective dimension of storytelling and worldbuilding.

What is the one thing you most hope to gain from undertaking this work?

Beyond being interested in the ways this collaboration can help us grow personally and professionally, we are excited to combine our creative skills towards a new script that captures something of our process glimpsing into the future together.

 

Ajla Yi is a London-based artist and filmmaker who was born and raised in China. Their practice involves speculative fiction and world-building, where trans*, non-binary and alien bodies are often centred in a scenic situation within a post-human world-setting. Their works often take the form of sculptures, CGI films, computer games and texts. Surrounding their research interests on the intersection between neuroscience and transgender theory, in 2021 they were selected to participate in the Activist Neuroaesthetics programme at Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art, and Blue Cables, an interdisciplinary art residency at Power Station of Art in Shanghai. Since completing their MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2020, their works have been shown recently in Underpinned by the Movements of Freighters at Florence Trust, Blue Cables in Venetian Waters WIP at Power Station of Art in Shanghai, and Conditions group exhibition at the Whitgift Centre.

Lxo Cohen is a trans* non-binary curator whose practice continually decomposes through poetry, writing and the curatorial. Cohen’s research is informed by ongoing explorations in queer and trans* studies, the collective dimension of learning and creative practice, liberatory praxis and queer methodologies. In 2020 they participated in the Fundación Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Young Curators Residency Programme in Madrid, Spain, where they co-curated Lifting Belly (2020) at CentroCentro exploring the erotics of language and poetry as queer, live and circulatory, able to queer moral regimes on the body politic, sexuality and obedience both past and present. In their ongoing Instagram-curated project, Dustguzzler traces dust-filled air vents encountered in gallery toilets and public spaces bearing a resonant relationship to metaphors of the trans* and queer as vibrant erotic matter. Scraping at the whiteness of the white-cube and crumpling the moral hygiene of the modernist project, their documentation transforms the peripatetic practice of being trans* in trans-exclusionary built environments into an Archi-Textural archive and transaesthetic of safety, existence and accessibility. In 2019 they completed the MFA Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London having previously studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design.

 

@ajlayi_

 

@lxoclondon