Jamila Johnson-Small works under the name Last Yearz Interesting Negro. Trained in dance, the work uses choreography, video, sound and sculpture, in-between spaces, syncopation, trance states, internal narratives, intensities, electronic music and small dances to affect/disrupt/deflect/distort/reflect gazes directed towards their body. Resultant choreographies are at once stage, dreamspace and battleground.
Jamila is working through questions of presence, visibility, responsibility and pleasure, building atmospheric landscapes through a live process of unfolding tensions between things that produce meaning. Often using things that are already t/here, rearranging them in an effort to produce combinations that resonate with the horror, discomfort, cringe, confusion and sensuality of the contemporary moment.
Of Caribbean descent, born and based in London, Jamila has formed long-term collaborations with artists including Project O with Alexandrina Hemsley, and immigrants and animals with Mira Kautto. More recently, she has been performing with Fernanda Munoz-Newsome; collaborating with Rowdy SS; running HOTLINE (conversation event) with Sara Sassanelli. Current projects include research towards new work Fury1 and Sounds for Survival with Phoebe Collings-James.
Recent works include the solo i ride in colour and soft focus, no longer anywhere premiered at Fierce Festival, Birmingham, 2017, Voodoo by Project O, an immersive performance premiered at Sadler’s Wells, London, 2017, and ongoing project BASICTENSION, at the ICA, London, 2018.
Jamila is an artist on the Holding Space programme as part of Object Positions at The Showroom.
Holding Space is a one-year programme of research and support for eight UK based artists, as part of the Object Positions programme at The Showroom.