Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2017-18

(Brooklyn, NY)Keijaun Thomas

Images (left to right): Distance is Not Separation (My Last American Dollar prelude), ACRE Projects Gallery, photo Kate Bowen, 2017; T:BA:16 Festival, Distance is Not Separation: Section 1. Selective Seeing: Corners, You, Section 2. Painted Images, Colored Symbols: She's Hard, She Q, photo Meghann Gilligan, 2016; Distance is Not Separation, HOMOCCULT 2.0, Centro Cultural del México Contemporaneo, México City, 2016, Photo Antonio Zaragoza; Distance is Not Separation (My Last American Dollar prelude), ACRE Projects Gallery, photo Kate Bowen, 2017.


Keijaun Thomas creates live performance and multimedia installations that oscillate between movement and materials that function as tools, objects and structures, as well as a visual language that can be read, observed, and repeated within spatial, temporal, and sensorial environments. Her work investigates the histories, symbols, and images that construct notions of Black identity within black personhood. Thomas examines, 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 amongst materials addressing blackness outside of a codependent, binary structure of existence. Thomas earned their Masters degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Thomas has shown work nationally and internationally in Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Portland, ME; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; New York, NY; Miami, FL; and Taipei, Taiwan; Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; Istanbul, Turkey; Beirut, Lebanon; Saskatchewan and Vancouver, Canada; and the United Kingdom.

Project Description

"My Last American Dollar" aims to build a series of interactive environments examining Church Pews, Waiting Rooms, Locker Rooms, Strip Clubs and Field Days as fundamental spaces of resistance. Through the construction of multiple environments both physically and mentally that engage with the current political climate in America: I am thinking about immigration and housing, craftsmanship and sports, self care and legacy, queerness and safety. Through performance, installation, text and video I will investigate how these different forms of environment/ spaces manifest through different intersectional realities facing black and brown people— thinking about last resorts — through evening length performances.