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Artists’ Film Club:
Deborah-Joyce Holman, Queen for a Day
Institute of Contemporary Arts

Moment 2, Deborah-Joyce Holman, UK 2022, 420 min., English

Coinciding with the release of artist Deborah-Joyce Holman’s first book Queen for a Day published by Book Works and Luma Wesbau, this event is a day-long screening of Holman’s Moment 2 (2022), followed by an in-person reading by Francis Whorrall-Campbell and conversation with Deborah-Joyce Holman, Imani Mason Jordan and Rebecca Bellantoni.

Queen for a Day is Holman’s debut publication, staging a conversation between two of the artist’s films, Moment and Moment 2 (2022), and the work of cinema verité they take as a primary material: Shirley Clarke’s film Portrait of Jason (1967). One ‘queen’ of this title is Jason Holliday, the Black gay male subject at the centre of Clarke’s film with whom Holman wants to act in solidarity. Finding Jason captured by the extractive gaze and exhausting line of questioning of a white female director, Holman works to reproduce his words, rather than his image, placing them as looping samples of script in the mouths of two performers, Imani Mason Jordan (Moment) and Rebecca Bellantoni (Moment and Moment 2). The loop is intended to be liberatory, a way of paying homage to Jason’s utterances via repetition, and to render them abstract and opaque, allowing the new script – included in this book as a series of textual interludes – to function as camouflage.

The new publication features newly commissioned essays by Olamiju Fajemisin, Noémi Michel and Francis Whorrall-Campbell, and an interview with Holman and curator Cédric Fauq, who all offer close analyses of both works, opening up diverse ways of understanding Holman’s aesthetic strategies and politics of representation via film history, decolonial and queer theory.

Queen For A Day will be available in the ICA Bookshop

Co-published by Book Works and Luma Westbau, with the generous support from ICA London, Arts Council England and the Swiss Cultural Fund UK.

Moment was shown at the ICA as part of Image Behaviour. Moment 2 was exhibited at CFGNY at SculptureCenter, New York City (2023), schwarzescafé, Luma Westbau, Zürich (2022) and Cordova, Barcelona (2022).

Deborah-Joyce Holman is an artist based between London and Basel. Their work has recently been shown at Biennale für Freiburg (2023), Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo, Castellón (2023) and Galerie Gregor Staiger, Zurich (2023), among others. They were Associate Director at Auto Italia, London (2020 – 22), and Founding Director of 1.1, a platform for multidisciplinary early-career practitioners with an exhibition space in Basel, Switzerland (2015 – 20).
Book tickets (Installation)
Book tickets (Talk)
Friday 15 September 2023

Exhibition open 12 – 7pm

Reading and discussion 7 – 8.30pm