Cassandra Press Lectures: Whiteness, Dissonance, and Horror
On the occasion of their inclusion in Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It’s Kept, Cassandra Press presents two seminars drawn from their course catalogue. These lectures, which are integral to the work of Cassandra Press, seek to spread ideas, distribute new language, and propagate dialogue centering ethics, aesthetics, femme-driven activism, and Black scholarship.
For this lecture, Biennial artist and Cassandra Press founder Kandis Williams will draw upon her investigations on horror motifs as products of the white supremacist cultural imaginary to unpack the psychology of dissonance and psychopathy bred out of white supremacist and colonial ideations. Williams will discuss her research surrounding her ongoing CASSANDRA CLASSROOMS course entitled Whiteness, Dissonance, and Horror. In this course, Williams looks at Whiteness through the lens of American horror films. Theorizing that horror as a literary genre is a product of the white supremacist cultural imaginary, Williams looks at horror motifs as the recognition/means of coping with the implications of white beings and peoples in the perpetuation of brutal racial colonialism, violence, genocide, and class warfare. Following the lecture, attendees are invited to a film screening of selected media curated by Williams.
Kandis Williams (b. 1985, Baltimore, MD) is a visual artist whose practice spans collage, sculpture, film, performance, writing, publishing, and curating. She explores and deconstructs critical theory around race, nationalism, authority, and eroticism. Her work examines the body as a site of experience while drawing upon her background in dramaturgy to envision spaces that accommodate the varied biopolitical economies, which inform how form and movement might be read. Williams establishes indices that network parts of the anatomy, regions of Black diaspora, as well as communication and obfuscation, relaying how popular culture and myth are interconnected. The artist is also the founder and editor-at-large of Cassandra Press, an artist-run publishing and educational platform which produces lo-fi printed matter, classrooms, projects, artist books, and exhibitions.