Yeye pays homage to Yemayá, the goddess of the sea and motherhood in the Yoruba pantheon. In her latest performance work, created for the camera and now adapted to stage, choreographer and performer Lois Alexander explores the afterlife of slavery and the reverberations on our present.
In the novel Beloved, writer Toni Morrison, opens up reflections on love, trauma and memory when a mother is driven to commit the most unspeakable act. Influenced by Morrison’s writing style and drawing on her research into representations of Black mothers in mythology and religion, Lois creates her own language of blending personal narrative, historicity and spirituality. Looking specifically at icons such as the Black Madonna, Lois investigates the processes of syncretization, the blending of different religious views, and unveils their implications. Multi-layered tensions become palpable through the touching of, sensing with, and remembering through different materials, such as textile and sound.
Yeye incorporates these senses into an embodied patchwork to ways of attending to healing, and uses performance to practice strategies of refusal and resistance.Yeye is a deep reckoning of a modern era that is entangled with colonial histories, mothers and the ocean. What are the temporalities of a racialized body, one that is marked by visible and invisible wounds? What can be healing? Yeye explores memory, traces and notions of a motherland, moving through different levels of video, text and performance.