marikiscrycry is the performance project of London-based choreographer and artist Malik Nashad Sharpe, born in 1992 in New York City. They make emotional choreographies that are less like descriptors of themes and more like worlds in themselves. Their work deals primarily with the social imprints and inflections left on the body, existentialism, the necessity to proliferate pro-Queer and pro-Black aesthetics under neoliberal hegemonies, choreography as an expanded formal proposition, and allostatic load. They have shown their work at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Théâtre la Chappelle, Montreal; Hackney Showroom, London; and Brooklyn Arts Centre, New York, among other festivals and institutions.
Malik Nashad Sharpe or marikiscrycrycry’s work is almost entirely about space. In their vision, theatre and choreography are about queering space; it is about exploring the magic produced by the collectivity of an audience; it is about witnessing something together. But it is also about producing space, allowing it to give birth to new forms of relational space.
The investigations into form and social politics are a crucial matter in their practice. Nothing is at random behind their wisely and aesthetically choreographed movements. Their bodies sweat meanings. Their skin emanates intensities. It grabs you, suspends you and plunges you into humorous, reflective and gaze-inducing realms. Their signs, cries and buildup create volcanoes that burst into tears. Their moves feel frugal, visceral and overtly normal. All these juxtaposed onto top R&B and pop songs.
Sequence no. one. (1) Starting in the dim violet-lit space, a few rolls of ‘FRAGILE’ tape are noticeably stuck onto the three edges of the room. marikiscrycrycry’s opening presence is dramatic. They go wildly around the space, directionless, yet the gesticulation of their body is building towards something else. The choreographed body is emanating a pure agony. It stops. Or rather, transitions into something else.
Sequence no. one. Lifting the plastic gun, and hesitating momentarily, marikiscrycrycry points it to the void of the space. They start joking around, creating a tension through humour and bodily interaction with the gun. ‘It’s made from plastic, don’t you worry’. But it shortly escalates to the outrageous ‘not even a single article written on it’.
Sequence no. two. The gun can be heard. Gun shots. Loud. Louder. Dressed in a white outfit, marikiscrycrycry’s body responds to the sound of gunfire. A coagulation of circular movements follows; falling on the floor, rising, falling again, rising again, shaking their body surfaces out a level of amplification, all under a veil of tragicomic movements.
Sequence no. two. (2) Naked body. Black body. Queer body. The flag of the European Union is being held high up. Waving it and uttering cheerfully ‘Policeeeee, no…! What does this say? What does this say?’, they let the flag fall and instead start bending down and standing up, murmuring ‘Whaaaaat?’ with a fatigued voice while exhaustedly bending down. The same movement and tonality are repeated over and over again.
Sequence no. one. In the climax of their frantic movements, they tape the floor from one end to the other and toward the audience’. Some of the audience are taped involuntarily. Passivity got shaken and pushed forward together with the FRAGILE tape. Hearing their sweaty breath and taking the audience on an emotional rollercoaster, marikiscrycrycry finally ends the rehearsal of their work Hotter than a pan. It was ‘just’ a rehearsal. But they love doing public rehearsals as it brings ongoing layers before the actual work is sealed off. It felt both real and surreal. It was hot. It really made me say ‘you go girl, you know what you’re doing and I wanna see more!
(1) Sequence no. one – excerpts from marikiscrycrycry’s work Hotter than a pan presented at South London Gallery part of the Baltic Triennial 13
(2) Sequence no. two – excerpts from marikiscrycrycry’s work $elfie$