On the occasion of High Line Channel’s screenings of artist Autumn Knight’s video work Complete Total Pleasure, Knight is joined in conversation by artist Robert Pruitt.
For the High Line, Knight presents Complete Total Pleasure (2019), a new video work that considers how anhedonia—the inability to experience and feel pleasure—has the potential to be wielded as a form of power and control. Through the lens of a Black femme figure, this visual essay uses gesture, choreography, and text to address an increasing presence of anhedonia today, as it pertains to the denial of the pleasure of making mistakes: the joy of being bad and wrong.
Autumn Knight creates performances and videos that examine and reframe oversimplified ideas about race, gender, history, and marginalized peoples. Much of her works centers around consumption, namely, the ways we take in and are taken in by one another. At once revolting and intriguing, Knight explores the tension between desire and disgust, and the ways in which those on the margins are often trapped between these polarities. Much of Knight’s recent work is inspired by bell hooks’ essay “Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance,” and hooks’ analysis of the ways we understand, control, realize, and resist power.
Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support for High Line Art is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, and the Charina Endowment Fund. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Corey Johnson.