Kia LaBeija

Kia LaBeija

Born and raised in the heart of New York City, Hell’s Kitchen, Kia LaBeija uses fine art processes to explore her personal narrative and the relationship between her work space, trauma, and the female body. She has studied at prestigious institutions such as The Juilliard School and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She is a graduate of the New School University, where she holds a Degree in The Arts.

Her current work is composed of cinematic and vibrant autobiographical self-portraits. She speaks frequently in public on the subject of HIV/AIDS and is an advocate for underrepresented communities living HIV positive including long term survivors, women, minorities and children born with the virus. 24, her critically acclaimed series, is a sociopolitical commentary on the effects of growing up with HIV. Pieces of 24 have been featured in Art, AIDS, America, a controversial touring exhibition investigating 30 years of art made in response to the AIDS epidemic and AIDS at Home at The Museum of the City of New York.

A performer by nature, Kia’s role as overall Mother of the Iconic House of LaBeija has established her as a world-renowned Voguer, dancer, and performance artist. As an active member of New York City’s Ballroom community, she has explored the art of voguing as a performance and community-based practice. In 2016 she starred in indie rock band Pillar Point’s music video “Dove” which gained international acclaim.

She has been invited to speak at Stanford University, The CUNY Graduate Center, New York University, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She has been honored in POZ magazine’s POZ 100 list of HIV/AIDS activists under 30, the youngest Recipient for Visual AIDS’ Visual AIDS Vanguard Award, nominated for her work on Self Portraits by Queer|Art Prize, honored in NBCBLK28 (NBC Honoring 28 Black Innovators under the age of 28) and HIV Plus Magazines 20 most amazing HIV Positive Women, featured in The Village Voice, VICE, Refinery29 and Vanity Fair Italia.

 

Born: New York (1990-)

Works: Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY

 

Education

2016 BA New School University, New York City

2005-2008 The Ailey School–Ballet, Modern and West African

2001-2008  The Professional Performing Arts School–Musical Theatre, Dance

1999-2001 The Juilliard School–Music Advancement Program

 

Selected Exhibitions (Solo)

2018      

Royale Projects “Fear is Only a Fraction of Love”, Los Angeles, CA

 

Selected Exhibitions (Group)

2017

The Museum of The City of New York “AIDS at Home”, New York, NY

International Center for Photography “Perpetual Revolution”, New York, NY

2016

La MaMa Galleria “Everyday People“, New York, NY

Brooklyn Museum “Agitprop!“, New York, NY

2015      

The Studio Museum in Harlem “Harlem Postcards“, New York, NY

La MaMa Galleria “Party Out of Bounds: Nightlife as Activism Since 1980”, New York, NY

Clifford Chance “Elastic Practice”, New York, NY

National Tour: One Gallery, Los Angeles; Tacoma, WA; Zuckerman Museum, Georgia; Bronx Museum, NY ”Art, AIDS, America”

2014

La MaMA Galleria “Ephemera as Evidence”, New York, NY

Bronx River Arts Center “Know Who You Are at Every Age”, New York, NY

CUNY/Project Reach “Honest Bodies“, New York, NY

 

Awards/Honors

2017

Audelco “The Viv” Award

Queer | Art Prize

NBCBLK28–NBC Honoring 28 Black Innovators under the age of 28

2016

Woman’s Old Way Vogue of the Year

2015           

The 20 Most Amazing HIV Positive Women of 2015

2014           

POZ Magazine100 of 2014

Visual AIDS Vanguard Award

 

Live Performances

2017

MOCA “Alternative Endings / Radical Beginnings”, Los Angeles

2016

Danspace “Lost & Found”, New York, NY

Maccarone Gallery “Coming to Power: 25 Years of Sexually Explicit Art by Women”, New York, NY

Rich Mix “Duckie Family”, London, England

University of Albany Lab Theater “Reusable Parts/Endless Love”, Albany, NY

House of Vans with DJ MikeQ “Metamorphosis“, New York, NY

2015           

H&M x BALMAIN Collaboration Runway Show, New York, NY

Givenchy NY Fashion Week Official After Party, New York, NY

AfroPunk Fancy Dress Balll, New York, NY

Planet Indigenous, Toronto, Canada

Wilhelmina Brings Down the House – Mens Fashion Week 2015, New York, NY

Movement Research Festival – Kia Labeija x LION, Brooklyn, NY

HAUS OF SPICE Mini Ball, Brooklyn, NY

La MaMa’s Squirts 2015 , New York, NY 

2014

Make a Way Out of No Way, Glasgow, Scotland

AFROPUNK w/DJ MikeQ , Brooklyn, NY

GAYLETTER Pride Ball, Brooklyn, NY

BAAD: Out Like That, Bronx, NY

La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, New York, NY

The Road to Mastery Ball, New York, NY

2013

Wet N’ Wild Benefit for AMFAR with Fergie feat. The House of LaBeija, New York, NY

 

Selected Panel Discussions/Public Programming

2017

The Museum of the City of New York “AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism”

Kia LaBeija for Living Free, Stanford University, CA

2016

The Brooklyn Museum “Women, Art, AIDS & Activism: Here Then, Here Now” New York, NY

Abrons Art Center “Not the Apocalypse I Expected”, New York, NY

Zuckerman Museum of Art “Art, AIDS, America: Kia LaBeija”, Kennesaw State University, GA

2015

The Studio Museum in Harlem “The Artist’s Voice: Kia LaBeija”, New York, NY

Queer Art Film, IFC “Kia LaBeija Presents FAME”, New York, NY

VICE Headquarters “New York City Vogue and Ballroom Culture”, New York, NY

La Mama Galleria “In This House: AIDS, Art and Activism in the Vogue Ball Scene”, New York, NY

The Audre Lorde Project “Positively Resilient”, New York, NY

2014

Tramway “You’ve Never Seen Pain Expressed Like This”, Glasgow, Scotland

Eugene Lang, The New School for Liberal Arts “Tea Time: Mapping Informational Networks of Women Living with HIV”, New York, NY

The Wythe Hotel “EN VOGUE: GAYLETTER Pride Ball Discussion Panell”, New York, NY

Chahama Harlem Gallery “International Ballroom Convention 2014: House of LaBeija”, New York, NY

New York Public Library “The Personal and the Political: Loosing Parents to AIDS”

2013

The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, New York University “Race & the Colonial Impulse: Queer Performance Practices”, New York, NY

The Pop Up Museum of Queer History and Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies CUNY Graduate Center “(Re) Presenting AIDS: Culture and Accountability”, New York, NY

 

Film/Television

2017

Pose, Directed by Ryan Murphy, Principal Dancer

Drafted, THE SCENE – Condé Nast, Executive Producer

A Place in the City, Directed by Stephen Vider for the Museum of The City of New York

2016

Hidden Kingdom, documentary short, Produced by Sacred Pact

Saturday Church, feature film, official selection Tribeca Film Festival 2017, Creative consultant, additional choreography, dancer, Directed by Damon Cardasis

“Dove” music video, Principal dancer, Directed by Jacob Krupnick

2015

What it’s really like to live with HIV today, documentary short for Refinery 29

We’re Still Here, documentary, Directed by Grissel Granados

2013

En Vogue, short film, Directed by Jenn Nkiru

Dirty 30, film, Directed by Hannelore Williams

 

Choreography

2017

The Movement Theatre Company “And She Would Stand Like This”, Directed by David Mendizabal, Choreography and Movement Direction by Kia LaBeija

Saturday Church, feature film, official selection Tribeca Film Festival 2017, Directed by Damon Cardasis, Creative consultant and additional choreography

2016

The Movement Theatre Company “And She Would Stand Like This”, Directed by David Mendizabal, Choreography and Movement Direction by Kia LaBeija

 

Articles/Catalogues

2018

ARTFORUM, cover story, By Kia LaBeija with Alex Fihalo

2017

The Village Voice “A Families Affair”, By Ted Kerr

2016

Lost and Found: Danspace Platform 2016 Catalogue “Mimi’s Last Dance”, By Kia LaBeija

Refinery29 UK “Photographing Black, Female, HIV Positive Power”, By Amelia Abraham

Accent Magazine, cover story, By Bwalya Newton

2015

Gallery Gurls “n Conversation with Kia LaBeija: Using Positivity to Trigger Awareness, Acceptance and Activism”, By Jasmin Hernandez

VICE: The Creators Project “Kia Labeija’s Firsthand Account of Growing Up HIV+”, By Kia LaBeija

VICE: The Creators Project “Kia LaBeija Tracks the Influence of HIV/AIDS on Contemporary Art”, By Antwaun Sargent

VICE “Power in the Crisis: Kia LaBeija’s Radical Art as a 25 Year Old, HIV Positive Woman of Color” By Hugh Ryan

A&U Magazine “Kwans Song and the Allure of Immortality” By Sean Black

 

Miscellaneous

2017

VICE x AirBnB “Belle of the Ball Tour”, producer and host, New York, NY