Video still from troizel, “wade/whispers,” 2022. Courtesy of the artist.

troizel and Buffy


On View: July 18

The Video Viewing Room series presents recent video works and archival recordings. This online initiative revives The Kitchen's longstanding Video Viewing Room—a dedicated space within our buildings from 1975 through the early 1990s.

This Video Viewing Room features the film wade/whispers (2022) by troizel, whose praxis wrestles with the laborious and spectacular nature of Blackness, limitations of the body, and queer socialities and intimacies.

The presentation of the video is accompanied by a collaboratively written text by troizel and Buffy, The Kitchen's 2022–2023 Curatorial Fellow, along with source materials for the work.

troizel and Buffy: waves is organized by Alison Burstein, Curator, and Angelique Rosales Salgado, Curatorial Assistant.

troizel, wade/whispers, 2022. Single-channel video. Courtesy of the artist.

troizel and Buffy have been in conversation for a long time. this film is a reprisal of work troizel has been piecing together in loving dialogue with work Buffy has been assembling. together, these sisters, The Empress and The Page of Cups, invite you to engage the film work—both as a visual, as audio, as an audiovisual—and the mati log, a girl swirl, the ephemeral archive of studying—flowing with poetics, divination, and synchronicities—not yet gone, still going on. what you’ll witness is an open-ended echo chamber of thought between two sisterfriends: the sounds that have ricocheted and echoed through one another and into one another’s works.

To be read aloud with friends; sound musical symbols as desired.

“A celestial possibility, a cosmic imperative, she takes it to the stars.”

An angel called Pluto from a planet called Trouble, a girl with three wings and countless dreams, an ocean of stars, a cosmos of waves.

She is of the “oceans above and below.” ♩…

She is the wave she rides. ♩⁀♩ She is everything. ♩—

Everything moves in waves, even and especially when you can’t identify the wave pattern.

You’re just in it. We’re in it. //

She takes us to travel,♩… takes us to moving which was already in motion.

It’s nice watching the storms roll by, even and especially when you’re a storm, too.

When lightning strikes and thunder booms we disturb the waters we are. “What is the form of sound? Sound bodies. In its new form, we would see the beauty of the oceans above and below. Light and sound move differently in the oceans. Sound needs accompaniment. Bodies, too.” Bodies, too. Bodies do too. //

The Empress & The Page of Cups tarot combination: abundance; creativity; emotional growth; horizons; newness; new experiences; intuition; inner voice; nurturing/support system; guidance, discovery in collaboration and community.

“A powerful conglomeration of feminine energy and emotional intelligence. make the most of it!” (1)

“Things will come but we can get through it by holding one another.” (2)

Hazy dazy ♩… Hazy daisy ♩…

The feminine not only holds but also releases and ejects; leakages from the crevices; seeping, excreting. The ocean holds and releases but the release is not you being out of the ocean it’s you going deeper into it.

Everything comes back. ♩⁀♩

.How do we begin what’s already been in motion? .How do we begin with what’s already been with motion?

Dis-orientation/dis-integration of sex (with each other)… ♩—

Transsexuals on the Hudson; as the tides move, the Hudson River flows: “The tides also control the flow of the river. As the tide rises, the river flows north, and as the tide falls, the river flows south. This is why the Native Americans named the Hudson, “Muhheakantuck,” meaning, “the river that flows two ways.” (3)

Gender is a misgendering of all of us. We’re all being misgendered.

Though the tides remained, they didn’t keep the same. They varied in waves, crashing into one another, pulling each other over and under, folding, enormous and deadly, like great liquid caves. Tonight they move in the same fashion, in folds and curls. Splash isn’t a sufficient description. Yes, definitely crash, but longer in duration, less sharp, more sustained. The sound is like a long wreck.

♩— Craaaaasssssshhhh, ♩— wwwwrrrrreeeeeeck, ♩—♩

Though both of those carry such a destructive distinction and, while they do have the power to destroy, I don’t think it quite fair to impose that distinction as an encompassing description.

I already did this. I already did this, didn’t I? No, I suppose not. Even if I had, I haven’t done this before. It’s not so simple as that. Each time is the same and different, some we can’t quite place, nor should we. The placement necessitates we know something about what or how or where or why it is. But we simply don’t. Noun unknown. Save it. Keep it. Keep it for you, for me, for something we ought to be. Just don’t hold on too tight. Returning to this just to say hello, a quick nod, sweet glance, a swift wave.

♩⁀♩ Swirling, whirling, furling, curling, turning, stirring, luring. ♩…

Not sure about this one. Feeling a little less like a flow into the words, but that’s another type of flow. Maybe I’ll open myself to the strangeness of this rhythm, this system, this invitation. There’s blue, blue everywhere. It’s padded and cushioned and the fabric billows out and in and out and in. There are no visible seams it seems. But maybe they’re there. I don’t know. Slippery and shiny, the fabric folds itself but retains no crease. Just a short wave, it remains for a moment and then slips away.

Bay of Source Material

"Wade In The Water" - Ramsey Lewis (1966)

"Wade In The Water" - Mavis Staples (1996)

"FADE" - Kanye West (slowed n reverb) (2021)

"Fade" - Kanye West (Explicit) (2016)

"Have Mercy" - Chlöe (Slowed + Reverb + Bass Boosted) (2022)

"Have Mercy" - Chlöe (Official Video) (2022)

Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley. "BLACK ATLANTIC, QUEER ATLANTIC: Queer Imaginings of the Middle Passage," GLQ 1 June 2008; 14 (2-3): 191–215.

Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016).

Che Gossett, "Blackness and the Trouble of Trans Visibility," 2016, in Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility, eds. Tourmaline, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2017).

Hortense J. Spillers, "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book," Diacritics, Vol. 17, No. 2, Culture and Countermemory: The "American" Connection, (Summer, 1987), pp. 64-81.


troizel xx (troizel/she/they) holds a bachelor of art in theater studies from Emory University and a master of art, master of philosophy, and Ph.D. in performance studies from NYU. they held a teaching fellowship position at New Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC and are an alum of the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics New York Emerging Performers Program (EMERGENYC). she is currently in residence at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ.

Buffy (she/her) is an artist and writer. She produces and researches live performance and digital media. Sierra reads and writes about sex, science, fiction, and language. She composes text, dance, video, music, image, installation, and public programs. Her work examines embodied experiences of movement and sound in procedural settings, horror, and medical technology, usually with a spatter or a gush of transsexual glamour and gore.


(1) "The Empress & Page of Cups Tarot Combination and Meaning,"

(2) Sisterfriends sisterfriending.

(3) The Hudson River, Center for the Urban River at Beczak, Sarah Lawrence College.

Video Viewing Room was initiated with the support of the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust; annual grants from Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation and Howard Gilman Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.