troizel xx (pronouns: troizel/they) is black and alive and the queerness of this fact means much more than even these words can express. troizel is a PhD candidate in performance studies at NYU, currently writing a dissertation entitled black performance studies: queer/trans experiments.
troizel holds a bachelor of art in theater studies from emory university and a master of art and master of philosophy 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). They currently serve as managing editor of Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory.
For 11 years, troizel has worked in theater, performance, and video to investigate the body, the desires for its re-presentations, and its endurance capacities. Their work unfolds where there is a fault-line between what we think and what there is. She repurposes found and everyday things to rekindle and reformat trajectories of meaning. This is a way to operate within an aesthetic transness – one that takes objects with a presumed prior function and turns function on its head entirely. More recently, they have turned to paint and assemblage to create immersive performance-scapes meant to be activated by bodies together in space.
On what has inspired their work recently, troizel writes: “the murder of Black Trans activist Ashley Moore in August 2020 on Broad Street in Newark really rocked me because I was at home, not far away. Since then, I have been plotting how to honor, hold, and cherish sexual and gender-creative women killed and harmed by someone else’s desire, especially in downtown Newark. I have started a full-scale installation – made of repurposed cardboard, recycled plastic, canvas, found objects, poetics, and video – as a shrine to mythic Eve, who, in my biblical interpretation, is the first transwoman. If Eve is an iconic figure because she chose to create herself fiercely, I hope that this shrine will be a gathering place, a sanctuary, a living-learning laboratory, for a divine sisterhood forged in violence, but kept buoyant by an aching need to create oneself. As I work, this will be a space to devise, experiment, and find love with and for each other, to find the god in one another. I hope to foster this sisterhood in varying forms like public art-making sessions with transgirl/women artists from Newark and surrounding areas, performance activations with community members, reading groups with a living library on Blackness, transness, and femininity, and healing circles. “this residency with Aferro Gallery provides me the time and space to fully commit to a grand project of memorial and worship. it is the foundational tilling of ground for a garden to honor Black trans femininity exactly where it’s needed the most.”