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SJ NORMAN: AFTER IMAGES Artist Lecture and Conversation with Professor Carlos Motta

April 18, 2023 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Pratt Institute School of Architecture, Higgins hall
61 Saint James Place Brooklyn, NY 11238

Artist SJ NORMAN will lecture on his performance work followed by a conversation with Professor Carlos Motta


While considering the history of this territory we ask: What constitutes knowledge, knowledge production, and decolonial approaches to pedagogy approached through the lens of an Indigenous framework within Pratt Institute?

In order to tackle this question, Pratt Fine Arts’ Project Third (P3) seeks to introduce decolonial approaches to art and art education based on Indigenous knowledges, local histories, and histories of settlement that allow for cross-disciplinary dialogue; led by Indigenous artists, academics, and activists.


SJ Norman is a multi-disciplinary artist, author and cultural organizer based in Lenapehoking (New York City). His practice has spanned two decades and embraced a diversity of disciplines, including durational performance, choreography, sculpture, installation and spatial practice, video, sound and text.

Recent major acquisitions and exhibitions of his work include: the National Gallery of Australia, the National Indigenous Art Triennial and the Biennale of Sydney. Major prizes for his work have included the 67th Blake Prize, the Sidney Meyer Creative Fellowship and an Australia Council Fellowship. Also an accomplished writer of prose and poetry, his first book Permafrost was nominated for 5 major awards, including the Australian Society of Literature Gold Medal and the Stella Prize. The manuscript of his second book, Skin in the Game, won the 2023 Peter Blazey Prize for Non-Fiction and is forthcoming in 2024.

In 2019 he established Knowledge of Wounds,, which he continues to co-organize with his collaborator, Joseph M. Pierce (Cherokee Nation Citizen).

His early-career training incorporated formal studies in writing, fine art and cultural studies, as well as artist-led training in the performing arts. This included training in Bodyweather, Suzuki Method and Feldenkrais. He trained in dance and performance practice with a number of artistic mentors, including intensive training in Japan with senior Butoh teachers Maro Akaji and Ohno Yoshito, as well as Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Marina Abramovic. His practice has been foundationally informed by his lifelong, embedded experiences in numerous cultural and subcultural milieus: he owes a debt to the queer nightlife of Berlin, where he lived and danced for 11 years, and to the queer Leather communities of Sydney, Berlin and London who raised him. Norman is a first generation high-school graduate from a mixed-class and mixed-race background. He is an Indigenous person from the south-eastern region of the continent known as Australia, with familial and community ties to the Wiradjuri and Ngyiampaa-Wailawan Nations, and a queer transgender man.