Heavy Breathing: How to Eat Blackberries / Leila Weefur with Elena Gross

Date(s) - 03/13
7:00pm - 8:30pm

Beauty Supply Arts

Oakland, CA

Heavy Breathing presents How to Eat Blackberries: a participatory instructional led by Leila Weefur with special guest Elena Gross

Consider this an instructional, a ceremony of etiquette. How to Eat Blackberries is a survey of the Blackness model: Leila Weefur and Elena Gross set the table to weed the fugitive language of Black performativity. This instructional will be staged as a dining room duel. Incorporating a dish made of blackberries, Leila Weefur and Elena Gross will dine their way through the touchstones of Blackness.

Participants: for the full experience, wear white
Limited to 30 participants: first come, first seated

Doors 6:30 PM / Event 7 PM – 8:30 PM

Beauty Supply Arts, Downtown Oakland
Free and open to the public

Wheelchair accessible entry
Email heavyheavybreathing@gmail.com for address

Image courtesy of Leila Weefur


Leila Weefur (She/They/He) is a trans-gender-noncomforming artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland, CA. Through video, installation, writing, and lecture-performances they examine the performativity intrinsic to systems of belonging present in our lived experiences. The work brings together concepts of the sensorial memory, abject, hyper surveillance, and the erotic. Weefur is a recipient of the Hung Liu award, the Murphy & Cadogan award, and the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including SFMOMA, The Wattis Institute, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, New York. Weefur is a lecturer at University of California, Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute. They are a member of film collective, The Black Aesthetic.

Elena Gross is an independent writer and culture critic living in Oakland, CA. She received an MA in Visual & Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts in 2016, and her BA in Art History and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2012. She specializes in representations of identity in fine art, photography, and popular media. Elena was formerly the creator and co-host of the arts & visual culture podcast what are you looking at? published by Art Practical. Her most recent research has been centered around conceptual and material abstractions of the body in the work of Black modern and contemporary artists. She has presented her writing and research at institutions and conferences across the U.S., including Nook Gallery, Southern Exposure, KADIST, Harvard College, YBCA, California College of the Arts, and the GLBT History Museum. Gross is the Exhibitions Associate at the Museum of the African Diaspora.


Heavy Breathing is a series of experimental movement seminars designed by artists that combine physical activity with group discussion on ideas related to their creative practice. Critical discourse often feels heady, abstract, and divorced from the body. How do conversations change when we are moving and out of breath? What new modes of thinking become possible?

Heavy Breathing is organized by Sophia Wang and Lisa Rybovich Crallé. Now in its fifth season, the series has received partnering support from Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure program, the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, the SF Art Book Fair 2017, and the San Francisco Arts Commission.



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