Julia Heyward, Conscious Knocks Unconscious, installation view, 2015. Courtesy CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. Photo by Johnna Arnold.
Excerpt /New York artist Julia Heyward utilises language as a central tie in a career that spans video, performance, music, installation, photography and collage. Named after her 1979 video, her solo exhibition Conscious Knocks Unconscious at the Wattis Institute in San Francisco explores her multidisciplinary output between 1971–84. Heyward, who at the time went under the moniker Duka Delight, was involved in New York City’s thriving downtown scene. Primarily a performance and video artist, she was also involved with no wave, playing as a member of T-Venus and directing music videos for groups like Talking Heads. For this small exhibition, curator Jamie Stevens visited Heyward’s home and culled through her personal archives to present this profile of one artist’s work within a pivotal moment of New York City’s history. The videos, storyboards, photo documentation, posters and costumes on display demonstrate how Heyward equally pulled from aspects of theatre, punk, video art and performance art to create her own world, a snapshot of the greater genre crossings happening all around her. Through the lens of a single artist’s own creative trajectory, the exhibition gives the viewer a glimpse into a moment that grounded the nascent form of music video and MTV in the 1980s.
— “Julia Heyward’s Conscious Knocks Unconscious” in The Wire June 2015 (Online)