What goes on within the walls of University of Oxford colleges never ceases to surprise; never before has this been more the case than for what is in store at St John’s College between 23 March and 16 April.

The alma mater of Tony Blair, amongst others, St John's prides itself on its vibrant international community, and the intellectual rigour, creativity, and independence it fosters. Appropriate then that the college’s Kendrew Barn will host #QC, a solo exhibition by interdisciplinary artist Jennifer Allen aka Quilla Constance whose brilliant, mesmeric, eye-popping artistic practice sits on the shocking end of the surprise spectrum.

Quilla Constance ‘QC’ is the artist’s exotic, militant punk persona who, in this exhibition at The Kendrew Barn in St John’s College, explores discourses of over-identification, dis-identification and the post-human through performance art. The show is an audio visual examination of the negotiation of black female identities within contemporary British majority culture and high art through an uncomfortably rich and sticky melange of Red Stripe, sequins, faux fur, Golliwogs, guns, high tea, twerking, double bass, dance music, and black women in platinum blonde wigs.

Frequently reflecting the political ferment of the time, the most significant flourishing of performance art took place in the 1960s, and Modern Art Oxford (as it is now) was at the forefront of presenting this new form of fine art to, invariably stunned, British audiences. As such, this anarchic exhibition, QC, arrives in Oxford at a timely point in the city’s cultural calendar as Modern Art Oxford presents KALEIDOSCOPE Live, a programme of commissions that celebrates the history of performance at the gallery, marking the gallery’s 50th anniversary.

Amidst a healthy dose of spewing sub-linguistic sounds, dance, flamboyant dress, VHS static, and colour bleed beyond the St Giles Porter’s Lodge this visually and conceptually challenging interdisciplinary exhibition includes a series of costume-adorned paintings, “QC selfie” photographs, another video installation, and live performances. Together these striking works conspire to invite the viewer to consider notions of cultural authenticity and taboo. Allen commented,

“My work explores the choreography of contexts - setting up identity slippages as a militant strategy!”

#QC tours to St John’s in a homecoming, of sorts, following a showing at The Vaults Gallery, London as the Birmingham born artist, costumier, cellist and freelance lecturer studied Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Art graduating from St John’s College, University of Oxford in 2001.

However, this constantly evolving artist will present her newly commissioned video work ‘#QC_001’ for the Oxford exhibition. ‘#QC_001’ was described by a representative at St John’s as “an overt tribal cakewalk set in a leafy Bedfordshire woodland.” Allen explained,

“I intend for works to mutate from show to show, so the exhibit in Oxford will be different to London, right down to the content of #QC_001, for which I'm currently developing a bespoke re-edit… #QC_001 will incorporate themes and elements from PUKIJAM (https://vimeo.com/129755052) combined with a selection of recent 'QC as black cyborg' footage I shot.”

Whomever Quilla Constance is, she is a big character. Unflinching, physical, unapologetically intimidating – she stares out of her white cube and bed-sit spaces in the screen with her arresting gaze, hypnotic grinding, and visual blasts of bone china. Raw, fresh, awkward and exciting, Allen presents indisputably fierce performance art. This is the kind of work that burns your retina and imprints in your memory for years to come. Allen created and deployed QC to interrogate category driven capitalist networks and locate points of agency within systems of power; I suspect QC at Kendrew Barn, St John’s College is set to be a very significant exhibition.

• Exhibition Dates: 23 March and 16 April 2016

• Kendrew Barn, St John's College, St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JP