Jun 7th - Jun 30th, 2019
Each artist within this exhibition is actively disrupting the status quo, the norm created by Western culture. Through each of their works, they develop and engage in new narratives that challenge European dominance on a global scale, inclusive but not exclusive to the United States. Wrestling with multiple historical references, the works collectively question notions of systemic erasure on a individual as well as ancestral scope. Simultaneously, each artist speaks to specific themes of resistance related to their personal journey within their cultural identity, using a fluid combination of ideals stemming from Futurism and/or Afro-Futurism. Together, each artist offers viewers a fresh perspective on a pertinent but timeless conversation about eternal resistance and how that force can inspire radical ways of redefining oneself.
-Gerald A. Brown
Through the influence of hip-hop, history, and science fiction, my artwork explores themes in Afrofuturism, a projected vision of an imagined future which critiques the historical and cultural events of the African Diaspora and the disticint black experience of the Middle Passage. While also delving into deeper social issues which broaden the conversation between all of humanity. From these ideas my art practice is based on research, and refrences the visual traditions from the Caribbean, the American South, and the African continent. I work in clay as a historical and creative base material to inform memories of the past. The handling of clay reveals the process and shares the markings of its maker. Ceramics becomes a bridge to conceptually integrate disparate objects and or images for the purpose of creating new understandings and connections with the material, history, and socialpolitical issues. I compare the construction and deconstruction of materials to the remix in rap music and how human beings adapt to different environments and reinvent new identities.These ceramic objects are vessels, each making symbolic allusions to the black body. Although discussing provocative and heavy subject matter the incorporation of humor with bright and bold color schemes initiates an atmosphere of personal interpretation and reflection to the work of art.
My art process is a time machine. I like to look back and forth in time and fly through borders. Dialogue and contradiction are essential to my work, together they describe the complexity of our crossbred society. I am particularly interested in events that have shaped history in the Americas. All of the Americas, north and south. The study of these formative events helps me to understand the present and gives me a glimpse of our society’s future. I am a nomadic artist whose journeys through the Americas, creating rasquache (Spanish for ‘leftover’ or ‘of no value’) art* and high art, speaking Español, English and Spanglish. Sometimes my identity is static. Other times, I have an inventory of multiple bred identities, often without a choice, by the hybrid post-colonial America. I fit here and there but No soy ni de aquí ni de allá (I am not from here nor there.) I am one, in two worlds. Similarly, in my art practice I am interested in material experimentation, the understanding of their properties, the meaning they carry, and their histories. This allows me to play with different mediums such as drawing, printmaking, ceramics, wood, installation, and socially engaged art. The content of my work is socio-political and is driven by my life experiences. In my work, I explore the themes of colonization, migration (voluntary or involuntary), “the other,” stereotypes, cultural appropriation, and futurism. As an artist, I feel I have the responsibility to address the issues that affect my community, create awareness, and propose actions through my art. Through mainstream media and in most sci-fi content, the future is generally imagined as white. As if people of color need to be erased preemptively from the future all together. My latest research is about exploring and developing a Rascuache-Futuristic aesthetic in my artwork, where I can articulate pre-Columbian, colonial, and post-colonial histories. I like to imagine and create a future where the protagonists look like me, understand me, and others like me see themselves too. * rasquache in Spanish means ‘leftover’ or ‘of no value.’ Rasquachismo or rasquache art describes an attitude or lifestyle of the underdog, which uses ‘assemblage’ or ‘found object’ techniques in sculpture and installation.
Salvador Jiménez Flores
Salvador Jiménez Flores
My work has always been an exploration of my layered identity – as a woman, a woman of color, as an “American,” as a third culture kid. I live at the intersection of being neither fully Chinese or Caucasian, a sense of being in-between, seen as an imposter on either side. The constant question about my appearance – So, what are you? – has driven a series of different answers in my work over time. I explore this conflict specifically through porcelain, a nod to my Chinese heritage, but also a representation of “pure” white, a desire reflected in both cultures. Porcelain allows me to speak in dualities, especially of fragility and resilience and ultimately the struggle between diversity and the flawless white body. Trained and educated traditionally in ceramics, my practice evolved from sculpture to mixed media as I began to focus on domestic objects and the feminine sphere. Handwork and hair both became totems of the small rituals that fix, smooth over, and ground women’s lives. Through these materials, I explore how Western beauty standards influenced the East, how the non-white body is commodified and sold, and how women’s – globally, girls’ – work is still a major economic driver whose workers still struggle for equality. Americans are being confronted with their icons, their fetishes, their appropriations and have a constant desire for authenticity. Most of the objects we access are designed, produced, manufactured, sold, and consumed without conscious knowledge of the source. Working with porcelain, blue and white patterns, stereotypically Asian motifs, textiles, video, and photography allows me to examine what we see as our “dominant” material culture. Bound by these conditions, I stitch together my individual nature, unravel the pressures of conformity, and forever experience pain in search of perfection.
Jennifer Ling Datchuk
Jennifer Ling Datchuk
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