"Refiguring the Canon"
2018 Solo Exhibition
Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington, DC
In “Refiguring the Canon,” I create a hybrid environment where performance art and collage are used to interrogate racism, sexism, and notions of western exceptionalism within art historical narratives and institutional spaces. I display documentation from performances at the National Gallery of Art and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, in which I assert my body using simple gestures in contrast to historic artworks, challenging their conceptual meaning. In other works, I use found magazines, including Art News, Art Forum, and Art in America, published in the 1980’s (the decade of my birth). Combining the images of artwork featured in the magazine with photographic stills from my recent performances, I create an avatar persona who reclaims a space in art history for under-recognized and marginalized women and artists of color. Playing with the 1980’s trending re-interest in “primitivism,” I use my Ethiopian-American female body as a way to reclaim that gaze and decolonize the appropriation of black culture.