Supreme Being: The Symmetry of What You Saw and What You Say

by - January 07, 2018

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Supreme Being: The Symmetry of What You Saw and What You Say
Artist's Lecture: January 18, 6pm, Blount Auditorium
Opening Reception: January 19, 5-7pm, Clough-Hanson Gallery
Rhodes College

Clough-Hanson Gallery is pleased to present "Supreme Being: The Symmetry of What You Saw and What You Say", a solo exhibition by Rashayla Marie Brown.

Artist's Lecture: 1/18, 6:00PM in Blount Auditorium

Opening Reception: 1/19, 5:00 - 7:00PM in Clough-Hanson Gallery

In an “undisciplinary” installation, Rashayla Marie Brown (RMB) explores a diverse array of media including writing, photography, voiceover acting, and an installation of a makeshift red “dark room,” school desks, red vinyl window coverings, and a red carpet. Melding the aesthetics of kitsch (bourgeois realism) and communist art (social realism) with those of high art (museum design) and film, RMB’s work explores the coercive foundation of system
s of display found in the desire to communicate a clear, moral message across various cultural contexts. With text and subtitles in direct address to the viewer, the exhibition also reflects the distance between an object’s past meaning and personal meditation on its meaning in the present. The exhibition is accompanied by a red booklet inspired by the artist’s career as a maker of diversity training manuals and a sound installation where the artist describes images for people who cannot see.

Lauded as a 2017 Artadia Awardee, artist-scholar Rashayla Marie Brown (RMB) manages a living studio practice across an extensive list of cultural production modes, including photography, performance, writing, drawing, installation, and video art. Encompassing themes of autonomy and self-mastery at the intersections of art history, religion, and popular culture, RMB's work often investigates power dynamics through the emotion and personal vulnerability of lived experience. A lifelong nomad who has moved 24 times, her journey as a professional artist began as a radio DJ and poet performing research in London, England and as founder of the family-owned design company, Selah Vibe, Inc., in Atlanta, GA. From 2013-17, RMB served as the inaugural Director of Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), fostering queer Afrofeminist narratives across institutions.

RMB holds degrees from Yale University and SAIC, advised by Paul Gilroy and Barbara DeGenevieve respectively. Her work has been commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and Yale University, New Haven, CT. Her work has shown at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL; Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL; INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, New York, NY; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA; Centro Cultural Costaricense Norteamericano, San Jose, Costa Rica; and other venues. She has received numerous awards, including the City of Chicago's Artist Residency, the Hyde Park Art Center Flex Residency, the Roger Brown Residency, and the Yale Mellon Research Grant. Her work and words have been featured and published in Art Forum, Blouin Modern Painters, Chicago Magazine, Hyperallergic, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, the Radical Presence catalog, and the cover of the Chicago Reader. RMB's essay "Open Letter to My Fellow Young Artists and Scholars on the Margins: A Tribute to Terry Adkins" was shared almost 10,000 times online as of 2018.

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