Hyphen American

Kunj
Kunj
January 29, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Andy Johnson, Director
gallery102@gwu.edu


HYPHEN AMERICAN 
FEBRUARY 5 - MARCH 2, 2018
 

WASHINGTON, DC - Gallery 102 is proud to present Hyphen American, an exhibition that challenges and unsettles the liminal space of hybrid cultural identity within the American lexicon. Through painting, sculpture, video, photography, performance, and installation, the exhibition addresses the mythification of immigrants and first-generation Americans. The artists on view refuse, engage with, subvert, and satirize the exotification and fetishization that one often confronts when engaged with multiple cultural identities.

The “othering” of immigrant communities is historically rooted in the cultural identity of America. Whiteness, as a synonym for the US, relies on the “other” to distinguish itself politically, socially, and economically. Our melting pot is merely a distraction to perpetuate erasure and cultural genocide; a mantra that willfully ignores the ramifications of American cultural essentialism. With the recent anniversary of Trump’s Muslim travel ban, and attention paid to alt-right, nationalist, white supremacist groups, it is imperative to resist the scapegoat tactics deployed by racist, sexist, xenophobic, and homophobic groups. 

Hyphen American, while admittedly incomprehensive in scope, is a humble and empowered attempt to create paths through barriers from the symbolic construction of hybridized languages derived from a mother tongue.

Exhibiting artists: Nana Ama Bentsi-Enchill, Ani Bradberry, Nakeya Brown, Hector Canonge, Hoesy Corona, Dominique Duroseau, Lloyd Foster, Baseera Khan, Zavé Martohardjono, Helina Metaferia, Joseph Orzal, Kunj, Marcelline, Mojdeh Rezaeipour, Tariku Shiferaw, Nyugen E. Smith, Sheida Soleimani, Tsige Tafesse, Fabiola Yurcisin.

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PROGRAMS & EVENTS

- Thursday, February 8, 6:00-8:00 pm: Join Gallery 102 for the opening reception of Hyphen American. Performances by: Marcelline, Hector Canonge, and Nyugen E. Smith. The reception is free and open to the public. To RSVP, click here.

- Saturday, February 17, 3:00-6:00 pm: Join Gallery 102 for a performance series hosted in conjunction with Hyphen American. Performances by: Nana Ama Bentsi-Enchill, Helina Metaferia, Hoesy Corona, and Kunj. The performance series is free and open to the public. To RSVP, click here.

- Friday, March 2, 6:00-8:00 pm: Join Gallery 102 for the closing reception and panel talk for Hyphen American. Panelists TBA. The reception and talk is free and open to the public. To RSVP, click here.

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CURATORS

Alexandra (Rex) Delafkaran (1993; California) is an Iranian-American interdisciplinary artist, dancer and curator from California, currently based in Washington, D.C. She uses movement and objects to explore the rich tensions between bodies, intimacy, language and identities. Since receiving her degree in Ceramics and Performance Art from the San Francisco Art Institute, she has worked and exhibited in Southern Exposure Gallery, Diego Rivera Gallery, Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Panoply Performance Lab, and others. While working as Gallery Manager at Hamiltonian Gallery and teaching dance, Rex continues to perform and exhibit, making sculpture out of Red Dirt Studios.

Tsedaye Makonnen (1984; Washington, D.C.) is an Ethiopian-American interdisciplinary artist who focuses on installation and performance art, creating sculptures, experiences and participatory pieces that involve the audience. Other titles she bears and inform her art practice are mother, educator,and birthworker. Recurring themes present in her work are identity, migration, colorism, womanhood, ritual, and kinship. For the last few years her work has been exploring the forced migratory patterns of the African Diaspora and their creative responses to assimilating and recreating the Self within new territories. Tsedaye has performed at the Corcoran Gallery, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Five Myles Gallery, El Museo del Barrio, Grace Exhibition Space, Panoply Performance Lab, Pratt Film Institute and more. In 2017, she participated in the 1st edition of the Festival International d’Art Performance in Martinique, ITINERANT 2017 International Performance Art Festival at Queens Museum, Light City Baltimore, and the 7th Annual Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Accra, Ghana. Most recently she performed and exhibited at Art Basel Miami with Prizm Art Fair and Satellite Art Fair.

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ARTISTS

Nana Ama Bentsi-Enchill (Ama BE) (b. 1980; Ghana/USA) is a multi-disciplinary artist and cultural advocate living in Brooklyn, NY. As a Ghanaian born in America, Nana Ama's work investigates notions of value and identity as acquired through cultural inheritance, foreign imposition and personal inquiry.  She is interested in the confrontation of opposing cultural value systems as they ritualistically meet in mundane and ceremonious spaces. She has performed on the shores of Matanzas, Cuba, James Town, Ghana, and New York City, and driving her work to be conversant across the diaspora. She has performed and exhibited in, Wearing Spirit: Aesthetically Personifying the Feminine in African Sacred Traditions, The Kitchen: Center of Consciousness installation in The Altar: Rituals of Healing in the African Diaspora, NYU’s Kimmel Galleries, 2017 Chale Wote Street Art Festival, Here Hear at Gowanus Open Studios, Panoply Performance Lab, Archive Series at Le Petit Versailles, Black Gotham in New York’s Seaport District. She is also the producer of the documentary series, Look the Other Way, addressing the state of Africa’s creative industries, and the value systems that inform them.

Anahita (Ani) Bradberry (b. 1993; New Haven, CT) is an Iranian-American multidisciplinary artist and art historian based in DC and New York City. She was raised in New Haven, CT and Pittsburgh, PA. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in modern and contemporary non-Western art with a focus on Japan from American University's feminist Art History program, spending 6 years in DC. Interested in challenging predetermined power structures in the global contemporary art world, Anahita walks the line between artist and critical art writer to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural power of radical creativity. Ani commands light and imagery to create ephemeral sculptural experiences using rare gas, electricity, natural and industrial materials. anibradberry.com

Nakeya Brown (b. 1988; USA) was born in Santa Maria, California in 1988. She received her BA in Visual Arts and Journalism & Media Studies from Rutgers University and her Master of Fine Arts from The George Washington University. Her photography has been exhibited at the McKenna Museum of African American Art, Woman Made Gallery, Hamiltonian Gallery, and The Urban Institute for Contemporary Art. Brown’s work has been featured in New York Mag, Dazed & Confused, The Fader, TIME, and Vice. Her work has been included in photography books Babe and Girl on Girl: Art and Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze. Brown was awarded the 2017 Snider Prize by the Museum of Contemporary Photography. She currently lives and works in Washington, D.C with her 5 year-old daughter, Mia. www.nakeyabrown.com

Hector Canonge (Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and cultural entrepreneur based in New York City. His work incorporates the use of new media technologies, cinematic narratives, performance, and socially engaged art to explore and treat issues related to constructions of identity, gender roles, psychogeography, and the politics of migration. His installations, interactive platforms, and performance art work have been exhibited and presented in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. As cultural entrepreneur, Canonge created, and organizes independently the annual Contemporary Performance Art Festival NYC, ITINERANT. He started projects such as ARTerial ​PERFORMANCE LAB (APLAB), PERFORMEANDO, NEXUSURNEXUS, and PERFORMAXIS. In late 2015, he launched TALKaCTIVE: Performance Art Conversation Series, and the new Performance Art initiative LiVEART.US hosted at the Queens Museum and at other local public institutions.

Hoesy Corona (b. 1986; México)  has shown compelling works and inventive sculptures fitted to the human body extensively at various institutional, private, public and underground venues including among others The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; The Baltimore Museum of Art; The Walters Art Museum; The Peale Museum; Songs for Presidents Gallery; Gallery CA; Decker Gallery; Delicious Spectacle; The Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival; Greenbelt Arts Center; The Fine Arts Work Center; VisArts; The Creative Alliance; and the Haggerty Museum. His curatorial efforts include: Artscape, Baltimore, MD; Light City 2017, Baltimore, MD; Spacecamp Gallery, Baltimore, MD; Artist Run Art Fair, Baltimore, MD; Gallery CA, Baltimore, MD; Platform Gallery; Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY; Transmodern Festival, Baltimore, MD; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; and Current Space, Baltimore, MD. Recent honors include a Halcyon Arts Lab Fellowship; an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant; a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation's Ruby's Project Grants in Visual Art; a Light City public art commission; a CHM Sculpture Park and Fellowship; a Light City Artist in Residence; a Cafe Con Leche Latino Artist Residency; a Fine Arts Work Center Award; a Pelham Printmaking Residency; was a Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize Semifinalist; a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award; a Baker Artist Awards B-Grant (The Copycat Theatre); and was included in Creative Capital's "On Our Radar 2016.”

Dominique Duroseau (b. 1978; Chicago/Haiti) Dominique Duroseau is a Newark-based artist born in Chicago, raised in Haiti. Her interdisciplinary practice explores themes of racism, socio-cultural issues, and existential dehumanization. Her exhibitions, performances, and screenings include SATELLITE ART and PULSE Play in Miami; The Kitchen, The Brooklyn Museum, El Museo del Barrio, A.I.R. Gallery, BronxArtSpace, Rush Arts Gallery and Smack Mellon in New York City; Index Arts, Project for Empty Space, and Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ. She is currently a fellow at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn and has received artist residencies from Gallery Aferro and Index Art Center. Duroseau holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the New Jersey School of Architecture and a Master of Arts in Fine Arts from Kean University.

Lloyd Foster (b. 1990; Washington, DC) is a Ghanaian-American photographer based in Washington, DC. Self-taught, Foster's work uses personal connections, memories, and authentic perception to capture daily life, combat warped media perspectives, and to better understand his subjects.

Baseera Khan is a New York-based artist whose work shares an experience of exile and kinship shaped by economic, pop cultural, and political situations. She mixes consumerism with spirituality and treats decolonial histories, practices, and archives as geographies of the future. Khan recently exhibited her first solo exhibition, iamuslima, at Participant Inc Gallery, NYC (2017). Iamuslima is currently traveling to Moudy Gallery at Texas Christian University, and Fine Arts Museum of Colorado Springs in (2017-18). She performed at Whitney Museum of Art, Queens Museum, and ArtPop Montreal International Music Festival (2017). Khan attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2014). She was also an International Travel Fellow to Jerusalem/Ramallah through Apexart and a Process Space artist-in-residence for Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NYC (2015). In the past year, Khan completed an artist-in-residence program at Abrons Art Center, NYC (2016-17) and will attend a residency at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY (2018-19). Khan is published in Artforum Magazine, Art in America, Bomb Magazine, OSMOSMagazine, Unbag, TDR Drama Review. She received an M.F.A. at Cornell University (2012) and B.F.A. from the University of North Texas (2005).

Zavé Martohardjono (b. 1984; Montreal, Canada) is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist interested in geopolitics, social justice, queer glam, and embodied healing. They’re videos and installations have exhibited at Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Asian Arts Initiative, Bronx River Art Center Gallery, Center for Art + Thought, Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, SOMArts Gallery, Winslow Garage, and xart splitta. They’ve performed at BAAD!, Boston Center for the Arts, Center for Performance Research, Gibney Dance, Issue Project Room, Panoply Performance Laboratory, Recess, Storm King Art Center, the Wild Project and elsewhere. Zavé is in LMCC's 2017-2018 Workspace Residency program and has had residencies at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Gibney Dance Work Up 3.0, Shandaken: Storm King, La MaMa, and Chez Bushwick. They organize with artists of color and work at the ACLU to end mass incarceration. They received their B.A. from Brown University and their M.F.A. in Media Arts Production from the City College of New York.

Helina Metaferia (b. 1983; Ethiopia) Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist, working in the areas of performance, video, installation, and two and three dimensional media. Her work investigates the role of the body as both subject and object in art, as well as transnational identity and cultural hybridity within the context of her Ethiopian-American heritage. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows at venues such as the Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), Museum of Modern Art (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Galeria Labirynt (Lublin, Poland), Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn, NY), and Defibrillator Gallery (Chicago, IL). Helina completed her Masters of Fine Arts at Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Her artist residencies include Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Ox-Bow, Yaddo, MASS MoCA, The Lighthouse Works, and a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center. Helina was a recipient of a 2015-2017 AICAD Teaching Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she taught in the Graduate and New Genres departments. She is currently a Hamiltonian Artists Fellow at Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC. www.helinametaferia.com

Joseph Orzal (b. 1985; Washington, DC) is a Filipino-Mexican-American artist, curator, and serial collaborator from Washington DC. He received his BFA from the Corcoran College of the Art in 2010 and has been actively exhibiting since then. His works combine physical and emotional observations of the human state and mine the palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies. After his glorious departure from the Corcoran Gallery of Art, amidst his involvement with the Save the Corcoran group, he co-founded NoMüNoMü—an intersectional artist collective and curatorial platform in Washington DC working towards liberation from the perpetual systems of oppression and class domination that permeate throughout the art world.

Kunj (b. 1988; USA) explores both cultural and sexual identity through performative ritual with a focus on hetero-normative dissuasion. Questioning and rebelling against institutional ideas of race, gender, and queerness – Kunj often creates work is that is impermanent, using ritual performance and structure to explore the notion of no-identity versus new-identity. He received his BA in Anthropology and Studio Art from the University of Maryland, with emphasis on physical culture, identity, and printmaking, and has performed at Grace Exhibition Space (NY), EMP Collective (MD), and The National Portrait Gallery (DC).

Marcelline (b. 1993; Yaoundé, Cameroun) is a Cameroonian-born artist using their body as a primary medium and subject alongside video, sound and sculpture to create ephemeral installations artworks. With a strong belief in community building, their work questions the socio-political landscape that informs the experiences of a naturalized citizen living at the intersections of blackness and gender non-conformity/variance, selfhood as a form of myth building and spiritual healing as a way to cope with trauma . They received their BFA from the Maryland Institute college of art in 2015 and have exhibited works at Mercer Union in Toronto, Company Gallery in Manhattan, No Nations Art Gallery In Chicago, NADA at Art Basel Miami and MoMA Ps1 just to name a few.

Mojdeh Rezaeipour (b. 1986; Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian-American mixed media artist and storyteller. Her semi-autobiographical work explores the duality of her childhood in Iran and the disembodied nature of the immigrant experience through a constant deconstruction and reconstruction of memory and understanding. She is based in her dome studio in the forests of Southern MD and often works in pyrography on wood, incorporating natural elements like roots, petals, branches and pigmented beeswax. After completing her architectural studies at UC Berkeley, Mojdeh has been involved with many facets of art and design in San Francisco, New York, Rome, Tokyo and Washington DC. She is currently pursuing a self-directed masters as a part of Alt*Div with an emphasis on art as spiritual practice, and has exhibited locally at venues such as Arlington Arts Center (VA), IA&A (DC), Katzen Art Center (DC), Target Gallery (VA), Olly Olly (VA) and Strathmore Mansion (MD). Mojdeh's stories have been featured on The Moth Mainstage, Podcast, and Radio Hour. She serves as The Moth's Washington, DC StorySlam Producer and leads independent workshops on visual storytelling. www.mojdeh.art

Tariku Shiferaw (b. 1983; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is a Brooklyn based artist whose work deals with mark-making in ways that addresses both the physical and the metaphysical spaces of painting and societal structures. At the age of nine, he moved to Nairobi, Kenya with his family and shortly after immigrated to the U.S. He spent the latter part of his childhood in Los Angeles, California. He studied for his bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA) at the University of Southern California (USC) in 2007 and later attained his MFA at Parsons The New School for Design in 2015. Shiferaw has exhibited throughout New York and Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include The 2017 Whitney Biennial as part of Occupy Museums’ Debtfair project (New York, 2017); Hard Cry, Lubov (New York, 2017); Life Sized, Anthony Philip Fine Art (Brooklyn, 2016); Introduction 2016, Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn, 2016); The LA Art Show, Werd Gallery (Los Angeles, 2016); ATAVAST, Roomservice/Standard Practice (Brooklyn, 2015); New Work New York, 1st MFA Biennial Presented by St. Nicks Alliance & Arts@Renaissance (Brooklyn, 2015).

Nyugen E. Smith (b.1976; Jersey City, NJ), drawing heavily on his West Indian heritage, is committed to raising the consciousness of past and present political struggles through his practice which consists of sculpture, installation, video and performance. He is influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the remnants of European colonial rule in the region. Responding to the legacy of this particular environment, Nyugen’s work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence and ideological misnomers.

Sheida Soleimani (b. 1990; Iran) is an Iranian-American artist who lives in Providence, Rhode Island. The daughter of political refugees who were persecuted by the Iranian government in the early 1980s, Soleimani makes work that melds sculpture, collage, and photography to highlight her critical perspectives on historical and contemporary socio-political occurrences in Iran. She focuses on media trends and the dissemination of societal occurrences in the news, adapting images from popular press and social media leaks to exist within alternate scenarios. Soleimani’s research and work critically references the Eurocentrism that pervades the study of art and art history. She is specifically interested in the intersections of art and activism, as well as how social media has shaped the landscape in current political affairs and uprisings. Her work has been recognized internationally in both exhibitions and publications such as Artforum, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Interview Magazine, VICE Magazine, amongst many others. She is most recently a recipient of the MacColl Johnson Fellowship, and is currently a professor at Brandeis University.

Tsige Tafesse’s (b. 1990; Seattle/Ethiopia) work looks to wage intimacy in a world growing deeply disconnected. Through performance, community organizing, multimedia journalism, and vr she conjures, building pathways from where we’ve been to where we could go. Collaboratively she’s a co-producer of the Prismaticpodcast (an “archive of knowledges”), is a co-founder of BUFU (By Us For Us), a decentralized living archive and documentary project about (Pan)Black-(Pan)Asian cultural & political relationships who’s work has appeared at New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and various art/community spaces, co-directed the first “Afrofuturism Conference: Designing New Narratives for the African Diaspora” at The New School. She has her BFA from The New School for Drama with a concentration in Directing. Her performance credits include Upright Citizens Brigade, Intiman Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Art Museum, and others. Her photography work has appeared in Ebony Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine, BlackLivesMatter.com. She was named one of Fader Magazine’s “People Who Show Us Where Culture Is Going” 2017 amongst being covered in NYLON, ID Magazine, Viceland, Creator’s Project, Village Voice, Vibe Magazine, and various others. She is currently a Artist-In-Residence with her collective at Eyebeam in NYC.

Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin (b. 1973; Mexico) received a BFA from The Art Institute of Chicago in 2003, and a BA from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in 1995. She has exhibited in the United States, México, and Europe. Two of her books are part of the permanent collection of The Joan Flash Artists’ Book Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Most recently, she was selected as one of the FiveWomenArtists, by CulturalDC, an initiative launched by The National Museum of Women in the Arts. Her work repurposes obsolete recording materials, like VHS cassette tape and typewriter ribbon, and weaves them together. The panels, cages and nets that she makes, are reflective surfaces that question the speed in which we produce and discard our technologies. She works in both Mexico and the United States. www.fabiola.com.mx

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Gallery 102
Gallery 102 and the Student Exhibitions Committee (SEC) is committed to the exhibiting of contemporary art, including work from GW & Corcoran students, DC-area artists, and nationally recognized artists of all medium. The SEC consists of GW & Corcoran students -- undergraduate and graduate, majors and non-majors, artists and art historians -- who both develop innovative, original, and thought-provoking exhibitions throughout GW's campus and invite a select group of guest curators to present exhibitions each semester. The gallery provides practical curatorial experience to the student body. Students have the opportunity to exhibit work, curate shows, and install exhibitions.

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