“One reason for making and exhibiting a work is to induce a reaction or change in the viewer…in this sense, the work as such is nonexistent except when it functions as a medium between the artist and viewer.” –Adrian Piper
Small Press Traffic and Mimi Tempestt present whistling t̶h̶e̶ ̶a̶v̶a̶n̶t̶ ̶g̶a̶r̶d̶e̶, an exhibition showcasing eight poets of color who engage in visual art, performance, and multimedia practices.
Each artist maintains unique and experimental practices while critiquing the ways the avant garde has been historically gatekept and whitewashed. This exhibition challenges conventions, explores identity across racial and ethnic diasporas, and experiments with artistic forms through a non-white, decolonial lens.
“My intention for curating this show is to highlight the powerful works of local artists and facilitate community engagement through a radically human lens. My vision is to expand on the conversations of identity, diaspora, and solidarity through the medium of ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶a̶v̶a̶n̶t̶ ̶g̶a̶r̶d̶e̶ in art and poetry, and explore the ways on which these artists subvert and reclaim the notion of artistic and poetic experimentations. So often as artists of color, the notions of experimentation and ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶a̶v̶a̶n̶t̶ ̶g̶a̶r̶d̶e̶ get taken away from possible renderings and interpretations of our art, but by highlighting these artists, our communities can experience firsthand how artists of color are at the forefront of exploring everyday subjects in nuanced and complex ways. Presenting this showcase allows the artists to reflect on a myriad of feelings, intimacies, scenarios, complexities, contradictions, and conditions of their work to facilitate reflections about existing in the world." –Mimi Tempestt
Read Alan Chazaro's piece on KQED: Decolonized Poetry Takes Center Stage.
This program was made possible by the California Arts Council Impact Projects grant and We Are The Voices.