MICKALENE THOMAS: FEMMES NOIRES - CAC Digital Gallery

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Mi ckal eneThomas: FemmesNoi r es, 201 9. I nst al l at i onvi ew: Cont empor ar yAr t sCent er , New Or l eans. Phot obyRyanHodgsonRi gsbee

MI CKAL E NET HOMAS: F E MME SNOI RE S

OnVi ew: November2, 201 9–June1 4, 2020


“Todot hewor kt hatIdo,Iam aski ngofand l ooki ngt omysi st er soft hewor l d. ” —Mi ckal eneThomas

Mi c k a l eneT homa sput sBl a c kAmer i c a nwomena tt he c ent erofherpr a c t i c e . Herwor kc el ebr a t est hec ompl e x i t y a nddi v er s i t yofBl a c kf ema l ea genc ya ss het a c k l esi s s ues ofi nequa l i t ya ndr epr es ent a t i on,l t er edt hr oughaqueer f emi ni s tl ens . T homa sus esc ol l a gea sapower f ul t ool , dr a wi ngonpa i nt i ng, phot ogr a phy , t i meba s edmedi a , i mmer s i v el i v i ngr oom t a bl ea uxa ndot herf or mst oc r ea t e herdy na mi cc ompos i t i ons . Herwor k sr ev ea l t hec ompos i t e wa y sofbei ngf orwomeni nt hegl oba l Af r i c a ndi a s por a . By r ef r a mi ngs t er eot y pi c a l per c ept i onsa ndr epr es ent a t i onsof Bl a c kwomen, T homa sdel i ber a t el yc ha l l engest heWes t er n a r t hi s t or i c a l c a nona ndc r ea t esnewpos s i bi l i t i esf ors eei ng ar a ngeofBl a c kbodi es . Combi ni ngav a r i et yofma t er i a l sa ndmedi a , T homa sus es c ol l a get or ea l i z ewor k st ha tdi s r uptWes t er nnot i onsof bea ut ya ndi dent i t ywhi l es i mul t a neous l ybui l di ngont he t r a di t i onsofa r thi s t or y . Col l a gec omesf r om t heF r enc hwor d c ol l er , mea ni ng“ t opa s t e , s t i c korgl ue . ” T hi si nt er pl a yi nc l udes i n ni t ewa y st oc ut , dec ons t r uc t , a ppr opr i a t e , f r a gmenta nd r epur pos eel ement st oc r ea t eanewwor k . T heCol orP ur pl ei sak ey s t onewor kf orMi c k a l eneT homa s . Publ i s hedi n1982, t hea wa r dwi nni ngbookbyAl i c eWa l k er wa sa da pt edi nt oa l mi n1985. I nt hes t or y , t hema i n c ha r a c t er , Cel i e , c onnec t swi t hot herBl a c kwomenwhopl a y i mpor t a ntr ol esi nherl i f e: hers i s t er , Net t i e; herhus ba nd’ s mi s t r es s , bl uess i ngerS hugAv er y ; a ndhers t r ongwi l l ed da ught er i nl a w, S oa . Wa l k er ’ sc ha r a c t er s ndt r ut ha nd empower mentt hr ought hei rr el a t i ons hi pswi t honea not her .

Mi ckal eneThomas: FemmesNoi r es, 201 9. I nst al l at i onvi ew: Cont empor ar yAr t sCent er , New Or l eans. Phot obyRyanHodgsonRi gsbee

I ns t al l at i onphot osbyAl e xMar k s


Mi ckal eneThomas, LedĂŠj eunersurl ' her be: Lest r oi sf emmesnoi r es, 201 0. Rhi nest ones, acr yl i candenamelonwoodpanel . 1 20x288x2i n. Phot obyRyanHodgsonRi gsbee




Mi ckal eneThomas, Ms. Cel i e’ sBl ues, 201 6. Si l kscr eeni nkandacr yl i conmi r r or edacr yl i cmount edonwoodpanel . 24x20i n. eachpanel , Over al ldi mensi ons: 72x220i n. Phot obyAl exMar ks



Mi ckal eneThomas, MeasMuse, 201 6. Mul t i medi avi deoi nst al l at i on. Dur at i on: 20mi nut esand44seconds( Looped) . Di mensi onsvar i abl e, 1 2vi deomoni t or s. Over al ldi mensi ons: 57. 5x1 06. 25x32i n. Phot obyAl exMar ks


Mi ckal eneThomas, Li vi ng‐ Room Tabl eaux, 201 9. Ot t omans, uphol st er edchai r s, car pett i l es, l i nol eum t i l es, cushi ons, floorpi l l ows, pl ant s, books, andvar i ousaccessor i es. Phot obyAl exMar ks






Mi ckal eneThomas, Li vi ng‐ Room Tabl eaux, 201 9. Ot t omans, uphol st er edchai r s, car pett i l es, l i nol eum t i l es, cushi ons, floorpi l l ows, pl ant s, books, andvar i ousaccessor i es. Phot obyAl exMar ks



Mi ckal eneThomas, DoILookLi keaLady?( Comedi ansandSi nger s) , 201 6. 2� ChannelVi deoPr oj ect i on( col our , sound) .Di mensi onsvar i abl e, eachpr oj ect i onsi ze: 72x1 32i n. Phot obyAl exMar ks





Mi ckal eneThomas, Por t r ai tofAal i yah, 201 8. Pol ar oi d, 48x60i n. Phot obyAl exMar ks


Mi ckal eneThomas, Cour bet#2( Mel ody: Cent er ed) , 201 1 . Pol ar i od, 24x20i n. Phot obyAl exMar ks

Mi ckal eneThomas, Cour bet#4( Mar i e: Cent er ed) , 201 1 . Pol ar i od, 24x20i n. Phot obyAl exMar ks


Mi ckal eneThomas, Scr eenTest : Racquel , 201 6. Handpai nt edSuper8mm ďŹ l m. Phot obyAl exMar ks


Mi ckal eneThomas, Jet ’ ai me, 201 4. 2‐ ChannelAudi oandLoopedVi deoPr oj ect i on, 20mi n. : 44secs. Di mensi onsvar i abl e. Phot obyAl exMar ks



CRE DI T S&T HANKS Mi ckal eneThomas: FemmesNoi r eswascoor gani zedbyt heCont empor ar yAr t sCent er( CAC) , New Or l eans, andt heAr tGal l er yof Ont ar i o( AGO) , Tor ont o. I twascocur at edbyAndr eaAnder sson, Ph. D. , TheHel i sFoundat i onChi efCur at orofVi sualAr t satt heCAC, andJul i eCr ooks, Associ at eCur at orofPhot ogr aphyatt heAGO. Theexhi bi t i onwassuppor t edbyTheHel i sFoundat i on, TheAzbyFund, andDomai nCompani es. Addi t i onalf undi ngwaspr ovi dedbyt heVi sualAr t sExhi bi t i onFundwi t hgener ouscont r i but i onsf r om Br yanBai l ey, Val er i eBest hof f , Wal da&SydneyBest hof f , Anna&Scot tDunbar , Kendal lW i ni ngderandPat r i ckSchi ndl er , Ai mée& Mi keSi egel , andanonymousdonor s. Thi sexhi bi t i oni sal sosuppor t edi npar tbyaCommuni t yAr t sGr antmadepossi bl ebyt heCi t yof New Or l eansaswel lasbyagr antf r om t heLoui si anaDi vi si onoft heAr t s, Of ficeofCul t ur alDevel opment , Depar t mentofCul t ur e, Recr eat i on&Tour i sm, i ncooper at i onwi t ht heLoui si anaSt at eAr t sCounci l , andt heNat i onalEndowmentf ort heAr t s, aFeder alagency. Backgr oundphot obyRyanHodgsonRi gsbee.


F E MME SF É ROCE S:

MA T E RI ALL I F EXF E MME SNOI RE S OnVi ew: November2, 201 9–June1 4, 2020 T hr ougha ni mmer s i v ei ns t a l l a t i ondes i gnedt owel c omea ndempower a l l v i s i t or s , F e mme sF é r oc e shonor sagr oupofpi oneer i ngwomeni nl m, f a s hi on, mus i c , per f or ma nc e , a nda c t i v i s m whoi ns pi r euswi t ht hei r er c e bea ut ya ndt ena c i ousf ea r l es s nes si nf or gi ngr ema r k a bl ec a r eer sa nd endur i ngl ega c i es . Rea l i z edi nc ol l a bor a t i onwi t hMi c k a l eneT homa s t hr oughac r ea t i v epa r t ner s hi pbet weenCa r l aWi l l i a ms , f oundera nd ownerofl oc a l r et a i l c onc epts hopMa t er i a l L i f ea ndNewOr l ea ns ba s ed a r t i s tL eeL a aRa yGui l l or y , F e mme sF é r oc e sc el ebr a t esbl a c kwomen c r ea t i v esi nev er ya s pec t . F emmesF ér oc esi sdes i gnedt of eel l i k ea nunt r a di t i ona l s pa c e—mor e l ounget ha nga l l er y . Conc ei v eda sady na mi c , i nt er a c t i v es pa c e , v i s i t or s a r eenc our a gedt os i ta ndl i s t ent oamus i c a l pl a y l i s tc ur a t edbyChi po Ka nda k e , a s s embl epuz z l es , pl a ydomi noes , c hes s , a ndot herc ommuna l ga mes , wa t c hv i deos , a ndha v ec onv er s a t i ons . Dec orwa ss our c edf r om t heI KE AOVE RAL L Tc ol l ec t i on, whi c hf ea t ur esAf r i c a ndes i gner s . Ar t i s t sf ea t ur edi nt hi se x hi bi t i oni nc l ude: Ma r i a nnaS heppha r d( NewOr l ea ns ) L eeL a aRa yGui l l or y( NewOr l ea ns ) Key s haRi v er a( NewOr l ea ns , b. Puer t oRi c o) Ma r c i aMi c ha el ( L ondon, E ngl a nd) T a r i l a y ef aNa na k umo I ns t al l at i onphot osbyAl e xMar k s

Pi ec esr ot a t i ngt hr oughoutt he i ns t a l l a t i oni nc l udedes i gnsby : I s s aDi a ba t é( I v or yCoa s t ) Bi bi S ec k( S enega l ) S el l yRa byKa ne( S enega l ) Ref or mS t udi o( E gy pt ) S t udi oPr opol i s( Keny a )






CRE DI T S&T HANKS FemmesFér oces: Mat er i alLi f exFemmesNoi r eswasor gani zedbyt heCont empor ar yAr t sCent er( CAC) , New Or l eans, andwascur at ed byAndr eaAnder sson, Ph. D. , TheHel i sFoundat i onChi efCur at orofVi sualAr t satt heCAC, . Theexhi bi t i onwassuppor t edbyTheHel i s Foundat i on, TheAzbyFund, andDomai nCompani es. Addi t i onalf undi ngwaspr ovi dedbyt heVi sualAr t sExhi bi t i onFundwi t hgener ous cont r i but i onsf r om Br yanBai l ey, Val er i eBest hof f , Wal da&SydneyBest hof f , Anna&Scot tDunbar , Kendal lW i ni ngderandPat r i ckSchi ndl er , Ai mée&Mi keSi egel , andanonymousdonor s. Thi sexhi bi t i oni sal sosuppor t edi npar tbyaCommuni t yAr t sGr antmadepossi bl ebyt he Ci t yofNew Or l eansaswel lasbyagr antf r om t heLoui si anaDi vi si onoft heAr t s, Of ficeofCul t ur alDevel opment , Depar t mentofCul t ur e, Recr eat i on&Tour i sm, i ncooper at i onwi t ht heLoui si anaSt at eAr t sCounci l , andt heNat i onalEndowmentf ort heAr t s, aFeder alagency. Backgr oundphot obyRyanHodgsonRi gsbee.