EJ Hill

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What Is My Work About?

My work stems from the desire to exist uncontestedly. Through earnest displays of public vulnerability and dissent in a world where speaking up and asserting my agency is more likely to get me shot or choked rather than lauded?a world where even my passive presence can paradoxically incite both terror and contempt, I engage in efforts to resolve the ways in which I move through my socially inhospitable surroundings while responding to conditions that imply that my body?the vehicle through which I navigate life, the conduit for experience?is and always will be irrevocably incorrect.

Artist Statement

There have only been a handful of moments that I can recall where my beliefs, positions, and absolute truths have been challenged to debilitating degrees. And in none of these cases could I have ever anticipated that the lessons I would learn would eventually provide fodder for a life replete with uncompromised integrity and the utmost resilience.

As a child, I was raised to hold open doors, and to always say “please” and “thank you.” I was instructed to sit quietly with my hands folded in my lap and encouraged to offer help and forgiveness when either was needed or requested. In my small word, politeness was paramount. I was also taught at an early age that my body’s natural inclinations and urges were inherently wrong. I was conditioned to be shameful of the rhythmic sways of my hips in gait, fearful of the limp wrists that could hold none of my secrets, and skeptical of anyone whose complexion shadowed the darkness of my own. Essentially, my takeaway was: Don’t make waves if you’re not ready to swim. However as I grow older, I become increasingly preoccupied with the task of discarding the oft-damaging ideologies that reinforce oppressive structures, and instead attempt to replace them with the types of knowledge that one acquires from direct exposure to ideas formed in opposition to dominant social orders. Through engagements with individuals who hold complete irreverence for dogmatic systems, and through my own personal, creative, and professional pursuits, I have come to realize that in order for there to be alternatives to the status quo, there must first be ones bold and courageous enough to dive into the deep end, making waves.

My work stems from the desire to exist uncontestedly. Through earnest displays of public vulnerability and dissent in a world where speaking up and asserting my agency is more likely to get me shot or choked rather than lauded—a world where even my passive presence can paradoxically incite both terror and contempt, I engage in efforts to resolve the ways in which I move through my inhospitable surroundings while responding to conditions that imply that my body—the vehicle through which I navigate life, the conduit for experience—is and always will be irrevocably incorrect.

 

CV

b. 1985, Los Angeles, California

 

EDUCATION

2013 MFA, University of California, Los Angeles

2011 BFA, Columbia College Chicago

 

SELECTED SOLO AND TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2014 “The Fence Mechanisms,” Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles

2013 “Dear John,” Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles

2012 “Slow Dance,” Matt Austin and EJ Hill, RAID Projects, Los Angeles

2011 “There is no I in It,” Karen Bovinich and EJ Hill, The Hills Esthetic Center, Chicago

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014 “Racial Imaginary,” Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College, Claremont

2014 “Have At It,” Curated by Laura Watts, Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles

2014 “Postcards From Familiar Places and Other Uncommon Sites,” Curated by Deanna Erdmann and Jimena Sarno, ArtStreet, University of Dayton, Ohio

2013 “Postcards From Familiar Places and Other Uncommon Sites,” Curated by Deanna Erdmann and Jimena Sarno, POPA Gallería de Arte, Buenos Aires

2013 “Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide,” Infernoesque, Curated by Geoff Tuck, Berlin

2013 “MFA Thesis Exhibition,” New Wight Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles

2013 “Internal Visualizer,” Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn

2012 “_____A Romantic Measure,” Curated by Calvin Lee, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles

2012 “The Tipping Point of Me and We,” curated by Tempestt Hazel, Little Black Pearl, Chicago

2011 “dream, in, the, act,” Curated by Nicholas Steindorf, Kunz, Vis, Projects., Chicago

2011 “Overkill,” Curated by Jefferson Godard, The Mission Projects, Chicago

2011 “One-Day Performance Event,” with Shaun El C. Leonardo and Michael Barrett, LiVE WORK, San Francisco

2010 “X-TREME Studio,” A+D Gallery, Chicago

2009 “Before Cake, After Dinner: Big Space,” Columbia College, Chicago

2009 “Global Print,” Hokin Gallery, Chicago

2008 “Millifest,” Quincy Wong Center, Chicago

 

SELECTED PERFORMANCES, PROJECTS, SITE INTERVENTIONS

2014 “O Captor, My Captor,” Collaboration with David Bell, Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn

2014 “Signaling Through the Flames,” LAXART, Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Los Angeles

2012 “Untitled,” Collaboration with Collin Pressler as part of Industry of the Ordinary’s “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi,” Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago

2012 “Help is On the Way (for Mark Aguhar, Trayvon Martin, and the rest of Us),” Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles

2011 “The Mountain was a Gift,” Yes.Oui.Si., Boston

2011 “The Mountain was a Gift,” Hewn Oaks Arts Education Center, Lovell, Maine

2011 “Corpo/Ilicito: The Post-Human Society 6.9, Collaboration with Guillermo Gómez-Peña and La Pocha Nostra,” SOMArts, San Francisco

2010 “Crawl for Your Life,” Muskets and Memories Civil War Era Reenactment, Boscobel, Wisconsin

2009 “Unstable,” Collaboration with Alexa Loftus, Chicago

2009 “This is an Imaginary Border,” Chicago

2009 “Re: Growing,” A+D Gallery, Chicago

 

CURATORIAL

2012 “Media Lounge,” Curatorial Collaboration with Devin Kenny and Dylan Mira, College Art Association, Los Angeles

2010 “Parking Space at Mischief Night,” Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago

2010 “Basement Show,” Parking Space, Chicago

2010 “This Is Not For Sale”, Parking Space, Chicago

 

AWARDS, HONORS, RESIDENCES

2014 Teaching Artist Fellowship, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena

2012 The American Austrian Foundation Prize for Fine Arts, Salzburg

2012 Resnick Scholarship, University of California, Los Angeles

2010 ACRE, Steuben, Wisconsin

2010 Herman Conaway Scholarship, Columbia College Chicago

2010 David Rubin Scholarship, Columbia College Chicago

2009 Pougialis Fine Arts Award, Columbia College Chicago

 

LECTURES/TALKS

2014 Visiting Artist Lecture, Professor: Marcus Herse, Chapman University

2014 Visiting Artist Lecture, Professor: D/NO D/NCO, Woodbury University

2014 Visiting Artist Lecture, Professor: Mario Ybarra Jr., University of California, Los Angeles

2013 “Tactical Bodies: The Choreography of Non-Dancing Subjects”, Panel Member, University of California, Los Angeles

2011 “On The Cusp Art Conference,” Panel Member, Columbia College, Chicago

2010 “The Art of Living,” Visiting Artist Lecture, Jones College Prep, Chicago

 

TEXTS, PUBLICATIONS, ARTISTS BOOKS

2012 “Forward Slash,” Collaborative artists book with Matt Austin released in conjunction with “Slow Dance” exhibitions

2012 “Making Room,” Notes on Looking, October 22, 2012

2012 “Selbstbildnis,” Notes on Looking, August 20, 2012

 

SELECTED PRESS

2014 Alicia Eler, Artbound | KCET, “EJ Hill and the Art of Endurance,” November 13, 2014

2014 Claire Anna Baker, Another Righteous Transfer, “EJ Hill, Complicit and Tacit,” May 2, 2014

2014 Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Artsy, “Artists Aren’t Fair,” January 31, 2014

2012 Ari Marcantonio and Geoff Tuck, Notes on Looking, “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie or ‘I only paid for it!’,” November 12, 2012

2012 Carol Cheh, Another Righteous Transfer, “New Performances…,” May 7, 2012

2012 Elly Fishman, Chicago Reader, “Dancing with Exquisite Strangers,” March 22, 2012

2011 Geoff Tuck, Notes on Looking, “EJ Hill at UCLA Open Studios,” December 12, 2011

2011 Laura Pearson, Time Out Chicago, “Overkill,” September 21, 2011

2011 Gretchen Holmes, Newcity, “Eye Exam: Personal Spaces,” September 20, 2011

2011 Melissa Potter, Art Papers, “X-TREME Studio,” January/February 2011

2010 Lauren Weinberg, Time Out Chicago, “Roving Gallery: Parking Space,” October 28, 2010

2010 Tempestt Hazel, Sixty Inches From Center, “Home in Chicago: EJ Hill,” October 17, 2010

2010 Brandon Johnson, Zing Magazine, “Interview: Parking Space,” March 2010