Miatta Kawinzi

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Artist Statement

In my multidisciplinary practice, I seek to reconcile the sky and the ground, the hard and the soft, the internal and the external. I aim to re-code darkness as generative.

My work proposes a belief in the strength of the delicate. It is a belief in the possibility embedded within the pliable. It is a refusal of fixity; for if nothing is fixed, then it can be changed; rocks softened, weight shifted. Fragile ladders mentally traversed to grasp at the beyond.

This work is concerned with untangling the spaces between flatness and dimensionality.
It claims multi-dimensionality. It encourages the viewer to encounter it from multiple vantage points both physical and mental. Much of this is about suspension. Weight and weightlessness. The coordinates of the unknown.

I have been focused on the language of hands as an extension of our bodies into space through which we shape, make, touch, feel, sense, probe, praise, and labor. I am working with the connotations of the reach as a gesture that can mean both to pull toward and to sway away from something. Hands extended, raised upwards.
Hands, up. Don’t. Shoot.
Up: surrender.
Up: assertion.

The body bends, sinks into the surface, lifts out. Carves a corner in which to exist. Is pushed into a corner. Claims it, makes a home there, a shelter, tent. Extends beyond its prescribed demarcation, trails light to illuminate that which has been placed below.
In this work, the verb supplants the noun.
What happens when we lift?

 

CV

Born in 1987 in Nashville, TN
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

EDUCATION

2016
Hunter College of the City University of New York, New York, NY
MFA, Studio Art

2015
SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico
SOMA Summer Program: Georges Bataille’s Theories of Excess & the Mexican Baroque

2010
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
BA, Interdisciplinary Art & Cultural Theory
Study abroad: Super 8 Filmmaking & Transnational Migration & Diaspora in Paris, France

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016
Harlem Postcards, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
-revel-, Kunstraum, Brooklyn, NY
MFA Thesis Exhibition, Hunter College, 205 Hudson Street Gallery, New York, NY

2015    
Power, Protest & Resistance, Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Solar Anus, SOMA, Mexico City, Mexico
After Afropolitan, Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn, NY
Translations, Feldenheimer Gallery at Reed College, Portland, OR

2014    
Small is Beautiful, Flowers Gallery, New York, NY
Some Bodies, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, South Africa
Whitney Houston Biennial, 20 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY
Honest Bodies, Windows on Amsterdam Gallery & Project Reach, New York, NY

2012
Neon Birdsong, Schlosserei, Basel, Switzerland
Groupshow, Basement, Basel, Switzerland
Traces from iaab, Dock, Basel, Switzerland

2011
Am I Phthalo Blue?, 3rdEye(Sol)ation Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (solo)
(dis)located, Art for Change Gallery, New York, NY

2010  
The Poetiques of the Fragment, Harold F. Johnson Gallery, Amherst, MA (solo)
Geographies of Space, Clemente Soto Vélez Lower East Side Gallery, New York, NY

SELECTED SCREENINGS

2015
90s Child, Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles, CA
FILMIDEO 2015, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ

2012   
New Media Showcase, Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival 2012, Medulla Art Gallery & The University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago

2011    
Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival, Kumble Theater, Brooklyn, NY

2009
New Filmmakers, Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY

SELECTED PERFORMANCES

2016- gatherin’ voice, 205 Hudson Street Gallery, New York, NY
2015- Sobre la presentación/On presentation, Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco, Mexico City, Mexico
2014- howdoyoufindeachotherinthedark?, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, South Africa
2012- Rashaad Newsome’s Shade Compositions, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

AWARDS

2015- Hunter College Cisneros Scholarship for SOMA
2014- Kossak Travel Grant
2013 – 15-Hunter College Scholarship & Welfare Fund Award
2007 – 10-Hampshire College Arturo Schomburg Scholarship
2009-Hampshire College Presidential Grant

RESIDENCIES/FELLOWSHIPS
2016
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (upcoming)
Beta-Local, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Itinerant Seminar (upcoming)
2014
Greatmore Studios, Cape Town, South Africa
2012
International Exchange & Studio Program Basel (iaab), Basel, Switzerland
2011 – 12
Flux Factory, New York Community Trust Fellowship, New York, NY

PUBLICATIONS
Interview. Muchas Cosas. Huizar, Isauro. 11 May, 2015.
<http://muchascosas.org/arte/miatta-kawinzi/>
Featured Video: Star Spangz. Infinity’s Kitchen Experimental Literary Journal. Vol. 7. Online Edition. 28 August, 2014. <http://infinityskitchen.com/star-spangz/>

RELEVANT WORK/WORKSHOPS/PANELS
2013 – present
The Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum Educator, New York, NY.
2016
Navigating Power & Privilege, Panelist, The Queens Museum, Queens, NY.
Open Engagement – POWER Conference, Presenter & workshop facilitator as part of The Hidden Curriculum, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA.
2015
The Artist’s Institute, Curatorial Fellow, New York, NY.
2014
EMERGE, Presentation & Artist Talk, Dwyer Cultural Center with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, New York, NY.