Sondra Perry

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Artist Statement

I work in video, computer-based media, and performances that explore slippages of identity that define subjective experience in the digital world. Investigating themes of power and agency, especially as they are determined by race and gender identities, I embrace and integrate new digital platforms for installation and context-based artworks, putting these questions of identity in conversation with contemporary articulations and embodiments of desire, materiality, labor, and history. I hope these works are both highly political and acutely familiar with colloquial experiences of digital interfaces.

Using materials and preexisting media in the vehicles of performance and video production creates a space for the uncanny nature of the thing or object. The ability to strip, expand, or abstract content of its form/identity, material, geological, digital, cultural, and physical is power. Playing with the potential of familiarity undermines the illusionistic transparency of popular media to expose the fissures in its meaning and politicize its ubiquitous voice.
Representation within social, political, or cultural spaces that aren’t maintained to care for how you are rendered will always perpetuate marginalization.  Working with video production and the desktop, I make an effort to interrogate visualization through the workspaces that prescribe values of productivity and narrative. It’s imperative to unravel how systems of representation service power and oppression in order to use the limitless flexibility inherent in them to image precisely and responsibly.

I often times begin with my interest in how ritual, the historical, and fiction create a slickness that mirrors the sly way in which video production techniques spin fiction into realism, into non-space where possibility is inherent. I suppose I’m trying to acknowledge the craftiness of narrative and video production while claiming fictive space as more than escapist but as actionable fugitivity that can have unclockable revolutionary potential.

I’m interested in how blackness is a technology, changing and adapting, through the constant surveillance and oppression of black folks across the diaspora since the 1600s. Unmediated seeing isn’t a thing. But what I try to offer through the work is a seeing that is DIY and constructible.  In my video installation Lineage for a Multiple Monitor Workstation and performance Young Women Sitting and Standing and Talking and Stuff (No, No, No), the performers use specific proprietary cultural language while masked in balaclavas that approximate chroma key green or don hacked vehicle backup monitors attached to safety glasses, the amorphic precision in their actions and dress is a refusal to be consumed without question. Introducing the absurd, the stupid, or annoyance into the viewing space of a highly mediated subject is a way to visualize those layers.

 

CV

EDUCATION

2015
MFA from an expensive New York art school causing gentrification in Harlem.
2013 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison ME.
2012 BFA in Expanded Media and 3 Dimensional Studies, Alfred University, Alfred NY.

SOLO
2016 netherrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr 1.0.1, Good Weather, Little Rock AR, Apr 9 – May 8, 2016 images.
2015 Some Type Of Way, Institute for New Connotative Action (INCA), Seattle WA, Oct 30 – Nov 19, 2015 images.

GROUP SHOWS
2016
Sheila Pepe Invites Sondra Perry – Put Me Down Gently: A Cooler Place + I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That, DiverseWorks, Houston TX.
Lost wax, as it stand gallery, Los Angeles CA
Bend and Fold, Kaplan Gallery at VisArts, Rockville MD.
The CORE Show, Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH), Houston TX.
Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY.
2015
A Constellation, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York NY.
Greater New York, PS1/MoMA, New York NY.
Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles CA.
Object Oriented Apology, Grizzly Grizzly, Philadelphia PA.
Doppelgänging, Work/Release, Norfolk VA.
E X P A N S I O N F O A M, 67 Ludlow, New York NY
Body Utopia, Trestle Gallery, New York NY.
THE SECOND LOWENNIAL: Forging Digital Identities, Low Museum, Atlanta GA.
Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA.
A Curious Blindness, Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, New York NY.
Born Into This, Leroy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University, New York NY.
2014
Pandora’s Children, Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College, Memphis TN.
Of Present Bodies Arlington Arts Center, Arlington VA.
RE: purpose, Presented by MoCADA, FiveMyles, Brooklyn NY.
Columbia MFA First Year Exhibition, Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, New York NY.
Networking Tips for Shy People, 200 Livingston St., Brooklyn NY.
2013 Global Fold – 43 Latitude, Jilin University, Changchun China.
Exile, El Rincon Social, Houston TX.
Congregation, 106 Green, Brooklyn NY.
S’Long As It’s Yours, Gallery Aferro, Newark NJ.
2012 Young, Gifted, & Black: Transforming Visual Media, The Camera Club of New York, New York NY.
2011 Art. Science. Body, The Stoop Gallery, Brooklyn NY.
2010 VIDEOPA, La Pan Art Gallery, Berlin Germany
Profile 2010: School of Art and Design at Alfred University, The Gem Hotel, New York NY.
We Do What We Want Part II: Hot Video, Turner Gallery, Alfred NY.
BFA Thesis Exhibition, Davis Gym, Alfred NY.
The Hoang and Perry Show, Turner Gallery, Alfred NY.
2009
Shook Ones Part I, John Woods Studio, Alfred NY.
We Do What We Want!, Harder Hall Lobby, Alfred NY.

PERFORMANCES 
2016 A Party With No Agenda, DiverseWorks, Houston TX.
Lineage for a Multiple Monitor Workstation, Park Nights at Serpentine Galleries, London England.
2015
Sondra Perry & Associate™ Make Pancakes and Shame the Devil, The Artist’s Institute, NYC.
Peg, AMPLITUDE at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn NY.
Peg, Fisher Landau Center For Art, Long Island Queens NY.
2014
New Theories on Anti-gravity, Bottle Rocket Gallery, Fayetteville AR.
Sondra Perry & Associates…, RE: purpose at FiveMyles (presented by MOCADA), Brooklyn NY.
2012 Homecoming, Girl/Boy Gallery at Ox-Bow, Saugatuck MI.
2010 Self Portraits as Consumable Objects, The Hoang and Perry Show at Turner Gallery, Alfred NY.

SCREENINGS
2016
Open Window, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles CA info.
Artists’ Film Biennial: In The (Commercial) Break selected by artist Martine Syms, ICA London, UK info.
Curator for Comrade, what is your visual bond today?, Sunday Sessions at MoMA PS1, New York NY info.
2010
Video Art and Experimental Film Festival. Tribeca Cinemas, NYC.
Loop Barcelona Media Arts Festival. Barcelona Spain.
Arthouse Film and Video Festival. Tampa FL.
The Media Lab. The Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing China.
Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts Museum. Shenyang China.
2009
Les chiens sur La Lune (Dogs on the Moon). Les Voutes, Paris France

RESIDENCIES

2015 Recess, Session Residency, New York NY
2015 – 2017 Core Fellow at Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston TX (2015-2017), Houston TX.
2013 Institute for Electronic Arts (with fellowship), Alfred NY.
2012 Oxbow Fall Artist-in-Residency (with fellowship), Saugatuck MI.
2011 Vermont Studio Center (with fellowship), Johnson VT.
2011 Experimental Television Center, Oswego NY

PRESS
2016
Questioning the Digital as Egalitarian: Sondra Perry’s Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation: Number One in the Journal of Art Criticism 2016 Chroma Keys: Sondra Perry by Lauren Cornell on Mousse.
This Land Is Your Land: Earthworks on YouTube on Art in America 2016 ‘ABSTRACTION ISN’T NEUTRAL’: SONDRA PERRY ON THE NCAA, SUBJECTHOOD, AND HER UPCOMING PROJECTS on ARTnews.
Review: Who Run the World? on Rhizome.org.
FIRST LOOK: SONDRA PERRY on Art in America.
2015
listicle on Art F City 2015 At the Studio Museum in Harlem, 4 Shows Engage a Cultural Conversation on the New York Times 2015 Dream Screens on The Brooklyn Rail.
Sondra Perry at the INCA on Temporary Art Review.
Artbound: The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto on KCET (video).
Forging Digital Identities: Low Museum’s Second Lowennial on BurnAway.
Stories Made With Love: Sondra Perry’s Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation on Art F City.
SAM Invokes New Spirits in the Ambitious Disguise: Masks and Global African Art on The Stranger.
Disguise – A Wonderful Night Spent At The Seattle Art Museum–Becoming The Art Museum For A City That Is Growing, Changing And Always Experimenting on seattlepi.com blog.
Big Eyes on Vogue India.
A Curious Blindness at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery on BLOUIN ARTINFO.
Review: ‘A Curious Blindness’ at Wallach Art Gallery on the New York Times.
Towards a New Digital Landscape: Representation, Erasure, and the Future of Digital Art on the Walker Art Center Blog.
Sondra Perry’s Performance of 42 Black Panther Balloons on 125th Street in Harlem on the AADAT Blog.
2014
Art review: ‘Reprise: 40 to the Fore’ at the Arlington Arts Center on The Washington Post
2013
listicle on Huffington Post