Jenae Christopher, AnnaBrooke Greene, Camille Modesto, nik rye, Chayse Sampy & Chansong Woo: be/longing
April 14- May 7, 2023
530 W Call St, Tallahassee, FL 32306
Opening Reception: Friday, April 14, 6-8 PM
Artist Meet & Greet: Thursday, April 20, 5-6 PM
Artist Talks & Panel: Thursday, April 20, 6-7:30 PM
The Florida State University Department of Art is pleased to announce be/longing, an exhibition of works by Florida State University’s 2023 MFA graduating class Jenae Christopher, AnnaBrooke Greene, Camille Modesto, nik rye, Chayse Sampy, and Chansong Woo. Hosted by the Museum of Fine Arts, the exhibition will focus on their shared considerations of being in the state of longing regarding the diaspora, community and home.
Christopher, Greene, Modesto, rye, Sampy, and Woo share multimedia practices that provide forms of documentation of lived experiences, past and present. Through participatory performance, video projection, painting, and various multimedia projects, these artists explore the nuances of space, place, and personhood while considering both collective and personal memory. By enacting gestures that take into account the placement and shifting of perception, the artists put forward an expression and vision of hope. Based on their individual, personal experiences, they expand upon various modes of participation to create an intimate space for visitor engagement in order for new modes of encounters to occur all while envisioning an aspiration for tomorrow.
This presentation showcases a group of nik rye’s archival work referencing their ongoing social practice project A// Saints No justice initiated in 2020. Working with intermedia performance and socially engaged movements, rye references their personal experiences in relation to local and universal political conditions. As a human rights organizer who has experienced houselessness, anticapitalist dreams pervade their practice – including a vision of community, freedom, solidity, equity, radical love and future joy. In the first section of the gallery, rye will perform as a DJ during their participatory performance, Echolocation, a protest-themed karaoke party that recreates the community building environment of the act of karaoke in an institutionalized space.
Born and resided in South Korea, Chansong Woo considers how historical memory and trauma transmit to post-generations and constitute memories. Woo uses the narrative triggers of illustrated documentation of the Gwangju Democratization Movement – a moment of people’s struggle against military regimes for democracy in the city of Gwangju, South Korea in 1980. Placed across two conjoining walls of the space creating its own subversive environment, Woo’s large-scale installation of multi-panel black and white drawings will be shown in which the act of physical engagement in the form of a scratch off serves as a bridge between Woo’s personal memory to that of her viewers in her newest installment in her ongoing series About a thing.
Woo’s presentation will be juxtaposed with a group of Jenae Christopher’s charcoal drawings that conceive of depictions of archival imagery of the U.S. Virgin Islands paired with hardened sugar along with a floor installation of sugar bullet casings in a conjoining alcove. As a Caribbean-American artist, Christopher utilizes both drawings and installation to interrogate themes of place, coloniality, cultural identity and hybridity as she works to develop awareness about Caribbean culture and the history of her place of birth, the U.S. Virgin Islands. The new works featured in this exhibition demonstrate the artist’s reflection on the severity of occurrences during the colonial era and their shadows on today’s contemporary political and socio economic state of the U.S. Virgin Islands through a recurring notion of a haunting violence.
Along the expansive back alcove of the space, Camille Modesto will hang a new installation focusing on the experiences of grief and migration. Rooted in her personal experience of migration and assimilation as an artist from Philippines, Modesto questions the ways in which migration affects the psyche of Filipinos and its Diaspora, considering the interrelations between objects, space, and time. Exploring themes of memory, nostalgia, and longing, the installation on view delves into the various ways that grief manifests itself. Modesto engages these complex emotions through the use of video projection of archival and family home videos paired with two mosquito nets as a symbol of home.
AnnaBrooke Greene’s wall oriented sculpture and textile works connect to ideas of the domestic space, memory, time, and the body through materiality. The works on view reflect the artists’ active investigation of the space in which her source materials come from and the memory and history they hold. Along the expansive wall in the second section of the gallery, Greene’s collection of works with both personal and found objects create a fragmented domestic space as Greene offers new iterations of the objects at hand, allowing room for open contemplation and perspective.
Houston-born artist Chayse Sampy’s series of mixed media paintings are an invitation to the family reunion, a return to community with those known to us and by the wake. Within a sea of blue, The Things We Carry vVading in the vVater, questions what it means to love thy neighbor. Based on the enduring spirit of Black resistance, she highlights the shared and collaborative nature of Blackness across space and time, summoning a tradition of fugitive creativity. As a manifestation of W.E.B. DuBois’ “double consciousness” these figurative pieces are monuments capturing the full scope of Black humanity, in all its dynamism and contradiction. She sees this project as a love letter to blackness, to Black people; dead, surviving and thriving.