Eniola Dawodu, Doreen Garner, Ja'Tovia Gary: partus/chorus

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Open: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm

66 rue de Turenne, 75003, Paris, France
Open: Tue-Sat 11am-7pm


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Eniola Dawodu, Doreen Garner, Ja'Tovia Gary: partus/chorus

to Sat 30 Jul 2022

66 rue de Turenne, 75003 Eniola Dawodu, Doreen Garner, Ja'Tovia Gary: partus/chorus

Tue-Sat 11am-7pm


She made no request to become the Mother.
However. Partus.
The Mother brought us forth. Sequitur.
We follow. Ventrum.
from the belly. The Mother brought us forth.
We follow. from the womb.

Artworks

After Her Womb, 2020

Urethane foam, silicone soaked satin, hair weave, steel pins, staples
73 x 53 x 15 cm (28 3/4 x 20 7/8 x 5 7/8 in.)
Unique. Courtesy of the artist and JTT, New York, US

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Epigenetic Nacre Noire, 2019

Silicone, epoxy putty, urethane plastic, synthetic hair, steel, pearls, interference pigment
194 x 127 x 47 cm (76 3/8 x 50 x 18 1/2 in.)
Unique. Courtesy of the artist and JTT, New York, US

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“As the gauze in my mouth filled with blood and my limp body hit the concrete, I remembered Joice Heth”, 2020

Mixed media
76 x 101 x 45 cm (29 7/8 x 39 3/4 x 17 3/4 in.)
Unique. Courtesy of the artist and JTT, New York, US

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Film still from Montage Mitochondrial, 2022

to be projected on "as you yield her your body and soul", a large scale video mapped sculptural installation by Ja’Tovia Gary
Courtesy of the artist and galerie frank elbaz

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Galerie Frank Elbaz partus chorus 1

Galerie Frank Elbaz partus chorus 2

Galerie Frank Elbaz partus chorus 3

Galerie Frank Elbaz partus chorus 4

Galerie Frank Elbaz partus chorus 5

Galerie Frank Elbaz partus chorus 6

She was the mother of all living things.[1] We were wounded for the Mother’s transgressions, and she bruised for yours and mine.[2] The Mother performs a psalm of our iniquities, a Blackened enfleshment as we become undone and (re)form within the Mother’s womb. We join her chorus. We sing of the Mother’s condition, and, in turn, of our own. Bone of her bone. Flesh of her flesh. Tear of her tear. We spill. We raise our hands. We shout YES to the female within,[3] for the Mother lives within us. She lives there, even with the knowingness of objects not being able to withhold that ontological and corporeal geography.

For even as some forget the Mother, no one can forget that they were afraid. They were fearful, and we were fearfully made.[4]

The transferal of her dispossession to her child is the Mother’s only claim.[5] Through the child’s dispossession there is no destination, but rather ghostly fingerprints that trace back to her womb. It is a melodic cry so loud and so haunting that it would only be a mistake to forget her. Since her capture, The Mother has no specified gender, but rather only her body that has been broken for you and for me. Held by the hold she was urged to submit to the law which presupposes her as an object of Black life-worldmaking. An object of our afterlives. A figure of our afterlives. A spirit of our afterlives. A righteous anger rebuking our afterlives. A love sustaining us within our afterlives.

We join her chorus. We sing of the Mother’s condition, and, in turn, of our own. Curated by filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist Ja’Tovia Gary, partus/chorus is a three-woman sculptural exhibition. Sculptor and performance artist Doreen Garner, textile artist and costume designer Eniola Dawodu and Gary herself, offers an amalgamation of the memory and song of the Mother’s figurative interiority that forms this world and serves as the catalytic potential to author a new thing[6].

[1] Genesis 3:20.
[2] Isaiah 53:5.
[3] Hortense J. Spillers, “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book,” Diacritics 17, no. 2 (1987): 65-81.
[4] Psalm 139:14
[5] Saidiya Hartman, “The Belly of the World: A Note on Black Women’s Labors,” Souls 18, no. 1 (2016): 166-173.
[6] Isaiah 43:19.

– Zalika Ibaorimi

Gary’s thematic point of departure for this exhibition is the legal doctrine partus sequitur ventrem, as instituted during the period of chattel slavery in the United States, summarized: as goes the womb, meaning the child’s status as slave will be dictated by the mother’s status. The Black womb as a site of transformation, of both creation and destruction, and a portal by which historically subjects have become objects, are central themes that underscore the exhibition. Drawing from Black feminist scholarship, Gary considers the womb’s worldmaking potential, the embodied knowledge associated with Black gender expansiveness, the power of the matrilineal, and liminal spaces as guiding principles that organize the show.

Eniola Dawodu, Doreen Lynette Garner, Ja'Tovia Gary, partus/chorus curated by Ja'Tovia Gary, 2022. Exhibition views at galerie frank elbaz. Photo: Claire Dorn


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