RICHARD JOHNATHAN-NELSON |
August 3 - 31, 2018 | Free Exhibit
On Level 1 at IAMA, the #tendergold Gallery presents a free exhibition of SF Bay Area emerging artist Richard Nelson. The show presents a hallucinatory narrative told on an epic scale through digital images.
My current work uses the digital manipulation of imagery and production as a modern black mirror of divination a way to reveal both my internal identity and examine the obscured desire of others. Through heightening of visible color and compression of both physical and conceptual space, I examine the overlapping worlds of identity and emotional memory. As a form of selfcare and exorcism, my work draws upon motifs within ascetic and shamanistic practices. By using both my own body and those of eroticized images of queer black men I draw the viewer to acknowledge the levels of abjection and otherness associated with them in homonational spaces. Through the creation of altars and shrines, I induct the viewer into a protoform world an unattainable afro-futurist queer utopia. Space where my body and identity are not ﬁxed or deﬁned by static criteria of proposed identity.
Via the heightening of inherent color and compression of both perceptual and conceptual space, my work examines the overlapping worlds of perceived identity and emotional memory. By manifesting an undulating ﬁssure in the hallucinatory narrative of what it means to be a queer black man. This ﬁssure is constructed through the conceptualization of hoodoo as a forgotten technology for cultural deﬁance and escape. Thereby exorcising both ethnic and queer cultural limitations through the melding of shamanistic expanded ( mental) states with the subversive nature of the southern gothic. Creating a limbic space free from weighted gender norms, excepted cultural reality, and able to examine and critique the unspoken ways systems of power persist within queer spaces. By using my body and eroticized images of queer black men I entreat the viewer to engage with the abjection and otherness imposed on Black bodies in homonational spaces.