The Function

Mira Mira Oil, acrylic, paper, fabric, and found materials on canvas 30" x 40" 2016

Mira Mira
Oil, acrylic, paper, fabric, and found materials on canvas
40″ (H) X 30″ (W)
2016)
……..
T293 is pleased to present The Function, first exhibition at the gallery and in Italy of American artist Tschabalala Self. Coming as a result of a residency in Naples, the exhibition consists of a new series of paintings and sculptures that explore the physical and psychological dynamics of interactions within a social space. The formal and conceptual inspiration for this show is a house party, with Self as the host. All the works in the show depict characters and couples, as they move, dance, talk and stare at other attendees at a fête. The sense of intimacy, and simultaneously of isolation these works induce inevitably create a dizzying effect for the viewer, who cannot help but be caught in the emotions provoked by the various depicted scenes. Pieces of old paintings, raw canvas, fabrics, prints and paper sheets are assembled, stretched, painted and drawn over, so to give form to a kaleidoscope of human emotions and behaviours. The different patterns composing these oeuvres create dynamic figures that look at the viewer with the same intensity with which they ask to be seen. Their identity is not treated by Self as an already fixed form waiting to be represented upon the canvas; rather, it manifests itself as a process of constant negotiation among different gazes: that of the artist, that of the viewer, and that of all the other characters who participate to this relational game. Tschabalala Self practice has always been characterised by the usage of various sewing and binding techniques that work in conjunction with drawn and painted elements. The recourse to traditional craft skills and repetitive gestures helps the artist investigate how the body (and particularly the Black female body) functions as a social and political symbol. The bodies (and personas) she portrays are fractured assemblages that seem to internalise in their forms a confluence of cultural projections, while asserting their own self-defined identity. It is precisely the destructuring of traditional ways of representation of the body that allows the artist to focus more on how people look, rather than on what is there to be seen. Hers is the eye that sees how other eyes see, before exploring through her process-based practice how this representational game affects people’s social and political life. Playing inventively with both abstraction and figuration, Tschabalala Self creates a new series of works that still investigate such politics of the gaze, both towards the gendered and the racialised body. Nevertheless, in The Function the artist proposes a more personal and nostalgic perspective upon this matter. She takes the ideas and expectations associated with a house party -as a free, enthusiastic and unfettered moment within everyone’s social life- in order to shine light on the complex net of political relations that deeply inform the way we shape the contemporary iconography of the body.

Partners Oil, acrylic, charcoal, paper, and fabric on canvas 30" x 36" 2016

Partners
Oil, acrylic, charcoal, paper, and fabric on canvas
36″ (H) x 30″ (W)
2016

Floor Dance Linen, fabric, oil pastels, acrylic, and Flashe on canvas 90" x 96" 2016

Floor Dance
Linen, fabric, oil pastels, acrylic, and Flashe on canvas
96″(H) x 90″ (W)
2016

Genie Oil, acrylic, and fabric on canvas 30" x 40" 2016

Genie
Oil, acrylic, and fabric on canvas
40″ (H) x 30″ (W)
2016

Get'it Acrylic, Flashe, handmade paper, and fabric on canvas 40" x 46" 2016

Get’it
Acrylic, Flashe, handmade paper, and fabric on canvas
46″(H) x 40″(W)
2016

Mane Linen, fabric, oil pastels, and Flashe on canvas 72 x 92" 2016

Mane
Linen, fabric, oil pastels, and Flashe on canvas
92″ (H) x 72 (W)
2016

Black Love Oil on paper 35" x 48 " x 2" (framed) 2015

Black Love
Oil on paper
48 “(H) x 35″ (W) x 2” (D) framed
2015

 

Mista & Mrs. Linen, fabric, paper, oil, acrylic, and Flashe on canvas 90" x 96" 2016

Mista & Mrs.
Linen, fabric, paper, oil, acrylic, and Flashe on canvas
96″ (H) x 90″(W)
2016

Swayze Mirrored plexiglass and wood 22" x 72" x 2" 2016

Swayze
Mirrored plexiglass and wood
72″(H) x 22″ (W) x 2″(D)
2016

The Function T293-Naples, Italy Tschabalala Self Spring 2016

The Function
T293-Naples, Italy
Tschabalala Self
March 18th-May 27 2016

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