Wandering / WILDING : Blackness on the Internet

I M T   G A L L E R Y  I N V I T E S :   L E G A C Y  R U S S E L L

‘ W A N D E R I N G / W I L D I N G :  B L A C K N E S S   O N   T H E  I N T E R N E T ‘

N I V  A C O S T A |  H A N N A H  B L A C K  |  E V A N  I F E K O Y A |   J A N E  D E V I N   K E N N Y | T A B I T A  R E Z A I R E  |  F A N N I E   S O S A

4   N O V E M B E R  –  1 1   D E C E M B E R   2 0 1 6

P R E V I E W :  T H U R S D A Y  3  N O V E M B E R   6  –  9 P M  F I R S T  T H U R S D A Y : 1   D E C E M B E R   U N T IL   9 P M

O P E N :  T H U R S D A Y –  S U N D A Y  1 2  –  6 P M   O R   B Y  A P P O I N T M E N  T



P U B L I C   P R O G R A M M E S










“Who is the black flâneur? He or she is a loiterer. The roving that permits white fancy, white whim,

white walking in our modern American cities, when observed in us and our children, reads criminal. Some black wandering the public has grieved: Michael Brown in the middle of the street, Sandra Bland on a road trip, Tamir Rice in the park, Akai Gurley up the stairs. In America’s cities, black bodies stand under many lights, and the effect is not liberating warmth, but that paranoia of surveillance.”—Doreen St. Félix


“Like a roving soul in search of a body, he enters another person whenever he wishes. For him alone, all is open; if certain places seem closed to him, it is because in his view they are not worth inspecting.”—Charles Baudelaire


A call-and-response to “The Peril of Black Mobility”, a critical essay by Doreen St. Félix,

“Wandering / WILDING: Blackness on the Internet” presents the work of seven artists—Niv Acosta, Hannah Black, Evan Ifekoya, E. Jane, Devin Kenny, Tabita Rezaire, and Fannie Sosa—whose work mobilizes an ex- ploration of race via the material of the Internet.


Wandering points to the socio-cultural identity of the flâneur, mused on by Baudelaire as “a roving soul in search of a body”, later reintroduced into the academy by Walter Benjamin as a mark of modernity distinctly threatened by developments of an impending Industrial Revolution. Alternately, wilding is a slang word which came into mainstream use in 1980s New York, a dog-whistle term used to describe the gang assault of strangers that rose out of the controversial Central Park jogger case in 1989 wherein five teenagers of color were accused of and jailed for a crime they did not commit.


In relation to this event “WILDING” was the cover headline of New York’s Daily News on April 22nd, 1989 and became part of the fear-mongering language used to mark the collective socialising of black and brown bodies as inherent public threat and, in turn, justify increased profiling and policing of such bodies throughout New York City. With ongoing media attention turned to #BlackLivesMatter, a global movement that continues to grow on- line and out in the world in the U.S., U.K., and beyond, the reality of such policing as international phenomena has sparked a much-needed discussion surrounding freedom of movement, as well as race and class tied to the exercising of civil liberties.


Thus “Wandering / WILDING” presents a challenging dichotomy and essential opportunity for discourse, situating a spotlight on the privileged white body that Baudelaire’s “roving soul” has historically inhabited and that American culture has inherited and built int the consciousness of its cultural mythology with the ongoing desire to be “on the road”, the same roads and streets that are not equally carefree nor safe for all bodies that traverse them. What can the Internet do for the black flâneur? What freedoms can be found in the “publics” realized via the digital for bodies of color? In what way do artists make new spaces for black lives to matter, online? Wandering / WILDING: Blackness on the Internet and the artists therein aim to inspect, and investigate.


Exhibition essay by Aria Dean


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C U R A T O R   B I O


Legacy Russell is a writer, artist, and cultural producer. Born and raised in New York City’s East Village she is the UK Gallery Relations Lead for the online platform Artsy. Her work can be found in a variety of publications worldwide: BOMB, The White Review, Rhizome, DIS, The Society Pages, Guernica, Berfrois and beyond. Hol- ding an MRes of Visual Culture with Distinction at Goldsmiths College of University of London, her academic and creative work focuses on gender, performance, digital selfdom, idolatry, and new media ritual. Her first book Glitch Feminism will be published by Verso and is forthcoming in 2017. www.legacyrussell.com



A R T I S T   B I O S


Niv Acosta is a multimedia artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Acosta’s intersectional identities—as transgender, queer and black Dominican—have continuously inspired his community-based work.

Acosta’s performance work has shown at various spaces including The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, Human Resources, Los Angeles, MOMA PS1, New York, and the New Museum, New York. www.nivacosta.com


Hannah Black is an artist and writer from the UK. She lives in Berlin. Her work in video and installation has been exhibited at a number of galleries including Arcadia Missa and Legion TV (London), Chateau Shatto (LA) and W139 (Amsterdam), and readings/performances have taken place at the New Museum, Interstate Projects and Cage (New York), the Whitechapel, the Showroom and Cafe Oto (London). Her writing has been published in The New Inquiry, Texte zur Kunst and Frieze (DE), among other magazines, and in her book Dark Pool Party (Domi- nica/Arcadia Missa). She completed her MFA at Goldsmiths in 2013 and was a studio participant on the Whitney Independent Study Programme in New York from 2013 to 2014.


Evan Ifekoya lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include The Quiet Violence of dreams, Stevenson Gallery, South Africa (2016), TGS: Come together, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto (2016), All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2015), Embodied Spaces, Fra- merFramed, De Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam (2015), Studio Voltaire OPEN, London (2015) and currently the group show Wandering/WILDING: Blackness on the Internet, IMT Gallery, London. Recent performan- ces have taken place at Serpentine Galleries, Transmission Glasgow and Whitstable Bienniale (2016). Collaborative projects include Collective Creativity: Critical reflections into QTIPOC creative practice and Network11. www.evanifekoya.com


E. Jane (E_SCRAAATCH) is a Black woman, artist and sound designer currently based in Philadelphia, PA. They are thinking about safety, futurity, cyberspace and how subjugated bodies navigate media/the media. They have shown recent photo, video, performance and sound-based works at The Kitchen and MoCADA in New York as the other half of sound duo SCRAAATCH, Various Small Fires in LA, Little Berlin in Philadelphia, Edel Assanti in London, Bar Babette in Berlin, and all over the internet. E. has a degree in Art History with minors in English and Philosophy from Marymount Manhattan College in New York and recently received their MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. www.e-jane.net


Devin Kenny is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, musician, and independent curator. Hailing from the south side of Chicago, he relocated to New York to begin his studies at Cooper Union. He has since continued his practice through the Bruce High Quality Foundation University, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, SOMA Mexico, and collaborations with DADDY, pooool, Studio Workout, Temporary Agency and various art and music venues in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and elsewhere including: Recess, Het Roode Bioscoop, RED- CAT, MoMa PS1, Freak City, and Santos Party House. He received his MFA in 2013 from the New Genres depart- ment at UCLA and is an alum of the Whitney Independent Study Program. www.devinkenny.info


Fannie Sosa is an Afro-descendant activist, artist and curandera. She performs with the School Of No Big Deal and her talk/workshop “Resistance Is In The Cracks”, where she challenges the binary terror between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves, has toured internationally. She is currently doing a France-Brasil co-directed PhD called “Twerk, Torque: New Strategies for Subjectivity Decolonisation in Web 2.0 Times” . Her work is built around pleasurable resistance, the processes of being/becoming an outsider in technoscientific worlds, trans-ness, divi- ne pride, intersectional radically inclusionary femme-inism and sexual decolonisation, often using matriarchal and indigenous/diasporic references as a form of resistance against the epistemology of the capitalist market places. Fannie Sosa currently lives and works between Europe and South-America.


Tabita Rezaire is a French Guyanese/Danish new media artist, intersectional cultural activist, tech-politics re- searcher and Kemetic yoga teacher based in Johannesburg. She holds a Masters in Artist Moving Image from Central Saint Martins College in London. Her work focuses on decolonial knowledge and explores the political aesthetics of resistance through screen-based practices. Tabita is a co-founder of the tech health agency NTU and co-runs the art office Malaxa. In 2015 she was selected by True Africa as one of the continent’s top 100 inno- vators and opinion makers. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Tate Modern, Museum of Modern Art Paris, Anthology Film Archive NY, Joburg Art Fair, and MoCADA. Tabita has curated video screenings at the Institute of Contemporary Art London; presented her research at international conferences; led technology and booty politics workshops; and has her writings published by Intellect and Cambridge Scholars. Tabita is represen- ted by the Goodman Gallery in South Africa. www.tabitarezaire.com



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