In Conversation: Sondra Perry, Andrew Ross and Mendi + Keith Obadike

  • The Studio Museum in Harlem 144 West 125th Street New York, NY, 10027

On the occasion of A Constellation, this In Conversation program will feature exhibiting artists Andrew Ross and Sondra Perry who will be joined by Mendi + Keith Obadike to explore perceptions of truth and reality as rendered through a variety of media including, sound, video and performance. Acknowledging the role that technology plays in mediating our existence and skewing the boundaries between fact and fiction, this conversation will engage these dynamic gray areas, where traces of signifiers often stand in for the absent subjects, signs and symbols themselves. The program will begin by discussing Ross and Perry’s works on view, followed by an exploration of the role that digital reproduction plays in empowering artists to render the invisible as visible. The evening will conclude with a question and answer segment and an artist-led walk-through of the exhibition.

Sondra Perry is an interdisciplinary artist whose works in video, computer-based media, and performance explore what Perry calls the "slippages of identity" that define subjective experience in the digital world. Perry investigates themes of power and agency, especially as they are determined by race and gender identities. Embracing and integrating new digital platforms for installation and context-based artworks, the artist puts these questions of identity in conversation with contemporary articulations and embodiments of desire, materiality, labor, and history. Perry's works are both highly political and acutely familiar with colloquial experiences of digital interfaces.

Andrew Ross is a Brooklyn-based visual artist. His work is primarily comprised of sculptures and photographs that simultaneously approach and deny representation, creating a state of mimetic ambiguity. His pieces play with contradictory couplings of nameable objects with abstractions, exposing the familiar as constructs of material and color. He make images and sculptures that deconstruct the object to express the notion that things are often not entirely how they appear and that interesting narratives hide in banal situations.

Mendi + Keith Obadike make music, art and literature. Their works include Black.Net.Art Actions, a suite of new media artworks (published in re:skin on M.I.T Press), Big House / Disclosure, a 200 hour public sound installation (Northwestern University), Phonotype, a book & CD of media artworks, and a poetry collection, Armor and Flesh (Lotus Press). They have contributed sounds/music to projects by wide range of artists including loops for soul singer D'Angelo's first album and a score for playwright Anna Deavere Smith at the Lincoln Center Institute. Their intermedia work has been commissioned by The NY African Film Festival and Electronic Arts Intermix, The Yale Cabaret, Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), and The Whitney Museum of Art, among other institutions. Their music has been featured on New York and Chicago public radio, as well as on Juniradio (104.5) in Berlin. Keith received a BA in Art from North Carolina Central University and an MFA in Sound Design from Yale University. Mendi received a BA in English from Spelman College and a PhD in Literature from Duke University.