Antonio McAfee | Ordinary People
Heather Theresa Clark x Pauline Jennings / n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s
Hamiltonian Gallery presents two new exhibitions by artists Antonio McAfee and Heather Theresa Clark. “Ordinary People” and “n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s” will be on view from May 18 – June 22, 2019, with an opening reception on Saturday, May 18 from 7 - 9 pm and an artist talk on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 pm.
Antonio McAfee’s “Ordinary People” is a photo-installation-based homage to extraordinary black women of the past and present. Utilizing his inimitable photo-collage technique, McAfee combines fragments of images on acrylic medium to construct larger-than-life sized figures that hover in space like totemic apparitions. Like a DJ, McAfee re-contextualizes and re-mixes imagery culled from a process of extensive research into topics including W.E.B. DuBois’s 1935 essay “Black Reconstruction in America”, the Atlanta washer women’s strike of 1881, and the women in his own life, namely, his mother and maternal grandmother. Through his own process of reconstruction, McAfee’s revisits the stories of individuals who were able to transcend their social and economic standing utilizing the tools available to them: namely, their labor, sexuality, creativity and outsized personalities. “Ordinary People” is McAfee’s shrine to the women who have impacted his life, women who, while often under-recognized during their lifetimes, still serve as extraordinary examples of excellence.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Antonio McAfee is a photographer raised and based in Baltimore, MD. He holds a BFA in Fine Art Photography from the Corcoran College of Art and Design (2007), an MFA in Photography from the University of Pennsylvania (2009) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Art in Arts and Culture Management from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa (2011). His fascination with history, portraiture, and what makes photographs drives his activities.
McAfee has been featured in publications including BmoreArt Magazine, The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mission on Tenth published by the California Institute of Integrated Studies, and catalogues published by the University of Pennsylvania and Corcoran College of Art and Design. He has participated in residencies at Can Serrat (Spain) and Vermont Studio Center. Antonio was awarded Civil Society Institute Fellowship, Faculty Research and Development Grant from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Fulbright IIE Grant to Johannesburg, South Africa, Howard Silvertstein Photography Beijing, China Aboard Program, and Dedalus MFA Painting and Sculpture Fellowship. His work has been exhibited at the ICA Baltimore, University of Maryland, College Park Stamp Gallery, George Washington University Gallery 102, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Civilian Art Projects, Flashpoint, Michael Steinberg Gallery, and Terrault Contemporary. Antonio is currently an instructor at Montgomery College.
n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s is Heather Theresa Clark’s collaborative multi-channel video installation about borders, the restriction of movement, and community life on both a local and global scale that takes place on the border of two rural towns separated by the US/Canada border: Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec. The narrative of n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s takes place in and around a library that is uniquely situated in both the US and Canada. The library is one of the few places in the US where those living with visas that do not allow return-entry can reunite with family members who cannot enter the US because they are citizens of countries on the travel ban list. n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s combines an interview with an Iranian man whose family has traveled across the globe to reunite at this library, video documentation of the annual Vermont Sacred Harp Shape Note Sing, hosted by Derby Line’s bi-national singing group, footage of the Tomifobia River, which surges across the US/Canada border, and two skiers traversing the two towns to meet outside the library at the border. Through primal singing, ethereal snow, interpretive movement and personal testimonials, n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s tells the story of human resilience in the face of adversity and how borders cannot thwart love.
n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n s is by Heather Theresa Clark and Pauline Jennings. Sean Clute composed the sound, Elizabeth Rossano was the cinematographer, and choreography was created and performed by Pauline Jennings in collaboration with Joshua Lacourse. All members of the artistic team currently live in Vermont.
n e i g h b o r i n g | t o w n sis made possible through the generous support of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and BenQ.
Heather Theresa Clark utilizes art, architecture and public interventions to explore and provide alternatives to what she calls cultural neurosis: the human tendency to over-consume, over-build, over-groom, in lieu of direct physical exertion to ensure survival. She views this as a misdirected attempt to satisfy basic primal urges for shelter, food, and clothing in a society where actions are grossly amplified because one gallon of gasoline equals five hundred hours of human work output. In recent years, she has become increasingly interested in the connection between climate change, borders, restriction of movement, and motherhood/family life. Clark approaches art making as a planner, green developer, and ecologist. She is founder of Biome Studio, a design studio devoted to catalyzing built environments that power themselves, cleanse themselves, transform waste, provide wildlife habitat, produce food, and enhance the lives of people. She holds a Master of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, summa cum laude, in Environmental Science and Community Planning, a self-designed major. Clark is a Hamiltonian Fellow, the 2016 recipient of the Virginia Commission for the Arts Sculpture Fellowship Award, and the 2017 Artist-in-Residence at the Woods Hole Research Center, a leading global climate change think tank. www.heather-clark.com
Pauline Jennings is a contemporary choreographer who is compelled to create works for stage, video and interactive installation that attempt to viscerally capture the excitement, confusion and fear accompanying our rapidly changing society. Her works have been presented in festivals and showcases internationally, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Merce Cunningham Studio, EMPAC, Museumsquartier Wien, Institut Intermédií (Prague), Eastern Bloc (Montreal), Primo Piano LivinGallery (Lecce), Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition (Shenzhen) and Takt Kunstprojektraum (Berlin). Most recently, Jennings was granted a 4-month exhibition of her intermedia work “Becoming Human” at Burlington City Arts with support from BCA's Project VT and the Vermont Performance Lab's SEED Award. Jennings currently teaches dance at Saint Michael’s College in Winooski, VT. She was previously a Visiting Artist for the Mills College Dance Department’s Repertory Dance Company and has also lectured and taught master classes at New York University – Shanghai, the University of Applied Arts (Vienna), University of California at Berkeley, Arizona State University, Amherst College, Dartmouth College, University of Maine, College of Santa Fe, and University of New Mexico. Jennings holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance from Mills College. http://paulinejennings.net