Disembodiment features Jarvis Boyland, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Jerrell Gibbs, Marcus Jahmal, Clotilde Jiménez and Vaughn Spann, a collection of artists whose work upends established narratives around race and identity in order to reshape the viewer’s understanding of reality. Taken as a whole, their work denominates the ascension of a new generation of Black artistry, succeeding the generation of Post-civil rights artists. In unapologetically reassessing the ownership and authorship of their own Blackness, this new generation becomes both subject and object, both narrator of and character in their work.
The works in the show, all figurative, depict serene and playful scenes that celebrate the ordinary routine of existence—an existence under the scrutiny of a critical gaze and its resultant fear, which can also be revoked, expelled or vanished in a moment. They are a balancing act between space, emotion, and intimacy, combining aspects of daily life with those of classical portraiture. The works highlight these intimate moments of self reflection, reclaiming the infinite experience of Blackness.
Disembodiment aims to revoke the authentic and exceptionalist definition of Black art. Underlying post-Black Black art, it is a call for the rejection of the objectification and fetishization of the body by using the artists’ unique, personal experiences that contrast with the collective experience. Black art is diverse, and the stylistic parallels of Black Artists are merely coincidental.
Complementary to the exhibition is an installation across UTA Artist Space’s second and third galleries, which serves as a commentary on the limitations placed on Black boyhood and self-image. It features a child’s swing rendered motionless by the weight of industrial chains, and a screening of Where Are the African Gods?, a film by Rodney Passé. The two galleries are imagined by Chace Johnson (Harun) and Khalil Kinsey (The Kinsey Collection), collectively known as Context Projects.