No Longer Yours is a group exhibition that explores the resurgent interest in the figure amongst artists, and in particular, artists of color, living and working in the United States. “At a time when calls for greater inclusion of people of color in cultural spheres in the US have taken on a new sense of urgency,” says Kris Kuramitsu, TMR Deputy Director & Head of Program, “this exhibition begins by reflecting on what the intentions and consequences of this push for equitable representation may be,” she adds. The show, which is a focused version of a broader iteration that will be presented at TMR’s Downtown LA space in Fall 2018, aims to create a parallel between recent approaches to figuration and the current sociopolitical climate shaping cultural institutions and industries in the US.
“In recent years we’ve seen a generation of young artists return to the figure in their work, specially across, painting, sculpture, and photography,” says TMR Assistant Curator Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia. “This bolstered presence of the body in contemporary art, paired with a reinvigorated public debate about expanding the visibility of people of color in museums, film, television, theater, dance, music, and other creative fields, led us to begin to explore what the relationship between these two occurrences may be,” he adds.
“Today, as we see more images of people of color in museums and on screen, a recurring conversation comes up in many of our studio visits that wonders how long this embrace of diversity will last and who in the end really benefits from the pictures and stories that these marked bodies inhabit,” says Cesar Garcia, TMR Executive & Artistic Director. “As these marked bodies circulate in images, they become more easily consumable by the same institutions and industries that have historically been responsible for their invisibility,” he states.
The exhibition brings together works by artists for whom this reverberating call for visibility is highly suspect. In their work, they resist, evade, and even undermine the image of the legible body. Through a visual language of concealment and obstruction, they assemble estranged and cryptic forms that resist immediate identification and in turn, compulsive consumption. In their work, opacity is both strategy and tactic—a way to cultivate intimate knowledges and forms of value that are purposefully meant not to be accessible to all.
This exhibition is also a fundraiser for TMR. “Benefit auctions are a common way to fundraise for non-profits, but they are incredibly demanding for artists. We’ve been thinking about different kinds of partnerships with artists so that they too can benefit from our fundraising efforts,” says Garcia. Rather than stage an auction, this show is a selling exhibition. Half of all proceeds raised will go directly to participating artists and the other half to TMR in support of its programs. “We are deeply conscious of the need to re-imagine how alternative spaces can remain sustainable and autonomous,” adds Garcia. “Creating these types of engagements in which we don’t just ask artists to give, but rather, to work alongside us so that we can help sustain each other, is something we’ll be doing more of moving forward,” he adds.