Lower Gallery at The Arts Center at Governors Island
May 6 – October 1, 2023
Fri-Sat-Sun, plus Memorial Day and Labor Day 12pm – 6pm
Special late hours: Saturdays in July and August, galleries will stay open until 7pm
ANTI • VENOM brings together seven multidisciplinary artists to ask: How do we affirm our humanity in the face of complex harm? In this luminous exhibition of videos, the artists face a troubled reality and transform it. With immersive works in one, two and three channels, the artists direct our gaze towards radiant visions of the future.
As bill-after-bill emerges to criminalize trans and queer bodies, Jacolby Satterwhite‘s opalescent communities vogue a narrative of interconnectedness, warning that we are in a malignant hell when we hurt each other. Conditions of harm are met with arresting beauty as cobalt and indigo spill out from the installation by Le’Andra LeSeur. Amelia Winger-Bearskin‘s layered videos, glitch rainbows and dissolve architectures with AI. Joaquin Trujillo reclaims the scapegoated old man in El Viejo. Adorned in red velvet, silver bells and a confetti of ribbons, Trujillo dances a path of return for dispossessed queers. In this year of the rabbit, Andrew Thomas Huang’s muse is a humble young restaurant worker. Through Thomas Huang’s lens, the banality of Matt’s life is beautifully disrupted when he is seduced by an alluring Godfrom the Qing dynasty. In Corinne Spencer’s mesmerizing installation, Black feminine subjects care for one another across generations of life and death. In Sankofa, a Ghanaian principle that represents returning to the past in order to inform a better future, Anna Parisi places viewers in the politicized terrain of Black hair.
The magical quality of the pieces in this show draws from the specific communities the artists are rooted in. And yet, the hermetic power of these artworks extends far beyond the specific. We hope that many needed antidotes might be found in this exhibition experience.
ANTI • VENOM is curated by Sophia Wallace and Drew Denny of Allies in Arts.
Allies in Arts is a trans and queer led 501c3 non profit organization dedicated to supporting artists of all mediums who identify as women, BIPOC and LGBTQQIA2S+ through exhibitions, screenings, grants, and fairly paid commissions. Allies in Arts also houses Transanta, a trans led mutual aid project that supports trans youth through the holiday season. In 2023, Allies in Arts is launching our first ever educational program, the Transanta writing workshop, in which a class from the 4,000 trans youth who have participated in Transanta thus far will be given college level writing instruction, given an opportunity to read their work aloud at the Hammer Museum, and have their work published in our first book.
Andrew Thomas Huang is a visual artist, writer and director who crafts hybrid fantasy worlds and mythical dreamscapes. Known for his Grammy nominated music videos of Björk, FKA twigs and Thom Yorke, Huang is also recognized as a writer and director of narrative film. His work has been commissioned by and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, The Sydney Opera House and the Museum of Contemporary Art, LA. Inspired by his queer Chinese heritage, Huang’s work mines the unconscious realms to blend technology, mysticism, future folklore and queer spirituality.
Le’Andra LeSeur is a multidisciplinary artist whose work encompasses video, installation, photography, painting, and performance. LeSeur’s body of work is a celebration of Blackness, queerness, and femininity that seeks to dismantle systems of power in order to achieve transcendence and liberation through perseverance. By inserting her body and voice into her work, LeSeur provides her audience with an opportunity to contemplate themes such as identity, family, Black grief and joy, the experience of invisibility, and what it means to take up space as a queer Black woman—a rejection of the stereotypes which attempt to push these identities to the margins.
Anna Parisi is an Afro-Brazilian interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator working with collage, sculpture, performance, and video. Through Parisi’s practice she invokes and evokes cathartic experiences and conversations around politics, creating space for self-reflection, vulnerability, and healing. Opposing the violences that have systematically oppressed BIPOC heritage, livelihood, and futures inspires Parisi’s artistic practice.
Jacolby Satterwhite is celebrated for a conceptual practice addressing crucial themes of labor, consumption, carnality and fantasy through immersive installation, virtual reality and digital media. Satterwhite uses a range of software to produce intricately detailed animations and live action films of real and imagined worlds populated by the avatars of artists and friends. These animations serve as the stage on which the artist synthesizes the multiple disciplines that encompass his practice, namely illustration, performance, painting, sculpture, photography and writing.
Corinne Spencer creates video art, photography, and installations which are rooted in an exploration of the spiritual, interior world of Black women and the Black feminine body as it moves through space, across time and history. In a world that has caused untold harm to them, the subjects in Spencer’s work emphatically choose to live. Often utilizing fabric, dance, and the natural environment in her work, Spencer boldly claims the centrality of Black feminine subjectivity, moving beyond the position of outsider to reveal each subject as a universe inside herself. In Spencer’s oeuvre, softness, emotion, femininity and beauty repossess their rightful position, primordial, eminent.
Joaquin Trujillo is an artist, curator, editor who uses the camera to reconstruct the past—to fill in the gaps. He imports a body of work and a worldview inflected with a freshness of vision and technique. His potent yet subtle approach to color and texture emulates a structured slippage of heritage. Building upon the dichotomy of his Mexican heritage and American education, he weaves together an uncanny modality of childhood innocence across culture, place and time.
Amelia Winger-Bearskin is an artist who innovates with artificial intelligence in ways that make a positive impact on our community and the environment. Working individually and collectively, Winger-Bearskin abstracts and concretizes environmental data through video installation, live data visualizations, storytelling and performance.