Oct 18, 2020 – Jan 18, 2021
Artist Tiffany Jaeyeon Shin created care packages for fifteen New Haven residents with contents responding to the postcolonial care sought in Material Intimacies. Shin and Claire Kim have share elements of the care package as a digital resource guide so you can read along at home. You can find a kombucha recipe along with images and essays related to the colonial histories of sugar and tea production at:
Gallery open Friday, January 15 - Monday, January 18, 2021 from 2-6pm.
Visitors must wear masks, sign in, remain 6 feet apart, and limit themselves to 7 people maximum in the gallery at a time.
To schedule a tour or visit outside open hours, please email email@example.com
“… it’s here I recognize the break. It’s here we roll along the pavement into hills of conversation we share a ride we share a country but live in alternate nations . . . ”
—Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf Press, 2017)
Material Intimacies features eight contemporary artists—Wesley Chavis, Natalie Diaz, Candice Lin, Stephanie A. Lindquist, Yvette Mayorga, Hương Ngô, Natani Notah, and Zina Saro-Wiwa—whose work materializes, or makes tangible, intimacies forged or ruptured by colonialism. Together, the artists put forth radical associations with desire, kinship, vulnerability, sensuality, land, and touch.
Through installation, video, sound, textile, and print, the exhibition examines intimacy as an encounter shaped by colonialism’s globalizing force, whereby white European settlers forced violent contact with Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian peoples and severed sacred ties to land and kin. Within a horrific web of enslavement, exploitation, and commodification, colonialism structured intimacy around the desires of white people. For those colonized and their descendants, the possibilities of intimacy remain restricted or out of reach.
The artists’ work prompts us to ask: How can the very materials commodified for the colonial project (e.g. porcelain, land, and bodies) enact beauty, while disrupting the violence of bondage, exotification, and displacement? How do artists use materials to assert new terms of being seen, wanted, and touched? What might liberatory intimacy look like, one that frees us from racist, capitalist, and misogynistic structures of communal life?
Michelle Phương Ting and Claire Kim