Kearra Amaya Gope, Eli Gold, eduardo restrepo castaño, and Anne Yafi
Curated by Adia Sykes
Structures Manifest queries the material and aesthetic qualities of these artists’ works as they grapple with the theme of power through the unique lenses of their experiences and backgrounds. Working across mediums such as photography, sculpture, and installation these exhibiting artists articulate the complexities of identifying, confronting, repositioning, and reclaiming power vis a vis the structure and materiality of their works.
Art objects move to the fore, and viewers are encouraged to start their thinking with the object first before further parsing out the power structures that are being implicated in each piece. These artist’s narratives are diverse and their work makes these explorations of the ways in which notions of power inform narrative creation, politics, social relations, identity, and gender performativity are made tangible and accessible to the viewer.
Kearra Amaya Gopee – My practice focuses on the nature of violence and erasure, and the particularities of the which are inflicted upon the Caribbean by the global north.
Using personal experiences as a point of departure. I address themes of migration, intergenerational trauma, queerness and difference while seeking to complicate the viewer’s understanding economic and social marginalization in the post-colonial Caribbean.
Eli Gold lives and works in Detroit, Michigan. He has an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of Kansas and a BS in Studio Arts from Skidmore College. He has been an artist in residence at the Ox-Bow School Arts, Acre, and at the Salina Art Center’s Warehouse Residence. Gold has performed both nationally and internationally, in Chicago’s own Rapid Pulse and recently at the Festival der Regionen in Austria. His work looks at labor, schizophrenia, border politics and most recently traps.
eduardo restrepo castaño generates surreal narratives through a practice that draws from research and lived experience, to delve into sites where nature, gender difference, and the diasporic condition overlap. Co-founder of curatorial platform Sweety’s, as well as participant at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, restrepo-castaño has exhibited in SOMA (Mexico,) Musée de l’Élysés (Switzerland,) and Bruce High Quality Foundation (New York,).
Anne Yafi – My multi-media work exists at the intersection of contemporary fine art and design, creating playful works that combine traditional mediums with functional objects while addressing consumer and craft culture via an orientation towards pleasure.
I view my pipe cleaner work(s) as three-dimensional paintings, an exercise in breaking free from the dimensional limitations of the pictorial frame by exploring the poetics of space. Pipe cleaners provide lineation, repetition and mediated elements of color that visually and tacitly engage the viewer through the representation of holding attention. They (pipe cleaners) are exceptionally lightweight and cozily inviting yet withstand gravity and provide a hidden strength and functionality that belies their appearance, thus I exploit the contradictory qualities of this material in reference to the body, feminism, and the ownership of space. I view the aspects of pleasure and play in my work as acts of empowerment that border on defiance.
Adia Sykes is a Chicago-based curator, arts administrator, and recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) with a Masters of Arts from the Department of Arts Administration and Policy. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago (2016) with a focus on material culture and museums.
Her current research interests include examining the history and potential of curatorial practice as an advocacy tool for racial equity in the arts and racial and gendered identities explored in the visual and performative practices of emerging artists. Her Masters thesis focused on formations of self-organized networks of support that exist to sustain the practices of historically marginalized artist communities and maps this contemporary ecosystem of support. Her curatorial work has been exhibited at The Sullivan Galleries, Woman Made Gallery, the Chicago Mayor’s Office, and ACRE Projects.