Opening Reception for "Allana Clarke: A Particular Fantasy"
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | Please join us in celebrating artist Allana Clarke on the occasion of her Usdan Gallery solo exhibition, featuring performance videos and a large-scale floor sculpture made from hair-bonding glue, one of the artist's signature materials.A Trinidadian-American artist, Clarke uses hair-bonding glue, as well as materials including sugar and cocoa butter, to confront histories of colonialism and Western standards of beauty. As she stretches, pushes, pulls and molds these materials, she frees them from their traumatic origins and offers a metaphor to free herself from the violent compartmentalizations of Black identity.
“A Particular Fantasy” is the artist’s first institutional solo show and a collaboration between Usdan Gallery and Art Omi; there are concurrent exhibits in both locations. Usdan programming foregrounds ideas of process central to Clarke’s practice, with five performance videos and a stagelike area in the 4,000-square-foot gallery for the artist to construct a 25-foot-long floor sculpture, her largest work to date. Her production of the sculpture, during her residency at the College from September 14 to October 5, will happen during gallery hours as part of the exhibition. Art Omi's installation complements the Usdan show, with wall-hung sculptures and large-format photographs in which Clarke confronts her conception of her own physical form as influenced by her internalization of “globalized culture.” A video of Clarke making her floor sculpture at Bennington will be on view in both locations.
A Usdan Gallery-published catalog about the collaborative exhibit will feature an essay by Stephanie E. Goodalle, an editor and advisor who focuses on the experiences of the Black diaspora.
Located in Ghent, NY, Art Omi presents large-scale works in nature in the Sculpture & Architecture Park, as well as indoor exhibitions in its gallery. Art Omi also has five distinct residency programs and a thriving education program.