The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) will present the country’s first solo exhibition by rising American artist Sondra Perry. Featuring work recently shown at Serpentine Gallery in London in a completely new exhibition design for ICA Miami, Typhoon Coming On explores Perry’s use of video, media, installation and performance to create powerful narratives that explore the intersection of black identity, digital culture and power. The exhibition is set to open this summer at ICA Miami on July 13.
Perry creates work about blackness, black femininity and African American heritage. Through her use of digital tools and platforms—from blue-screen technology and 3D avatars to found footage from the Internet—her works reflect on the ways digital technology can shape identity and representation. Net neutrality and principles of open access are key to Perry’s practice. Promoting ideas of collective production and action, she uses open source software to edit her work and leases it digitally for use in galleries and classrooms, while also making all her videos available for free online. As viral imagery of black deaths in the US are sensationalized, Perry aims to use this digital space to privilege black life, to democratize access to art and culture, and to offer a critical platform offering alternative narratives to the portrayal of blackness in mainstream media. Perry has said: “I’m interested in thinking about how blackness shifts, morphs, and embodies technology to combat oppression and surveillance throughout the diaspora. Black is agile.”
“Sondra Perry’s innovative work vividly explores some of the most imminent topics of our time, using digital media and technology to reflect upon themes in black identity, power and culture,” said Alex Gartenfeld, Artistic Director of ICA Miami. “Presenting the world’s most innovative talents and fostering the exchange of art and ideas is at the core of ICA Miami’s mission.”
The title work Typhoon coming on, 2018, is an immersive large-scale video and sound installation visually referencing the J.M.W. Turner painting The Slave Ship, 1840. The exhibition will also include examples of Perry’s innovative approach to sculpture, such as Graft and Ash for a Three-Monitor Workstation (2016), an interactive exercise machine mounted with monitors displaying renderings of the artist’s 3-D avatar as she questions the current productivity and efficiency culture. Featured in the exhibition are additional sculptures as well as the video installation TK (Suspicious Glorious Absence), 2018, featuring Perry’s iconic Chroma key blue walls along a large video projection of an extreme close-up of the artist’s skin. The accompanying video shown in the installation combines found footage of the artist’s family, protests and body cams .
Curated for the Serpentine Galleries by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director , and Amira Gad, Curator, at ICA Miami, the exhibition is realized by Alex Gartenfeld, Artistic Director, and Stephanie Seidel, Associate Curator, and includes newly organized immersive experiences.