On September 9, 2010, Abigail DeVille will begin one month of work at Recess. Recess invites resident artists to use its storefront as studio, exhibition venue and grounds for experimentation; under DeVille’s direction, Recess will become a vessel for accumulating historical detritus. DeVille will investigate a fragmented and continually reconstituted notion of African American culture, further exploded by the lens of popular culture. DeVille’s ongoing installation will fold into the event, Be Black Baby: a House Party Presents Michael Jackson 2004, taking place on September 10 from 5pm-midnight. Curated by Uri McMillan and organized by Simone Leigh, this evening of performance and live tableaux will revisit the inaugural Michael Jackson academic conference McMillan organized for Yale University in 2004. Turning the staid academic conference inside out, participants of the updated conference will present a b-side performance; papers will serve as ready-mades and Abigail DeVille’s work-in-progress will serve as the keynote speaker.
During her tenure at Recess, Abigail DeVille will build a celestial archive of post-apocalyptic remnants of the pop star’s history. DeVille will assemble densely compacted history that has flown into the orbit of consciousness. The excess of historical material will result in a densely layered, ever-expanding sculptural collage in which trash is indistinguishable from artifact. A thread of this intricate tapestry reveals the story of a man named Michael Jackson, but finding the single desired narrative is ineffectual if not impossible.
DeVille uses tropes of set theory, and constructs environment in which the chaos of excess reveal the impossibility of a consistent narrative. Saturated with images, the visual landscape of DeVille’s projects suggests the unruly nature of American society by incorporating everything at hand. The curated miasma of signs offers a strong intellectual perspective that requires a keen and active observer.
About the Artist
Abigail DeVille was born in New York City in 1981. She received her BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2007. In 2005, she was given The Frank Shapiro Award, which is F.I.T.’s highest award for excellence in Fine Arts. She was awarded the Camille Hanks Cosby fellowship to participate in the Skowhegan Residency Program in 2007 and was a participant in the art world’s first reality show, Artstar, which aired on Gallery HD from June 2006 – January 2009 and culminated with an exhibition at Deitch Projects (NY). DeVille is currently enrolled in the MFA Painting program at The Yale School of Art.
For more information about Be Black Baby: a House Party, click here.
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Photo courtesy of the artist.