• escape, then fold (2017), archival inkjet print

    escape, then fold (2017), archival inkjet print

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center at Governors Island hosts LMCC’s summer exhibition, A Supple Perimeter, by artist, educator, and writer Kameelah Janan Rasheed. Free and open to the public, the exhibition will change over time, inviting audiences to both experience the evolution of the space in person and encounter a new installation upon multiple visits. In addition, Rasheed’s If/Then (2014-present) and Questions (2017) will be installed on the façade of the historic Fort Jay Theater on Governors Island—see below for details.

“Kameelah Janan Rasheed is a vital emerging voice,” says Melissa Levin, LMCC’s Vice President of Cultural Programming. “Her poetic yet incisive approach to pressing personal, social, and political inquiries—both longstanding and those specific to our time—results in visual multiplicities. Her expansive artistic practice, which interrogates time, language, and power, while intervening into both institutional spaces and the public sphere, on view at Governors Island this summer, will both delight and challenge audiences.”

Rasheed describes A Supple Perimeter in an artist statement:

Rasheed’s research-based practice, which spans installation, photography, performance, publications, and printmaking, engages with figurative and literal language to interrogate how we read, write, consume, and distribute histories of Black folks.

Invested in the wide permutations of Blackness, A Supple Perimeter explores the capacities of blackness and the quiet, blackness and the reticent, blackness and the private: an expansive blackness that allows for a Black subject with interiority and a strategic engagement with public(s).

In A Supple Perimeter, Rasheed begins with her research into ecology, entropy and black traditions of experimental writing to construct an immersive ecosystem of existing and self-authored texts, unfinished videos, projections, objects and excerpts of sound experiments that comment on selective legibility; the tension between public and private selves; black traditions of covert literacies and language systems; technologies of counter-surveillance; as well as systems of self-publishing. Delicately moving between opacity and transparency, interiority and public pronouncements, in A Supple Perimeter bodies of work are burrowed into the walls, others erupt from the corners, while some only become visible through specific physical engagements. Faced with the assertion of an ahistorical and stable Black subject who is both publicly available and fungible, Rasheed invites the audience to engage with an unstable installation space that mirrors of the agility of Blackness, her blackness, in an installation that will shift in form and content over the course of the installation period using a set of rules derived from constrained writing techniques and performance scores.

Each iterative change to the installation will be accompanied by a piece of writing and a map of changes published at www.kameelahr.com/a-supple-perimeter, while weekly images will be posted to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #asuppleperimeter, #kameelahjananrasheed, #lmcc and #r2r.

Accompanying the Arts Center exhibition, LMCC will also present Rasheed’s If/Then (2014-present) and Questions (2017) on the façade of the historic Fort Jay Theater on Governors Island using the existing poster cases and original marquee board. Taking advantage of a space that would have typically advertised live entertainment and movies from 1939-1996 to U.S. military and their families living and working on Governors Island, Rasheed’s new project Questions and the ongoing If/Then both aim to create a different kind of moment of pause for a viewer: to consider an existential question or to process the association of poignant, two-word alliterative phrases, all composed by the artist.

On a biweekly cycle, the posters in the cases and the text in the marquee board will be changed by Rasheed. The marquee board will feature a new question concerning a contemporary context. The posters will feature alliterative word pairings, each of which contain a multiplicity of meanings. Each change will be documented via Instagram. The final images of the marquee board will be compiled into a small zine made available at the close of the show. The installation’s first question is, “Are we there yet?”


Free and open to the public, on view May 27-September 24
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays, 12-5 p.m.
Every day during the River To River Festival, June 15-June 25, 12-5 p.m.

Reception: Saturday, June 24, 3-5 p.m.

Governors Island: LMCC’s Arts Center (Building 110)
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/BWHCkKA3koN2
Ferry info: https://govisland.com/info/ferry
Webpage: http://lmcc.net/event/a-supple-perimeter/

Organized by Melissa Levin


Free and open to the public, on view May 26-September 24 whenever Governors Island is open
Governors Island: Fort Jay Theater

Map: https://goo.gl/maps/wi8fTpemiiv
Ferry info: https://govisland.com/info/ferry
Webpage: http://lmcc.net/event/if-then-questions/

Organized by Melissa Levin


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