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Exhibition: Neither One or Somewhere In Between

February 10 @ 5:30 pm - April 26 @ 5:30 pm

For her first solo show in the Twin Cities, Tia-Simone Gardner has gathered elements of her work in photography, architecture, and biomythography. Through visual and textual traces, the work explores a tertiary space between life and death through a non-linear conversation, an interview between Gardner, Mayotte Capécia, and Diouana (Gomis), two fictional subjects that form the work of two postcolonial intellectuals Frantz Fanon and Ousmane Sembéne.

Collaborating with Chicago-based sound designer Ayana Contreras and Minneapolis-based artist/writer Mara Duvra, the work in the exhibition uses the incoherence, often misplaced as madness, neurosis, and anger, that is so often located on the Black female body, as a productive space to reimagine life and its relation to the non-living.

Join us for an opening reception on Saturday, February 10, 5:30–7:30 pm. There will be an artist talk at 6 pm.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 10:30–5:30. The Marsden/Gustafson Gallery is located at FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia Street, Suite 120, St. Paul, MN 55114.

Tia-Simone Gardner is a cross-disciplinary artist whose practice engages Black feminism through a dialogue with ritual, iconoclasm, and geography. She is interested in how work grounded in hybrid drawing/time-based methods can activate and reimagine thick sedimented layers of time, knowing, being, and struggle. The idea of geography allows her to think about the struggle over space, place, and time, as simultaneous events that reproduce anti-blackness and orient (or disorient) the black body through various forms of containment. Gardner graduated from the University of Alabama in Birmingham with a BA in studio art and minor in Art History in 2005 and received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. Gardner has participated as a studio Fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program, and held residencies at IASPIS in Stockholm, Sweden and the Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York. She is a Birmingham native and currently living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ayana Contreras hosts Reclaimed Soul on Vocalo 91.1 FM (sister station to WBEZ, Chicago). On her radio show, she works to document the narratives, history, and cultural significance of the music scene in 20th Century Chicago. She’s also a producer on “Sound Opinions,” a WBEZ radio show that airs on over 125 public radio stations nationwide. Ayana was a 2014/15 Arts+Public Life Artist-in-Residence at the University of Chicago, during which time she studied Chicago music and culture from the Post-Civil Rights era. She was a 2015 AIR New Voices Scholar through the Association of Independents in Radio. Her book on Post-Civil Rights Era cultural history in Black Chicago, titled Energy Never Dies, is forthcoming through Northwestern University Press.

Mara Duvra is a visual artist and writer whose work combines photography, poetry, and sculpture in a research based practice/studying the malleable qualities of images and poetic text to create installations that explore stillness and interiority. Mara completed her MFA at the University of Minnesota and currently lives and works in Minneapolis. 

Mia Lopez (curator) is Assistant Curator at DePaul Art Museum in Chicago. She was the Curatorial Fellow for Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis from 2013-2015. Lopez has master’s degrees in art history and arts administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Rice University in Houston. She is an alum of the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Leadership Institute.

FilmNorth, in partnership with Tia-Simone Gardner, is a fiscal year 2017 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts. Funding was also provided by the Saint Paul Cultural Star Program and the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation.