PLATFORM centre and WNDX festival of moving image are thrilled to co-present the first Canadian solo exhibition of works by Ayanna Dozier (NY) curated by Sarah-Tai Black (ON). Please join us next Wednesday for the opening reception with both Ayanna and Sarah-Tai present.
EXHIBITION | 30 August – 11 October, 2023
OPENING RECEPTION | 30 August, 6PM – 9PM
The first Canadian solo show of Brooklyn-based artist, filmmaker, and writer Ayanna Dozier, Touch Me On The Inside And Call Me By My Name brings together new and recent film, text, and installation work that builds on Dozier’s practice of locating the body as an oft-contested site of pleasure, labour, and care. Largely utilizing tactile, analog processes, Dozier offers the personal, the intimate, and the embodied as public record. Here, the body is an index of the ways in which white supremacy has precluded collective care from intimacy, engaging with the body and self as a means of governance, dispossession, and surveillance. Drawing its name from Dozier’s citational titling of her photographic work, the works in this show render power and intimacy as a complex entanglement that affects a multiplicity of experience over time and space.
In both her moving and still 16mm and Super 8mm works (the latter appearing here in digitized form), Dozier uses memory, site specificity, and performance to subvert traditional modes of visualizing pleasure, desire, and sexuality. Here, space, body, and affect are given over solely to themselves, often citing and repurposing historically dominant modes of figuring sexuality in order to reframe and reassert both desire as well as bodily autonomy. These works critically explore the way in which inequitable structural relations are inherent to socially defining those who see and those who are seen (and, more broadly, those who act and those who are acted upon) and refuse the assumed expectation of satisfaction for viewer rather than subject.
Hand-processed photographs, screen-printed text, and manipulated textile installation likewise disrupt the positioning of the gendered and racialized individual as medical subject supposedly bound to the inert, passive status of receiving treatment. Dozier’s use of transformative still life — compositionally restaging the invasive experience of reproductive healthcare through the memory work inherent to contraceptive devices, surgical instruments, sexual ephemera, bodily fluids, consumptive items, and sites of sexual gratification — reconfigures the structural isolation of accessing reproductive medical care as an intimate and communal experience.
For Dozier, intimacy exists — must exist — relationally, complicating each of us into its cooperative networks. A multi-faceted artist with expansive knowledge and care for the complexity and textures of analog practices, Dozier’s work presents us with the opportunity to deconstruct and reform the boundaries — both social and formal — which have historically constituted and shaped our experiences of our bodies as vectors for sexuality, pleasure, and desire.
Ayanna Dozier is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker-artist and writer working with performance, experimental film, installation, printmaking, and analog photography. Select exhibitions include; BRIC (Brooklyn, NY), Microscope Gallery (New York, NY), Block Museum (Chicago, IL), MoCA, Arlington (Arlington, VA), and The Shed (New York, NY). She was a 2022 Wave Hill Winter Workspace Resident (Bronx, NY), a 2018-2019 Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies at the Whitney Independent Studies Program, and a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow from 2017-2022 at Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY). Her film work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. She received her PhD in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University (Montréal, QC) and is an assistant professor of communication, with an emphasis in film, at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Sarah-Tai Black (they/them) is an arts curator and critic born and (mostly) raised in Treaty 13 Territory/Toronto whose work aims to center Black, queer, trans, and crip futurities and freedom work. Their curatorial projects have been staged at Cambridge Art Galleries (Cambridge, ON), Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina, SK), MOCA (Toronto ON), PAVED Arts (Saskatoon, SK), and A Space Gallery (Toronto, ON). They have previously worked as the Interim Artistic Director of PAVED Arts (Saskatoon, SK) and in public arts spaces such as Art Museum at the University of Toronto and McMaster Museum of Art.
Image: A Picture for Parco, 16mm Color, 3 minutes, 2022.