Taking the White Gloves Off: A Performance Art Series in Honor of Lorraine O'Grady ‘55

Saturday, June 1, 2024 - 2:00pm
Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Curated by Nikki A. Greene, Associate Professor of Art 
in conjunction with Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And 
February 8 - June 2, 2024

Press Release

Taking the White Gloves Off: A Performance Art Series in Honor of Lorraine O'Grady ‘55 features six multidisciplinary artists—Dominique Duroseau, M. Lamar, Tsedaye Makonnen, Nyugen E. Smith, Ayana Evans, and Eleanor Kipping—to accompany the exhibition Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And. As one of Wellesley College’s most esteemed alumnae in the arts, the Class of 1955 artist will be celebrated with a spectacular opening and symposium at the Davis Museum, a five-day artist residency at the Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities, and campus-wide events that will reach across all disciplines throughout the semester. The invited artists, who first convened as the performance art cohort at the Lunder Institute for American Art’s 2023 Summer Think Tank at Colby College Museum of Art, will pay tribute to O’Grady’s inspiration and legacy, with performances scheduled for February, March, and May on Wellesley’s campus.

This performance art series is organized by the Davis Museum at Wellesley College with generous support from the Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College’s Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events, the Art Department, and the Office of the Provost. It is made possible in part through the support and partnership of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art and the Colby Arts Office.

Dominique Duroseau, she/her
Date and time: Thursday, 2/8 at 6:30 pm
Location: Collins Cinema
Title: Dear BlaQness: emotionally nude. but BEAUTIFUL you are. [As. Is.] worthy of love.

M. Lamar, he/him
Date and time: Friday, 2/9 at 4:00 pm
Location: Collins Cinema
Title: Funeral Doom Spiritual.

Tsedaye Makonnen, she/her
Date and time: Wednesday, 3/6 at 12:30-1:30 pm - Canceled due to unforeseen circumstances
Location: Global Flora
Title: TBA

Nyugen E. Smith, he/him
Date and time: Wednesday, 3/6 at 2:00  pm
Location: Global Flora
Title: Untitled

Ayana Evans, she/no preference
Date and time: Thursday, 3/7 at 12:45-2:00 pm
Location: The Faroll Focus, Science Center
Title: Sparkle #6: It's Giving

Eleanor Kipping, she/they
Date and time: Saturday, 5/25 at 1:30 pm
Location: Collins Cinema
Title: [transmission]

Artist Bios: 
Dominique Duroseau, she/her
Dominique Duroseau is a New Haven CT/ Newark NJ /Greater NY based artist born in Chicago, raised in Haiti. Duroseau's interdisciplinary practice explores themes of racism, socio-cultural issues, racialized desirability politics and existential dehumanization -- expressed through sculpture, texts, video, audio/sound, performance and photography. Past venues for her exhibitions, performances, and screenings include: PULSE Play, The Kitchen, Sculpture Center, El Museo del Barrio, A.I.R. Gallery, BronxArtSpace, Rush Arts Gallery, Smack Mellon in New York City and The Newark Museum. 

Duroseau holds a Bachelor of Architecture, a MA in Studio Arts, and recently received her MFA from Yale University.  She is currently a fellow at the Lunder Institute for American Art, a collaborative initiative with Colby Museum of Art.

Date and time: Thursday, 2/8 at 6:30 pm
Location: Collins Cinema
Title: Dear BlaQness: emotionally nude. but BEAUTIFUL you are. [As. Is.] worthy of love.
Performance proposal / emotional score: 

from below, above, across, 
walk with me
step down step down step down
mapping the Black body in space.
a conversation with self. with witnesses.
[can you see me]
[are you attentive to me] 
--- through sounds, audio looped, through language/texts, through Black visibility/ visualizations. ..... Black Body negotiating Black desires.  my desires.
    What is the legacy of VALID 
Black Beauty 
Black Desires
Black Needs 
Black Romance
To be seen
To be LOVED.....but **fo' REAL THO**
as.  I.  Am.
___________________Dom Duro (end text).

credit: Alicia Grullón

M. Lamar, he/him
M. Lamar is a composer who works across opera, metal, performance, video, sculpture and installation to craft sprawling narratives of radical becomings. Lamar holds a BFA from The San Francisco Art Institute and attended the Yale School of Art sculpture program, before dropping out to pursue music. Lamar’s work has been presented internationally, including at The Rewire Festival in The Hague, Trauma Bar Berlin, Atrium na Žižkově Prague, The Manhattan School of Music, Wellcome Collection London, The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Funkhaus Berlin Germany, Kunstgebäude Stuttgart, The Meet Factory in Prague, National Sawdust New York, The Kitchen New York, MoMa PS1’s Greater New York, Merkin Hall, New York, Issue Project Room New York, The Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco; Human Resources, Los Angeles; Wesleyan University; Participant Inc., New York; New Museum, New York; Södra Teatern, Stockholm; Warehouse9, Copenhagen; WWDIS Fest, Gothenburg and Stockholm; The International Theater Festival, Donzdorf, Germany; Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York; Performance Space 122, New York; and the African American Art & Culture Complex, San Francisco; among others.

Date and time: Friday, 2/9 at 4:00 pm
Location: Collins Cinema
Title: Funeral Doom Spiritual.
Description: M. Lamar continues to grapple with European forms like surrealism and opera, filtering them through a Black US musical tradition, starting with the spiritual. Indeed much of the inspiration for Funeral Doom Spiritual are African American spirituals that focus on New Testament themes of end-times and the rapture. “I am very interested in reading these doomsday songs through a 21st century lens. I have called these ‘the Doom Spiritual.’"  “In the hands of a Wagnerian soprano like Jessye Norman, the spiritual, which is already about soul awakening, transfigures yet again into another form of superhuman soul making.” It is in that spirit that I have composed Funeral Doom Spiritual to call and response songs like “Hush Somebody Calling My Name” “My Lord What a Morning” and “O Graveyard.”

credit: M. Lamar

Tsedaye Makonnen, she/her
Tsedaye Makonnen is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, researcher, and cultural producer. Her practice is driven by Black feminist theory, firsthand site-specific research, and ethical social practice techniques, and manifests in solo and collaborative site-sensitive performances, objects, installations, and films. Her studio primarily focuses on intersectional feminism, reproductive health, and migration. Tsedaye’s personal history is as a mother, the daughter of Ethiopian refugees, a doula, and a sanctuary builder. 

In 2019 Tsedaye was a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow and staged two interventions at the Venice Biennale titled When Drowning is the Best Option feat. Astral Sea I. In 2021, her light sculptures were acquired by the Smithsonian for their permanent collection and she published a book entitled Black Women as/and the Living Archive. Tsedaye is the recipient of a permanent large-scale public art commission for the city of Providence, RI. In Fall 2022, she performed at the Venice Biennale for Simone Leigh’s Loophole of Retreat and was the Clark Art Institute’s Futures Fellow. In 2023-24, Tsedaye is exhibiting at The Metropolitan Museum, Bard Graduate Center, UT Austin, and The Walters Art Museum, where she is guest curator of contemporary works. She is currently represented by Addis Fine Art, and lives between Washington, D.C. and London with her partner and children.

Date and time: Wednesday, 3/6 at 12:30-1:30 pm Canceled due to unforeseen circumstances
Location: Global Flora
Title: TBA
Description: TBA

credit: Nakeya Brown

Nyugen E. Smith, he/him
Nyugen E. Smith is a Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist based in Jersey City, NJ who works primarily in the areas of mixed media drawing, found object assemblage, and performance. His practice is interested in world-building, informed by the intersection of ritual, memory, language, history, and art-making processes that prioritize the re-use of discarded materials and objects, the body, and play, through the lens of Blackness. His process, of walking and observing to source materials, teaches him about spaces, landscapes, and the people who traverse them.

Nyugen holds a BA in Fine Art from Seton Hall University and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been presented at the Museum of Latin American Art, Peréz Art Museum, Museum of Cultural History-Norway, Frist Art Museum, Blanton Museum, Newark Museum, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among others. Nyugen is the recipient of the Creative Capital Award, Leonore Annenberg Performing and Visual Arts Fund, Franklin Furnace Fund, Dr. Doris Derby Award, New Jersey State Council on the Arts grant, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.

Date and time: Wednesday, 3/6 at 2:00-3:00 pm
Location: Global Flora
Title: Untitled
Description: Drawing inspiration from the Lorraine O'Grady exhibition: Both/And, Smith will channel one of O'Grady's well known works, Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire to engage the Global Flora space and the witnesses present during the making of this work. Within his practice, Smith considers the impacts of European colonialism in the African diaspora with a focus on the Caribbean, the region where his family is from. Smith will draw inspiration from the knowledge that some of the flora and fauna that live, thrive and have become synonymous with the Caribbean, were introduced to the region during colonial conquest. 

Credit: Sean Pressley

Ayana Evans, she/no preference
Ayana Evans is a NYC-based artist whose guerilla-style performances have been staged at El Museo del Barrio, The Barnes Foundation, The Bronx Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum, Newark Museum of Art, Queens Museum, and a variety of free public locations. Her performances have been reviewed in The New York TimesBomb Magazine, ArtNet, Hyperallergic, and New York Magazine's The Cut. She was a 2017-2018 awardee of the Franklin Furnace Fund for performance, 2018 New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) Fellow for Interdisciplinary Arts, 2021-2022 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, 2021-22 Professor of the Practice at Brown University, and 2022 Chamberlain Award winner at Headlands Art Center. Her past residencies include Yaddo, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, and Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. Evans' most recent projects included a performance in Simone Leigh’s Loophole of Retreat at the Venice Biennale in 2022, and the  development of a career fair and outdoor projection series that welcomed over 150 formerly incarcerated individuals and transformed the job hunting space into a fun environment. Evans is currently a professor at Brooklyn College and NYU.

Date and time: Thursday, 3/7 at 12:45-2:00 pm
Location: The Faroll Focus, Science Center
Title: Sparkle #6: It's Giving
Description: Evans is an artist who breaks down hierarchies and encourages togetherness through her participatory performances. For this performance she will invite the audience to a performance of self care with money thrown like they are at a strip club. Everything suggested for the participants will be items participants can do for free in their spare time. Free Korean facial masks will be given out. Come ready to enjoy unconventional relaxation techniques!

Evans performed "Sparkle #5" at the Loophole of Retreat at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy, as part of Simone Leigh's exhibition at the U.S. Pavilion for the 2022 Venice Biennale. 

Credit: Ayana Evans

Eleanor Kipping, she/they
Eleanor Kipping is a Brooklyn-based artist, originally from Maine. Their multidisciplinary practice explores the experience of the Black body in the United States through the examination and deconstruction of historical and contemporary narratives. They are interested in the public, private, and civic negotiations of race, and gender, in addition to the effects of violence and surveillance. This hybrid work exists as performance, installation, video, photography, poetry/spoken word, and education. They have been awarded residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, School of Visual Arts, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and her work has been exhibited at The Shed, Portland Museum of Art, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Yellow Fish Durational Performance Festival, and more. They teach at Parsons School of Design and are a Media Instructor at BRIC Media Labs. 

Date and time: Saturday, 5/25 at 1:30 pm 
Location: Collins Cinema
Title: [transmission]
Description: [transmission] is an ongoing body of work that integrates the notion of “virus as other” at the intersections of public health, politics, and stigma through an exploration of mass media, political speech, public persuasion, and propaganda. Employing the television console as a literal and metaphorical point of orientation, this experimental lecture takes audiences on a visual, auditory, and linguistic journey that makes connections between communication technology, bacteriophage viral research, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and the weapons manufacturing industry — drawing connections to how mediation and viral transmission occur. 

Credit: Nathan Dumas

Logos for Colby, Colby Museum of Art and Lunder Institute for American Art