Ivy League Ratchet

An Artist Talk by Tameka Norris

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
5:30 pm
Room 104, Frederic Lasserre Building
6333 Memorial Road, UBC

Tameka Norris began her career in the Los Angeles hip-hop scene before migrating to the fine arts. She supplemented along the way with a broad array of odd jobs, from call-centre customer service representative to sex worker. Her artwork is informed by her experience of how exploitation is built into these systems, particularly for women of colour and queer communities. She often combines intensely personal experience with overtly performative personas to critique the ways that identities are appropriated and exploited by high and low culture alike.

With her communities and herself as subjects, Norris uses painting, video, photography, music, performance, installation, project-based art, context art, confession, the Internet, and institutional critique to explore the internal drives and external influences that shape identity. Her practice critiques the invisibility of blackness in cultural forms built upon the appropriation of popular and sacred black expressions and idioms.

Tameka Norris was born in Guam and received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, before graduating with an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2012. Norris has participated in numerous exhibitions and festivals, including at Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham; Yerba Buena Museum, San Francisco; Prospect.3 Biennial, New Orleans; the Walker Museum, Minneapolis; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston; and the Studio Museum, Harlem; Rotterdam Film Festival, Rotterdam; Mission Creek Festival, Iowa City; among many others. Norris has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Fountainhead Residency, and the MacDowell Colony. She is the 2017 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and is an assistant professor at University of Iowa.

Norris’s visit is presented by the Rennie Collection Distinguished Visiting Artist Program.