Headlands Center for the Arts

Rodney Ewing

california | interdisciplinary
Artist in Residence Program 2019


Artist Statement

While debating demanding topics such as race, religion, or war, it is simple enough to become polarized and see situations in either black or white, right or wrong. These tactics may satisfy individuals whose position depends on employing policies or implementing strategies that promote specific agendas for a specific constituency. But as an artist, it is more important to create a platform that moves us past alliances and begins a dialogue that informs, questions, and in some cases even satires our divisive issues. Without this type of introspection, we are in danger of having apathy rule our senses. We can easily succumb to a national mob mentality and ignore individual accounts and memories. With my work I am creating an intersection where body and place, memory and fact are merged to re-examine human interactions and cultural conditions to create a narrative that requires us to be present and profound.

While at Headlands

During my residency at the Headlands, I will be creating a body of work titled Notes on a History. These installations and works on paper will serve as chronicle of how the Black Body has had to evolve to move thru physical, social, and psychological spaces in America. Using references such as the Green-Book, the story of H. Box Brown (the slave who shipped himself to freedom), and recent accounts of state supported violence against African Americans, the works will reflect the not only the struggles of a people, but also the continued resilience and defiance that is required to survive.

I am looking forward to the dedicated period of time and the space that I will be provided at Headlands to work on this project. These resources will allow me to experiment with new processes and continue to increase my visual vocabulary, which is important to my developing narratives that support marginalized histories.

Selected Works

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