LandEscape Art Review - Page 195

Reagan Lake LandE scape CONTEMPORARY ART REVIEW meaning in relation to culture and history and power. I don’t relinquish meaning to the viewer. I make work that has a very speciHic meaning to me. But I don’t have any attachment to whether or not the viewer sees that particular meaning. I am interested in viewers Hinding their own story in my work. I learn a great deal from that. Over these years your works have been showcased inseveral occasions, including your recent exhibition The Black Woman is God, at SOMArts, San Francisco. One of the hallmarks of your work is the capability to create direct involvement with the viewers, who are urged to evolve from a condition of mere spectatorship. So before leaving this conversation we would like to pose a question about the nature of the relationship of your art with your audience. Do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of language is used in a particular context? The Black Woman is God was an incredible show to be a part of. That was the Hirst time that I submitted an idea speciHically for the exhibit and then made the work once it was accepted. So yes, I was using a visual language that was very speciHic for the context of the show and also a broader dialogue of empowerment and social justice that I felt the show was connected to. That discourse had threads reaching into the African diaspora, Black Lives Matter, Feminism, and Social Justice just to name a few. The opening happened 4 days after another police shooting involving an unarmed African American. My pieces were one of many voices that came together and created a space for healing. We had 2000 people of all kinds of identities come to our opening. It was particularly satisfying to see some of my art history students there. I love the idea that my work has the capacity to create a direct involvement for the viewers but it I don’t think about audience reception in a deliberate way when I am making work other than making work with an openness that hope invites the viewer to engage. I think my interest in identity formation and bringing marginalized perspectives into the center are what invite that involvement. I can see myself being inspired to make work as a result of a curatorial prompt, but I also have my own ideas about work that I want to make or have made and look for opportunities for it be seen. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Cynthia. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Thank you for these thought provoking and compelling questions about my work. It has been a real pleasure. I have started working on a new body of work that will be a series called Between Borders. The work will be created with indigo dye, mineral pigments and graphite on paper and silk. I am going juxtapose a variety of borders that range from countries and cities related to my ancestry and upbringing to borders that I cross during my daily commute to and from work. There will be a subtle mapping element and some aesthetic pleasure in the form of a kind of Rorschach mark in between. I want to introduce the notion of Hydrarchy by including some larger seascapes between each border pairing. An interview by Katherine Williams, curator and Josh Ryder, curator 41