Tuesday, June 3, 2014

CULVER CITY: Nikita Gale

Nikita Gale, "1961" series, diptychs, 22" x 28" (framed), archival pigment print and collage. Image courtesy Reginald Ingraham Gallery. All rights reserved.
May 31 – July 5, 2014

6021 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA

From Reginald Ingraham Gallery press release:

Reginald Ingraham Gallery continues to highlight contemporary African American artists and their innovative aesthetic with an exhibition of Nikita Gale, who, in this series, aptly titled 1961, explores the boundaries of the photographic medium.

A native Georgian, Gale examines the multiple contexts of time, space and meaning. By juxtaposing collaged booking photographs of Freedom Riders of the early 60’s, and white middle class ethos, she is reinterpreting and reclaiming historic conversations that illuminate the dissonance of racial discourse at a period of time in the American South.

The images of Freedom Riders symbolize, literally and figuratively, the fragile mobility of blacks in the South during the late 50’s and early 60’s. Gale illustrates this tension by placing their black and white mug shots next to richly colored, idyllic images of whites enjoying themselves in picturesque landscapes. This paradox, made more capricious with the words and phrases of noted racists and segregationists, allows Gale to deepen the multidimensionality of meaning and fabrication. She seeks to be provocative and playful in her postmodern approach to distance and complexity, as demonstrated in images that are stark and remote, yet alluring.

Gale refers to her work as an archaeological and artistic excavation. She uncovers, studies and builds anew, modeling recontextualized concepts with a modern aesthetic. By artfully arranging loaded re-photographed images of people in the struggle and those resisting change to the social climate of Southern life, Gale deconstructs notions of power, and addresses the discord of the moment. The new conversation, born from the creative merging of imagery and significance, encourages very different associations of the social and political framework that continues to structure our present.

Nikita Gale composed the 1961 series during her residency at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York. She holds a BA in anthropology from Yale University. She currently lives in Atlanta. Nikita Gale is represented by Reginald Ingraham Gallery.

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