As We Wish To Be: An Installation by Bethany Collins
Opening Reception – January 17th, 2015 6:00 – 8:00 PM
ATHICA opens its first exhibit of 2015, a solo installation by Atlanta based artist, Bethany Collins. This exhibition will feature both previously created works as well as site-specific murals. Collins is a multi-media artist who focuses on dual perception and multiplicity in the seemingly binary. Her current language-based work highlights the inability of language to fully capture notions of modern racial identity. Rather, text is hidden, revealed, allowed and humored, but rarely settled.
Bethany Collins was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1984. She holds an MFA from Georgia State University (2012) and a BA in Studio Art and Visual Journalism from the University of Alabama (2007). Her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at notable venues throughout the United States, including The Studio Museum in Harlem, the High Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and the Flint Institute of Arts. Collins was accepted into the Viewing Program at The Drawing Center in New York and was an Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
“I am interested in the unnerving possibility of multiple meanings, dual perceptions, and limitlessness in the seemingly binary. Drawing objects repeatedly allows me to fully understand the object in space, while defining and redefining my own racial landscape.
Racial identity, for me, has neither been instantly formed nor conjured in isolation. Rather, identity entangles memory: actual and revisited, cultural and historical, individual and collective. Through the dissolution of dichotomies and the combination of objects, this work recalls for me moments in the formation of my racial identity as Black and Biracial. And each re-worked mark is another attempt to navigate the binary paradigm of race in the U.S. South by grasping invisible limitations and grounding myself within the collective African American visual narrative.
Whether black paper drawings, chalkboard erasures or layered vellum paintings, my work continues to evoke a longing for what author Rebecca Walker refers to as “the black outline around my body that everyone else seems to have.”“