Oregon Contemporary and home school present i gently place my brain in cold rice, on view from November 2022 to January 2023. The first exhibition in home school’s curatorial residency at Oregon Contemporary presents works of sculpture, video, photography, and writing that orbit ideas around the tactile, the textile, the virtual, and the ritual. The eight artists in the show activate transmedia spaces of inquiry and healing without recourse to traditional disciplinary or medium boundaries.
Inside every possibility for action, contemplation, or relation lies embodied an eternal witness, who without voyeurism follows you through all your changes: not quite the last angel of history, not quite the first / original daemon of the future. Water is memory, and when the air seethes wetly, breath itself discloses its archive. When the water walks, she gently places her brain in cold rice.
home school is excited to present a number of commissions, including Our Lives Anthology (Archive) (2021–22), an animated video by Oregon-based artist Ansar El Muhammad that draws on their doula work; and the first publication by New York City–based artist Olivia McKayla Ross, Lake of Stars (2022), a multimedia sensory circuit that explores, in the artist’s own words, “(GIRLHOOD, GENIUS, OCEANIC MEDIA THEORY, ANOREXIA, SURVEILLANCE, PORN, SELFIES, RELIGION, LABOR, POWER, SANITY, CARIBBEAN CYBERNETICS, TRANSMISSION CULTURE, ETC.)” Pittsburgh-based artist Khadijat Yussuff produced a new glass wall work and an iteration of their playable rug series, with which the audience is invited to interact. Kigali-based collective Ibisazi Designers Nyabyo offers lucid documentation of recent performances and spatiotemporal activations in Rwanda, Shadows of ideas, 2022— performances which illustrate the hidden and unshared thoughts of each living being.
Oregon Contemporary is supported by the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the Oregon Arts Commission, the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, the Oregon Community Foundation and the Robert & Mercedes Eichholz Foundation. Other businesses and individuals provide additional support.
hiba ali is a producer of moving images, sounds, garments and words. they reside in many time zones: chicago, toronto and eugene. born in karachi, pakistan, they belong to east african, south asian and arab diasporas. they are a practitioner and (re)learner of swahili, urdu, arabic and spanish languages. they work on two long term art and publication projects: the first being an art-based phd project that examines womyn of colour’s labour, and architecture of surveillance as it exists within the monopoly of amazon (corp.) and the second being a series of works that addresses music, cloth and ritual practices that connect east africa, south asia and the arabian peninsula in the swahili-indian ocean region. they are an assistant professor at the college of design in the art & technology program at the university of oregon in eugene and they teach on decolonial, feminist, anti-racist frameworks in digital art pedagogies. currently, they are a phd candidate in cultural studies at queens university in kingston, ontario. their work has been presented in chicago, stockholm, vienna, berlin, toronto, new york, istanbul, são paulo, detroit, windsor, dubai, austin, vancouver, and portland. they have written for the following magazines: “c”, the seen, newcity chicago, art chicago, art dubai, the state, medium’s zora, rtv, and topical cream.
Olivia McKayla Ross is a Caribbean American video artist, poet-programmer, and doula from Queens, New York City. Her work is motivated by oceanic media theory, and a curiosity about electronic video and power. She’s delighted by computer graphics, glamour magic, two-way mirrors, and the fantasies and anxieties of video transmission: immersion, absorption, surveillance, and control. Currently a grief doula-in-training, she hopes her practice as a “cyber” doula will encourage the necessity of care work across transmission culture. Olivia is an alum of the School for Poetic Computation and has taught at Black Girls Code, BUFU, POWRPLNT, Ethel’s Club, and Pioneer Works. Her work has been featured in Well Now WTF, Transfer Gallery, Bitch Media, Refinery 29, i-D UK, and i-D Italy. She can be found online at @cyberdoula on Instagram.
Intisar Abioto (b. Memphis, TN. 1986) is an artist working across photography, dance, and writing. Moving from the visionary and embodied root of Blackgirl Southern cross-temporal cross-modal storytelling ways, her works refer to the living breath/breadth of people of African descent against the expanse of their storied, geographic, and imaginative landscapes. Working in long-form projects that encompass the visual, folkloric, documentary, and performing arts, she has produced The People Could Fly Project, The Black Portlanders, and The Black. With the five women artists in her family, she is the co-founder of Studio Abioto, a multivalent creative arts studio.
Ansar El Muhammad (they/she) originally from Woodburn Oregon, is a Portland based artist who comes from a multiracial background. Operating from within this foundation, Ansar’s work often explores the “in betweens” of identity and experience. Their work navigates the space between their informed identity and mental illness, trauma, racism and community healing. Ansar is a conceptual artist, with work ranging from performance, painting, illustration, sculpture, installation, video, and photography, they feel a calling to archive the experiences of their vulnerable community(ies). Through experimentation, collaboration, and curiosity they utilize aesthetics to have deep and often painful discussions with the viewer. They aim to change the way art can impact communities often left out or exploited by art institutions and build platforms and pathways for internal communal wellness.
Khadijat Yussuff (they/them) is Yoruba-American transmedia artist originally hailing from The Bronx, NY, and currently based in Pittsburgh, PA. Their color-saturated work merges the technological and the tactile, imposing technological futures onto ancient craft forms such as weaving and glassmaking. Khadijat's work embraces collaboration and immersion by focusing on both creating sculptures that invite the audience to interact with it, and by appealing to a multitude of senses to elicit specific feelings and emotions, many drawn from the multicultural and multi-industrial experiences of the artist themself.
Ibisazi Designers Nyabyo (IDN) was founded in 2018 by Niyongabo Frederic (b. 1996, Kigali, Rwanda) and Ndiratuma Emmanuel (b. 1995, Goma, DRC). The two artists grew up in Kacyiru, Kigali, Rwanda in the deep slums. Due to the lack of basic needs in life, they had to drop out of school which made them fully concentrate on their artistic talents, each on their own. In 2018, they had the idea to work together and form IDN. They started IDN as they both made similar artworks, often considered as ‘craziness’ to those who do not know the meaning behind it. IDN is inspired by where they come from.
fatima abby tall is a creative currently residing in the PNW. They were raised in rural Idaho but feel most at home in Dakar, Senegal. They graduated from the University of Iowa in 2020 with BA’s in English and Creative Writing and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies. fatima does not work within one specific discipline. They tend to create art that consorts with spirit and self. They attempt to find truth in exploring structural dissociation and its relationship to the immaterial world. You can find their work at LoosenArt, Bottlecap Press, and in AbolitionISH Zine Endnotes. Additional work can be viewed at fatimaabbytall.com.
Jasmine Nyende is an artist studying how textiles hold spirit. Her work is based in ancestral ways of knowing told through natural patterns, handmade sources of freedom and the reappropriation of punk in Black culture.
home school is a free pop-up art school and space of sacred duty co-run by Victoria Anne Reis and manuel arturo abreu. Since 2015, home school has offered genre-nonconforming edutainment, critical care, and contexts for contemplation, all free or sliding scale for local and remote publics." (Promo Copy)