___a lineage of transgression___

Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Jamilah Malika Abu-Bakare

Jan 10 - Feb 22, 2020

Opening: Jan 10, 6pm-9pm

Curated by Liz Ikiriko

___a lineage of transgression___ explores language as a tool to challenge the limitations of systemic definitions of Blackness and womanhood. As writers, poets, teachers and creators - Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Jamilah Malika Abu-Bakare - use film, audio, photocopies, collage and text to play with the materiality of words. Continuing subversive traditions practiced by noted feminist writers such as nikki giovanni, Octavia Butler, Ntozake Shange, Audre Lorde to contemporaries Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip and Christina Sharpe - both artists use voice, revision, redaction and annotation to expand and dismantle singular interpretations of Blackness. What happens when we free language from the page and allow it to become spatial, audible or sculptural? What does that teach us about words that attempt to define and contain us? The artists work are inherently bound to a lineage of makers who have provided the speculative blueprint for deconstructing monolithic notions of identity and representation.

Artspace takes pride in honouring the annual celebration of Black History Month with this exhibition. On February 15 a symposium will take place that includes a panel discussion with the artists and celebrated writer/poet M. NourbeSe Philip along with a workshop hosted by Kameelah Janan Rasheed. Along with the public programming, the creation of a published catalogue will mark this seminal moment in the history of the city. More information will be available soon.


___a lineage of transgression___ is generously supported by TD Bank Group.

About the Artists

Kameelah Janan Rasheed (b.1985) is a Brooklyn-based transdisciplinary artist, writer, educator and former public high school teacher. Rasheed’s work has been presented at EXPO Chicago (2019), Nome Gallery(2019), the Venice Biennale (2017), New Museum of Contemporary Art, Jack Shainman Gallery, Studio Museum in Harlem, Bronx Museum, Queens Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among others. In print her work has been featured in Cultured, the New York TimesArtforumBOMBGuernicaTriple Canopy, and others.

Jamilah Malika Abu-Bakare (b.1982) is a transdisciplinary artist and writer who recently earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2019). Abu-Bakare has exhibited work in Guelph, Vancouver, and Toronto and recently published with Black Power Naps (Siestas Negras.)

About the Curator

Liz Ikiriko is an artist, independent curator and photo editor. Her knowledge as a prairie-born researcher, writer, photographer, teacher and mother inform her practice which is focused on contemporary and historic African and diasporic narratives. Her writing has been published in Public Journal, MICE Magazine, C Magazine, Akimbo and The Ethnic Aisle. She holds an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice from OCAD University (2019).