This spring, the Serpentine presents the first European solo exhibition of American artist Sondra Perry (b. 1986, Perth Amboy, New Jersey), who explores the intersection of black identity, digital culture and power structures through video, media, installation and performance.
‘When making a piece I want people to feel like they have space and agency’ Sondra Perry
Perry work is bout blackness, black femininity and African American heritage, using her personal history as a point of departure. Her use of digital tools and material, ranging from blue screen technology and 3D avatars to found footage from the internet, reflects on these modes of representation and the abstraction of black identity in art and media. Perry has said: ‘I’m interested in thinking about how blackness shifts, morphs, and embodies technology to combat oppression and surveillance throughout the diaspora. Blackness is agile.‘
This exhibition continues the Serpentine’s engagement with Perry’s practice, following her acclaimed performance for Park Nights 2016, where she shared a billing with the American poets Fred Moten and Eileen Myles.
Perry is committed to net neutrality and ideas of collective production and action, using open source software to edit her work and leasing it digitally for use in galleries and classrooms, while also making all her videos available for free online.
This new site-specific installation at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery will incorporate existing works by Perry, including Graft and Ash for a Three-Monitor Workstation (2016), a 3-D avatar of the artist questioning the current productivity and efficiency culture, and Wet and Wavy Looks – Typhoon coming on (2016), which both references and digitally alters JMW Turner’s 1840 painting, The Slave Ship. Image Credit: Sondra Perry Typhoon
‘Perry’s aim is to give agency to the black meme, imbuing it with a radical purpose that no longer infects just the internet but physical space.’ Bomb Magazine, 2017
Perry’s works can be viewed here: http://sondraperry.com/
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