In Alien ate d Rhy thm* Hiba Ali and Jonathan Chacón disrupt the traditional white-wall gallery with the color orange, bubbles, a train set, and foam tiles.
Ali, in her video Abra (2018), is in conversation with Amazon’s customer-obsessed mascot, Peccy. Their discussion about working-class labor, surveillance, and bubbles (economic, social and soap filled), literally paints the space orange. She contends that orange is the contemporary color of labor and danger, it is racialized and classed.
Chacón’s installation, I shit in my tub, I piss in my sink, I miss my mother (2018), is a text piece made of puzzle foam tiles embedded with objects, that span the gallery floor. The text is addressed to his mother and the character, “Mark/Marc.” Both the text and objects, serve as a frame for Chacón to discuss his interest in collage, emotional instability, and world building.
Both Ali and Chacón question the circumstance of their surroundings. Through their experiences, a new space has been created. Upon entering Alien ate d Ry thm, we as viewers must ask: How do queer people of color, repetitively move through environments designed to work against them?
Organized by Yun Yu Chiu
Hiba Ali is a new media artist, writer, curator and musician from Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Her performances and videos concern music, labor and power. Her performances as H1BA sample her immigrant, black, brown, and refugee ancestry. She believes in the power of her ancestors, queerness and Sufi Islam. She conducts reading groups addressing digital media and workshops with open-source applications and technologies. She is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Queens University, Kingston, Canada. She has presented her work in Chicago, Stockholm, Toronto, New York, Istanbul, Detroit, London, Riga and Dubai.
My work reflects a world of personal and generational repetition. Growth is rapid and brought on by a single action, a shift in environment, or artifact. A place can spark a memory and teleport you to another place all together. I use flashback, recollection, and introspection as way to play with the idea that even though our bodies may be growing, we may not be mentally and emotionally maturing. The only chance for personal growth is reflection.
Jonathan Chacón is an Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist whose work incorporates performance, writing, installation, sculpture, photography, and video. He has attended Yale School of Art, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). He has also been invited as a visiting artist at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).