Can We Live?

André Terrel Jackson, Clifford Prince King, Kimberly Morris

August 3rd to August 25th
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 3rd, 7-10 pm

Monte Vista Projects is pleased to announce “Can We Live?”, a group exhibition curated by Rakeem Cunningham featuring the work of André Terrell Jackson, Clifford Prince King, and Kimberly Morris. Inspired by the Jay Z song of the same name, Can We Live? is a selection of interdisciplinary works that acknowledge the black experience as multidimensional and nuanced. Viewers are invited to examine the tension between adversity and majesty in the everyday experience of Black America.

“I don’t think the mainstream media understands people of color are multi-dimensional. For some reason, there’s an idea that only white people are relatable. I don’t think it’s necessarily racist. But it’s odd, because the people who watch the most television are black women, so we should be represented in more ways…Black folk don’t necessarily agree with each other about what being black is.’ And, that’s not a bad thing.”

– Issa Rae

André Terrel Jackson is interested in the individual experiences that add up to create social, political and cultural groups. Mining personal history, the artist is able to use poetry, weaving, sculpture, apparel and performance to spark conversation about difficult issues related to identity. Jackson is Inspired by the work of artists from Sonya Clark and Nick Cave, Melina Matsoukas, Marlon Riggs and Tarrel Alvin McCraney; to musicians like Cakes Da Killa and Solange, Beyoncé and Janelle Monáe; to scholars like Kimberlé Crenshaw and Amelia Jones, and bell hooks; to writers like Essex Hemphill and Joseph Beam. André uses language, visual/literal/metaphorical, to center the voices and images of blackness. Intersectionality is paramount, and influences the use of materials, which take the artist from the craft store, to the hardware store, from the quirky, to the fine and luxurious. The mixing, and juxtaposing, of materials lend humor and beauty to otherwise grave topics. Jackson received a BA in Fashion from Albright College and an MFA in Fibers from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Kimberly Morris was born in West Los Angeles, California and grew up in Leimert Park,California.  Her rich Creole heritage has been a major influence on her work.  Her great-aunt was Florestine Perrault Collins, a creole photographer based in New Orleans.  Collins was one of 101 African-American women who identified themselves as photographers in the 1920 U.S. Census.

Kimberly critiques self-identity, ideas of beauty, popular culture, and race in America via video, sculpture, photography, and painting.  She inserts herself into her work by casting her own body, using her hair, and portraiture—all forms struggling with the constraining expectations society imposes on women of color.  She writes “Through the lens of beauty, I examine my position in the diaspora.  Pressures of fitting into what the majority culture defines as normal: neater hair and constrictive body typecasting, dictate my daily routine.”

Kimberly received both her BA and MA from California State University Northridge and her MFA from California State University Long Beach.  Recent exhibitions include Biomythography: Currency Exchange at California Lutheran University in Simi Valley, CA, Who Are You? at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach,CA,Echo Location at ESXLA in Los Angeles,CA.

Clifford Prince King is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, CA. His photographs embody a timeless, nostalgic, yet everyday experience as a queer black person.