You Don’t See Me

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is pleased to present You Don’t See Me, an exhibition that critically engages ‘material as a suppressed history.’ Curated by Tariku Shiferaw, who is a current artist-in-residence of the LES Studio Program, through which this exhibition is made possible.

Featured in this exhibition are artists Layo Bright, Adrienne Gaither, Mylo Mu, and Na’ye Perez, whose works are organized around the concept of appropriated materials, encouraging observers to take a critical eye to the usage of these materials throughout history. Using paint, found objects, collage, video, and performance, these four artists draw from history to both legitimize their practices through recognizable materials and create a space for conversations that otherwise would not have been entertained by the privileged societal majority.

For Layo Bright, her narrative focuses on the use of materials and artifacts that have historical significance in Nigeria and throughout West Africa. She uses “Ghana-must-go-bags,” a synthetic material made of thermoplastic, in constructing her “Ife-head” sculptures. These bags were heavily and desperately used in 1983 when all Ghanaians residing in Nigeria were given a 24-hour notice, by the government, to move out of the country they had lived in for over a decade. Upwards of a million people had to uproot their lives, taking only what they could carry in, what became known as, “Ghana-must-go-bags.” Many Ghanaians suffered due to border politics of the time. In using these bags as material, Bright addresses xenophobic policies within the African continent and throughout Europe and North America.

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