“How do we experience each other without categorizing each other?” asks Nikesha Breeze. “Categorizing, boxing, containerizing, literalizing, rationalizing—that is the colonizer’s mindset. Let it be irrational, unformed, wild, present—that’s where the Black body exists.”
Four Sites of Return: Ritual | Remembrance | Reparation | Reclamation marks interdisciplinary artist Nikesha Breeze's premiere solo show at form & concept. Breeze’s multifaceted magnum opus distills decades of their creative output, and crystallizes deep truths of the Black experience through visual art and ritual performance. Its appearance at form & concept initiates an exhibition series that will sweep the state and the nation. For Breeze, Four Sites of Return also represents a mantle passed from their own ancestors in Blackdom, New Mexico, a turn of the century freedom colony with a remarkable American story.
“All of my projects start with deep scholarly research, and often draw on Black imagery and narratives from the past,” says Breeze. “But the ritual space I’m creating through these artworks exists in the spirit of Afrofuturism and the ‘Otherwise.’ Past, present, future—it’s a construct. I want visitors to lock eyes with the people I’m portraying and feel their immediate presence and sacred humanity.” This time-and-space bending approach to storytelling pushed Breeze and Eddy’s curatorial efforts far beyond the confines of the traditional solo exhibition. Small sculptural works by an international consortium of BIPOC artists will commingle with Breeze’s artworks in the concurrent group exhibition Hand Tools of Resilience.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Nikesha Breeze investigates the interrelationality and resilience of the Black and Queer body in relationship to power, vulnerability, the sacred and the ancestral. As a Black, Queer, Intersex, and Non-Binary artist and mother, Breeze employs performance art, film, painting, textiles, sculpture and site-specific engagement to create spaces where Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Earth bodies can be seen as undeniably sacred and inviolable. In 2018 Nikesha completed a solo museum show entitled Within This Skin at The Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, NM. Nikesha has been awarded national recognition at the 2018 International ARTPRIZE exhibition, winning the juried 3D Grand Prize award as well as the Contemporary Black Arts Award, for their sculptural installation: 108 Death Masks: A Communal Prayer for Peace and Justice. In 2019 Nikesha was invited to Ghana to work as a visiting artist on the historical Nkyinkyim installation at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, created by international award-winning artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo.
ABOUT HAND TOOLS OF RESILIENCE
The open call for Hand Tools of Resilience invited international African Diasporic and Indigenous artists to examine the conscious and unconscious tools that Black and Indigenous people have created to survive, thrive, and build within oppressive and abusive systems. The project asked international artists to imagine a new tool and its Afrofuturistic use and functionality: tools that could extinguish gaslighting or passive racist treatment, that take the shape of covert and overt armor or protective talismans, hand-tools for loosening systems of supremacy and abuse or chisels for shaping new Black and Indigenous realities. Convened by Nikesha Breeze, the jury included Indigenous artist Rose B. Simpson; Ghanaian artist and activist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo; artist Le’Andra LeSeur, and independent curator Isra Rene.