gal·va·nizing strat·e·gies: [Black on Black with Black]

How can we go about occupying spaces and forging relationships while we can be seen as disposable? In gal·va·nizing strat·e·gies: [Black on Black with Black], former LES Studio Program resident Dominique Duroseau explores pillars of existence and acceptance as a Black woman and in times of solitude.

Duroseau’s series of sculptural wall pieces, [Black on Black on Black with Black], navigate the false monolith of Black existence. A [re]-fusing of Blackness, the compositions of found and bought materials piece together complex conceptual and visual patterns to create body-scaled enfacements. The various forms of black material—plastic bags, thrifted clothing, floor tiles, packing materials—are carefully deconstructed, recontextualized, configured, and hand stitched to represent the nuances of class, education, and characteristics of identity. Through the abstract configuration of difference, the resultant work offers a stratagem on ways individuals can coexist, communicate, and repair as Black people.

Diaristic audio tracks run adjacent to Duroseau’s physical works, guiding viewers through the artist’s self-portrait. Contemplating the Black body and Black presence during the solitude of the pandemic, Duroseau would record herself speaking to capture the span of emotions she experienced, including the longing for touch and physical presence. In recording her own voice addressing an absent audience, Duroseau could conjure the presence of others, however ephemeral. When brought out of Duroseau’s private studio space, these vocal performances question how Black existence survives within and despite oppressive systems of patriarchy, white supremacy, and colonialism. Implying Duroseau’s physical existence through the form and presence of her voice, the recordings dissolve into atmospheric space and push viewers to question the impermanence of presence.

When combined in the gallery space, these two bodies of work reflect from a personal perspective to tell a larger story of dehumanization and discrimination while asking pressing questions about the Black American experience.

Dominique Duroseau is a Newark-based artist born in Chicago, raised in Haiti. Her interdisciplinary practice explores themes of racism, socio-cultural issues, and existential dehumanization. Her exhibitions, performances, and screenings include PULSE Play, SATELLITE ART and Prizm Art Fair in Miami; The Kitchen, The Brooklyn Museum and the New Museum (BWA for BLM), El Museo del Barrio, A.I.R. Gallery, BronxArtSpace, Rush Arts Gallery, and Smack Mellon in New York City; The Newark Museum, Index Arts, Project for Empty Space, and Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ. Her talks include: panelist at Black Portraiture[s] at Harvard and at NYU, guest lecturer at Vassar and guest speaker at New School (Parsons) and Brown University (remotely). She received a fellowship at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, artist residencies at MassMOCA, NARS Foundation, Artists Alliance Inc, Gallery Aferro, Index Art Center, Wassaic Project and Shine Portrait Studio. She’s also a grant recipient of Franklin Furnace Fund and Creative Catalyst Fund.

Duroseau holds a Bachelor of Architecture and is a Master of Fine Arts candidate at Yale University.

Cuchifritos is FREE to the public and handicap accessible. Located inside Essex Street Market at the south end nearest Delancey.

Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is located inside Essex Market, which is fully accessible by ADA standards. The gallery can be accessed from any ground floor entrance. Cuchifritos Gallery welcomes assistance dogs, and has wheelchair accessible toilet facilities on the lower level and 2nd floor, which can be accessed by the east-side elevator. For access inquiries please contact Artists Alliance at info@artistsallianceinc.org or (212) 420-9202.

Artists Alliance Inc. is 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos Gallery is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Exhibition programming is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible.