Miatta Kawinzi

Miatta Kawinzi is a multi-disciplinary artist. She explores the figure, the inner & outer landscape, and culture as sites of re-imagination & possibility. She works with images, objects, sound, space, the body, and language.

She was born in 1987 in Nashville, TN to a Liberian mother and Kenyan father. Based in NYC, she has exhibited and/or performed her work in the US, Mexico, South Africa, France, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, and Liberia, and her work is included in the Art-in-Embassies public collection in Monrovia, Liberia, in an Art Connects NY public collection in Queens, NY, and in private collections.

She received a BA in Interdisciplinary Art & Cultural Theory from Hampshire College in 2010 and an MFA in Studio Art from Hunter College in 2016. She has been awarded artist residencies at the Cité internationale des arts (Paris, France, with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council), the Bag Factory (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), Beta-Local (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Greatmore Studios (Cape Town, South Africa), IAAB (Basel, Switzerland), Flux Factory (NYC), and the SOMA Summer program (Mexico City, Mexico). Additional awards include a NY Community Trust Foundation Fellowship, the Kossak Travel Grant, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Recent exhibition sites of her work include the Studio Museum in Harlem (NY), Aljira Center for Contemporary Art (NJ), and the FNB Joburg Art Fair (SA).

Miatta joined us for a two week residency where she explored and learned Ableton Live and our Doepfer system. The wound work created here ended up being used for a performance at BRIC House Gallery (see description below). At the end of her residency Miatta started to test out our 180 stereoscopic camera, and our Research Assistant Jessica Earle took Miatta to a local State Forest where they both collected sound and video. The proximity to nature has become a real asset to this residency and allows urban based artists to collect samples that they might otherwise be able to collect.

Breathwork was performed in conjunction with the Alchemyexhibition at BRIC House Gallery on 25 July, 2018. The development of the accompanying soundscape was supported by my artist residency at Alfred University’s Institute for Electronic Arts in July 2018.

This performance utilizes language, movement, and live/recorded sound to explore different kinds of power. Here I am exploring dualities of entanglement and release, and I approach sound as a force within space to alchemize hardness into softness, giving particular resonance to this transformation in this moment of ongoing societal discord.

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