Wanlass Artist in Residence Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle presents work from her long term Kentifrica Project in the Weingart Gallery of Occidental College. The exhibition draws from Hinckle’s long running and multi-layered educational and research project: Kentifrica, and her ongoing research exploring convergent histories, truth(s), imaginings and interrogations. For the duration of the show the Weingart Gallery will be turned into a Kentifrican study and research room in which visitors can have tea, research the Kentifrican archives, read books related to Kentifrica, and view Kentifrican objects and items from the College's Special Collections.
Inspired by the artist's course field trip to The Museum of Jurassic Technology in fall 2017, and extensive conversations about amassed personal archives related to personal narratives and images that challenged and provoked students, this exhibition implements interrupting the aesthetic of the didactic as a colonial tool of codifying.
Kentifrica is a contested geography/continent for which Hinckle is developing an educational and research platform. Hinkle considers herself to be a descendant of this place--a combination of the geographies of her ancestral lands of Kentucky and parts of West Africa. Through re-creating artifacts and sharing narratives and customs from her research archives, Hinckle reconstructs a Kentifrican identity that invites a critical engagement with the intersections of collective vs. personal histories, diaspora, migration, immigration, cross-cultural exchange, and issues of geography and authority in relationship to knowledge production. Through the embodiment of various voices and modes of address, Hinckle examines what happens to bodies in transit and how they are contextualized, depending upon historically sanctioned, dominant signifiers of race and culture. The project exists as a multi-layered living and breathing organism that expands collaboratively with various individuals and communities who come from multiple social, cultural, geographical, and artistic experiences.
Interested in the books featured in the exhibition? View the comprehensive reading list.