“Revisited” by ALEXANDRIA EREGBU. Alexandria is a Chicago-based performance and fiber material studies artist currently seeking her degree as an undergrad in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).
“My work investigates social identity through exploration of the body in attempt to understand how my role as a young Black woman functions in any given environment. I am interested in interpreting the body as a spectacle and the relationship of the gaze between my viewers and myself. Through performance I often explore my identity as a sexually attractive being and how this newly observed identity has served purpose in my community. Public response, outside of the institution has also been essential to my practice because it has allowed for me to more accurately develop an assessment of the content in my work. Currently my artistic practice engages with these ideas through creating alter egos. These characters, usually accompanied by found and handcrafted objects and sounds manifest themselves as heavily charged personas— representing various motifs and imagery that I have intertwined from visual representation of Black Americans and my own personal experiences. While some may find the use of generalization, categorization, or stereotype quite limiting, I have chosen to perceive these constructs as positive outlets to further explore and interpret the world surrounding me.
Apart from performance, I make large process-based fibers work. I construct patterns composed of altered and glitched pop and R&B music video images. These patterns have presented themselves in several forms, including quilts, sculpture, and text-based objects, referencing 60s and 70s psychedelic aesthetics, traditional kente cloth, and woven textile history. I also engage with human hair and hair extensions, making sculptures and installations that provided different hair memories that have been rooted from my childhood.
As my transition from childhood to womanhood has been challenging, confronting my sexuality and the consistent un-consented exploitation and objectification that I experience has led me to reconsider and reexamine the way I perceive my surroundings. While this recognition gives me fresh material to work with, it also has not fallen short of revealing to me the ugliness that comes with being Black and being a woman.”