Two Artists, Three Exhibits: ALT-ARCHIVES
All profits from the sale of work in Q̶u̶i̶x̶o̶t̶i̶c̶ will be split evenly between the following two organizations:
Black Voters Matter is an organization founded around the goal of increasing power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities. They are not an electoral organization but rather work to empower voters, expand voter access, develop inclusive policy, and provide boots on the ground training for community action.
Higher Heights Leadership Fund is an organization investing in a long term strategy to expand and support black women’s leadership at all levels of government. Black women are powerful community leaders, but their political capital has yet to translate into a representative number of Black women holding office or robust, long-term policies that effectively address issues facing black and brown communities. HHLF is working to change this by investing in strong candidates, educating voters, and dismantling roadblocks that stand in the way of progressive leadership.
In addition to the sale of works, we will also be collecting donations on behalf of these organizations at the gallery.
Statement from the Artists:
We are so excited to share the work in these exhibits with the Bunker Center for the Arts and its viewership. The generosity of the space provided has enabled us to present each of our respective solo work, as well as debut a brand new collaborative series. Each of these three exhibits employ the use of archival and historical subject matter as both inspiration and raw material. While conceptually related in this way, each is individual in its specificity and form. Please read on about each exhibit, and thank you for your attention.
-Bri and Belle-Pilar
What if Shirley Chisholm had won her historic bid for president in 1972? In this collaborative body of work we interrogate the notion of electability in both historical and contemporaneous contexts by recasting the victor of the 1972 presidential race. Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress, and the first to seek a major party nomination for the presidency. Her campaign (and general ambition) was dubbed “quixotic,” in other words, too idealistic to succeed. In reviewing the landscape of contemporary American politics it is clear that the tendency to classify marginalized candidates in this way still stands in the way of true progress.
Thus, our endeavor to communicate with an alternate past exemplifies both a space of defiance and one of dreaming. These efforts are inspired by a host of historical material, including iconic imagery of Nixon, anonymous vintage dinnerware, industrial commemorative ceramics, handmade signature quilts, and actual ephemera of Chisholm’s campaign. With this work we invite viewers to question their own assumptions about electability and the standards by which one is dubbed worthy of leadership.
Bri Murphy is an interdisciplinary artist, who combines digital technologies such as 3D printing with more traditional materials, influenced by her background in ceramics. Her work explores notions of American identity through the deconstruction of its mythologies – from busts of the Founding Fathers to treasured prose such as the Declaration of Independence. In addition to her exhibition record, Bri is an active researcher and tinkerer, and has given several guest lectures and workshops, most notably at the 2019 NCECA conference in Minneapolis.
Bri began her career as an artist selling her drawings to her mom for 25¢ apiece, spending her childhood years in Essex Junction, Vermont. She holds an MFA in Ceramics from Ohio University as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Ceramics and Art Education from SUNY New Paltz. She is the former Gallery Director at the LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
Belle-Pilar Fleming is a printmaker and textile artist currently working as an Artist in Residence at the University of North Dakota. She was raised in a small town outside of Dayton, Ohio, a city situated at the threshold of the Rust Belt, Appalachia, and the Midwest. She holds a BA in Psychology from Warren Wilson College, and an MFA in Printmaking from Ohio University. Drawing heavily from research practices based in the social sciences, her work focuses on the lived experiences of individuals across a spectrum of identity and place. Utilizing personal narrative, ethnography, and data visualization, she investigates the role of the artists as a community historian and the sociocultural contexts which shape our behavior.