Reflect Project logo

reflect / project is an exhibition series featuring socially engaged video work by a selection of artists who identify as Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and persons of color. Additionally, reflect / project incorporates social practice artists associated with the Interchange Program, creating a digital outlet for modes of inquiry that have been affected by the distancing restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Projected in M-AAA’s storefront gallery, this series will amplify underrepresented perspectives into the public sphere. New content will premiere on the first Friday of each month, beginning in August and continuing through June of 2021 with a two-month break in February and March. Artworks displayed in the gallery will be complemented through an online series that includes additional works selected by the artists. 

First Friday August 7, 8:30 p.m.

Viewfinder by crystal z campbell

VIEWFINDER (2020)
Digital Video and Stereo Sound
19’53” Minutes

currency by crystal z campbell

CURRENCY (2019)
Digital Video, Stereo Sound
Director: crystal z campbell
Performer: angela davis johnson
Videographer: david wayne reed
02’53” Minute Loop

reflect / project launches August 7 with two works from Tulsa-based artist, writer, and experimental filmmaker of Black, Filipino, and Chinese descents, Crystal Z Campbell. This exhibition marks the worldwide premiere of Campbell’s new short sound film, VIEWFINDER (TRT: 19’53 minutes). Filmed entirely in Sweden, Viewfinder takes cues from decisive moments and movements to explore belonging, allyship, and monuments. Campbell’s short film CURRENCY (TRT:2’53), is a sound-centric film of refusal—a woman wears bygone forms of currency on the tips of her hair while preserving the greatest currency for herself. Campbell has opted to highlight the work of two Oklahoma-based creatives for the online-only component: Osage artist Lydia Cheshewalla is sharing collaborative works from the Ephemeral Reliquaries series, and writer, educator, and arts administrator Christina Beatty has been commissioned to write a new essay responding to Campbell’s films.

Campbell’s two short films will be projected on a loop at M-AAA from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. starting on August 7, continuing every day until September 3. Visitors can engage the work with socially distanced viewing at any time during these hours, enjoying the films from the sidewalk, street, or parking lot in front of Mid-America Arts Alliance at 2018 Baltimore Ave in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.

Recent works from Campbell revisit questions of immortality and medical ethics with Henrietta Lacks’ immortal cell line, ponder the role of a political monument and displacement in a shifting Swedish coastal landscape, and salvage a 35mm film from a demolished Black Civil Rights theater in Brooklyn as a relic of gentrification. Campbell engages with sonic, material, and archival traces of the witness through film/video, live performance, installation, sound, painting, and writing.

In a forthcoming fellowship appointment at the Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center, Campbell will continue work on SLICK, an experimental feature film centering the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and its longstanding effects on the city of Tulsa. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre marks one of the most hushed incidents of racially motivated domestic terrorism in the United States, with over 300 people killed and 35 blocks of businesses and homes in the predominately Black community of Greenwood destroyed.

August digital artist: Lydia cheshewalla

Lydia Cheshewalla is an Osage artist living and working in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in painting and ceramics, and has since expanded her artist explorations into the worlds of ephemeral art, community building, and creative placemaking. Her work focuses on the intersections of art, ecology, and Indigenous Ways of Knowing, blending traditional and contemporary Indigenous methodologies with modern material and process in ways that seek to challenge the Western anthropocentric perspective. Her inspiration comes from her environment and she references nature and the unknown through repeated symbols and motif. 

This featured series is Ephemeral Reliquaries:

Lydia Cheshewalla (performer) and Jessica Price (photographer)
Lying in the space between two rocks; a collaboration between body and land 
Davis Mountains, Ft. Davis, TX, March 2019
Digital Harinezumi photograph
Courtesy of the artists

Lydia Cheshewalla (performer) and Jessica Price (photographer)
Circle of yellow blossoms behind plastic yellow chain; an exploration of borders 
Biosphere 2, Oracle, AZ, March 2019
Digital Harinezumi photograph
Courtesy of the artists

Lydia Cheshewalla (performer) and Jessica Price (photographer)
Approaching borders as shadows; an exploration of liminality and layers 
Lake Tahoe, NV, March 2019
Digital Harinezumi photograph
Courtesy of the artists

Lydia Cheshewalla (performer) and Jessica Price (photographer)
Sitting in the present-past; an exploration of the tools of defense 
Abandoned military installation, Marin Headlands, CA, March 2019
Digital Harinezumi photograph
Courtesy of the artists

Lydia Cheshewalla (performer and photographer)
Walking where a river was; a collaboration between body and land 
Playa, Black Rock Desert, NV, March 2019
iPhone photograph
Courtesy of the artist

Lydia Cheshewalla (performer and photographer)
A line of dollars in the sand; an exploration of language and symbolism 
Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA, March 2019
iPhone photograph
Courtesy of the artist

Lydia Cheshewalla (performer) and Jessica Price (photographer)
Becoming part of division; a collaboration between body and land 
Santa Catalina Mountains, Tucson, AZ, March 2019
Digital Harinezumi photograph
Courtesy of the artists

Crystal Z Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker, and writer of African American, Filipino, and Chinese descents whose work engages with the intersection of witnessing and public secrets. Campbell finds complexity in the public secret, or a fragment of information which is known by many, but perhaps undertold, unspoken, or underacknowledged.

Recent works revisit questions of immortality and medical ethics with Henrietta Lacks’ immortal cell line, ponder the role of a political monument and displacement in a shifting Swedish coastal landscape, and salvage a 35mm film from a demolished Black Civil Rights theater in Brooklyn as a relic of gentrification. Campbell engages with sonic, material, and archival traces of the witness through film/video, live performance, installation, sound, painting, and writing.

In a forthcoming fellowship appointment at the Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center, Campbell will continue work on SLICK, an experimental feature film centering the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and its longstanding effects on the city of Tulsa. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre marks one of the most hushed incidents of racially motivated domestic terrorism in the United States, with over 300 people killed and 35 blocks of businesses and homes in the predominately Black community of Greenwood destroyed.

Campbell exhibits and screens internationally: The Drawing Center (US), Nest (Netherlands), ICA-Philadelphia (US), Artissima (IT), Studio Museum of Harlem (US), Project Row Houses (US), Visual Studies Workshop (US), and SculptureCenter (US), amongst others. Select honors and awards include: Pollock-Krasner Award, MAP Fund, MacDowell, M-AAA, Skowhegan, Rijksakademie, Whitney ISP, VCCA Alonzo Davis Fellowship, and Flaherty Film Seminar Fellowship.

Campbell is a concurrent Tulsa Artist Fellow and Harvard Radcliffe Film Study Center & David and Roberta Logie Fellow (2020-2021) who lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Adam W. McKinney is a former member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and Milwaukee Ballet Company. He has led dance work across the US and in Benin, Canada, England, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Palestine, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, Spain, and South Africa. Named one of the most influential African Americans in Milwaukee, WI by St. Vincent DePaul, McKinney is the Co-Director of DNAWORKS LLC, an arts and service limited liability company and organization committed to healing through the arts and dialogue. He holds a BFA with high honors in Dance Performance from Butler University and an MA in Dance Studies with concentrations in Race and Trauma theories from NYU-Gallatin. McKinney is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

reflect / project is an extension of Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Interchange program in collaboration with its Arts and Humanities Programming Division. It is supported in part by the City of Kansas City, Missouri Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund.

logo for KCMO Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund 

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