Mo Apiafo by Rita Mawuena Benissan
(Sub)urbia by Conley Clark
March 11 – May 1
ALL Prize Artist Talk: Thursday, April 1, 5pm, live on Facebook
Location: Arts + Literature Laboratory, during limited hours from 12-5pm Thursday through Saturday or by appointment, 111 S Livingston St Suite 100, Madison, WI
Mo Apiafo by Rita Mawuena Benissan is a photography and installation based exhibition that explores aspects of the artist’s Ghanian-American background. Using narrative photography, Benissan utilizes imagery taken in Ghana to reinterpret the royal umbrella, a symbol of hierarchy of chieftancy in the country. The umbrellas are used to protect and shade the King, Chiefs, and Queenmothers. Benissan contradicts the monarchy and colonialist ideology that they stand for by using what she terms her “Black Aesthetic.” Benissan stages her umbrellas alongside images of everyday working people, reclaiming the power associated with the symbol.
(Sub)urbia by Conley Clark is a multimedia, installation-based exhibition that draws upon the artist’s personal experiences to question the unspoken suppositions and expectations of gender-conformity within a society. Considering its underlying tensions and fraught history, Clark combines plaster casts, AstroTurf, video, sound, and various found objects to embellish the landscape of the suburbs with queerly-coded visuals. In this way, prevalent imaginaries of stereotypical suburban life are disrupted by an uncanny representation of the same thing.
The annual ALL Prize exhibition is awarded to one or two graduating MFA candidates from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, selected by curators on the ALL Visual Arts Team. The prizewinner’s MFA thesis exhibition will be shown at ALL, and receive a $1,000 stipend to assist with exhibition expenses and installation provided by the Art Department.
A local Madison community-driven contemporary non-profit arts organization, the ALL provides the visual, literary, music and performing arts that presents over 200 events per year, mostly free or low-cost, and year-round arts education for all ages, working to make the arts more accessible and sustainable in our community.