We Do Not Spring Up From Nothing 05/30/19

Opening Reception Thursday May 30 6-8pm

Artists Matt Scheffler and Makeda Flood.
Curated by Masha Bychkov and Jack Douglas

The work in this exhibition explores the intersection of family history and personal experience as photographers Makeda Flood and Matt Scheffler address how their ancestry informs their own perception of self.Makeda Flood’s work delves into the double consciousness of biracial identity. As a means to construct her own personal history, she unearths an extensive archive of her mother’s familial records while reconciling with a severe lack thereof on her father’s side. Applying a range of media, she does not depict a linear view of history, but a view of multiple interwoven timelines. Collaging her mother’s family portraits with her owncontemporary photographs and writing, Flood creates a new narrative. Meanwhile, Flood’s film “ Ifa Makeda Selassie,” documents her visit to her grandmother on her father’s side. She takes it upon herself to create her own archives and photographic representations, closing the gap between both sides of her identity.Scheffler’s photographs document a motherland foreign to him. During his 2018 trip, he experienced China as both a visitor and a native, having never returned since his adoption as an infant. Scheffler captures photos that teeter on the edge of being tourtistic, while simultaneously taking snapshots that would notfeel out of place in a family photo album; they are all seeped in a distant nostalgia, especially his images of children and families. Scheffler is not only perceiving a new place, but also projecting himself into a life that could have been. As Liam Callanan aptly put it “we all carry inside us, [the] people who came before us.”It is the inherited stories from our parents, grandparents, and ancestors that help shape the narratives that compose our identities. And yet, these narratives are incomplete..While Flood and Scheffler carry within them the people who came before, their histories are their own.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Queens Council on the Arts