(Never) As I Was

Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2020–21

Widline Cadet. Jiskaske Enfinite Vini Nan Yon Fen (Until Infinity Comes To An End). 2021. Archival Inkjet Print, Artist Frame, 32 × 40". Courtesy the artist

(Never) As I Was marks the third year of the multiyear partnership between The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1, featuring new work by the 2020–21 artist in residence cohort: Widline Cadet (b. 1992, Pétion-Ville, Haiti), Texas Isaiah (b. Brooklyn, NY), Genesis Jerez (b. 1993, Bronx, NY), and Jacolby Satterwhite (b. 1986, Columbia, South Carolina).

In response to the seismic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time in the Museum’s history the artists participated entirely remotely for the duration of the residency. With practices spanning new media, painting, sculpture, and photography these artists propose dynamic ways of experiencing time, space, and locality set into this current moment of complex transformation.

Widline Cadet’s photo and video work examines intergenerational memory, selfhood, and erasure within the diasporic experience. Texas Isaiah offers a space for mourning, celebration, prayer, and remembrance, asserting the significance of imagination in the abolition of gender while exploring the healing capacity of rest as a place of connection. Genesis Jerez’s collaged paintings layer family photographs, oil paint, and charcoal to create works that interrogate her own personal histories and reckon with questions of diasporic fracture. Jacolby Satterwhite’s multidimensional installation sees the artist’s return to painting, engaging fantasy and surrealism as a coping mechanism for healing and flaying open an existential psychic space for imagining transcendent futures. With communication deeply mediated by the digital, each artist took on the challenge of recharting the territories of domestic, social, and studio space. The outcomes are tender and lyrical explorations of family histories, memoir, spirituality, and memory. In reflecting on their private pasts, these artists have created works that look toward what collectively lies ahead, to a world that is at once achingly the same and never as it was.

(Never) As I Was is organized by Legacy Russell, former Associate Curator, Exhibitions, The Studio Museum in Harlem (now Executive Director & Chief Curator, The Kitchen), with Yelena Keller, Curatorial Assistant, Exhibitions, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and Jody Graf, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1. Exhibition research is provided by Angelique Rosales Salgado, former The Studio Museum in Harlem and MoMA Curatorial Fellow, and Elana Bridges, former Mellon Curatorial Fellow, The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Support for (Never) as I Was at MoMA PS1 is generously provided by the Tom Slaughter Exhibition Fund and the MoMA PS1 Trustee Annual Fund.

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Artist-in-Residence program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; Joy of Giving Something; New York State Council on the Arts; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; and by endowments established by the Andrea Frank Foundation; the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Trust and Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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