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Artist Talk with Kiyan Williams

Artist Kiyan Williams will join Hirshhorn associate curator Anne Reeve to discuss their multidisciplinary practice navigating the relationship between Blackness, trans/gressive subjectivities, and ecology.

Recently completing their MFA at Columbia University, Williams embodies performance as a form of activism. Their early performative interventions took place on the streets of Bushwick and Harlem and used spoken word to call attention to people who have been marginalized or abandoned by society. Since then, Williams has developed an artistic practice that traverses between sculpture, performance, and video, and often uses soil as a primary material. According to Williams, soil resonates strongly in their practice due to its dual connotations of abject filth and generative abundance and the common use of dirt to denote class and race and to “pathologize and police Black bodies, queer bodies, poor folks, and bodies that deviate from normative constructs of identity.”

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