Derrick Woods-Morrow (b. 1990 from Brown Summit, NC, lives and works in Chicago, IL) utilizes childhood narratives to connect past experiences of growing up in the American South with present methods of envisioning ‘playfulness’ & ‘restoration’ as necessary considerations for seeing bodies, like and unlike his own, renewed. His work explores an array of Eastern & Gulf Coast historical narratives, celebrating, and archiving interactions between, bodies, ideologies & their connection to the land. Through fluidly choreographed movement black queer bodies ‘inhabit’ his sculptures, developing methods for experiencing a new American terrain, one that is playful and forgiving.
His work is a meditation on deviation and disruption. Currently based in Chicago his artistic practice deploys a wide variety of media – photography and film/video, ceramics, and narrative performance. Exploring modes of representation, he salvages, displaces, and removes raw material from sites of historical significance and trauma, reimagines their future purpose and denies their perceived function, as he actively interrogates the correlation between labor & play, land & sea. A recipient of the 2018 Artadia Award, Derrick received his MFA in Photography from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2016, and was most recently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Photography and Teaching Artist at the University of Illinois Chicago. He has screened films at the Art Institute of Chicago & the Chicago Cultural Center. Recently his work has exhibited in collaboration with Paul Sepuya in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; at YNCI V: Detroit Art Week Expo (curated by Darryl Terrell); in Photography Now at The Center for Photography at Woodstock; and Down Time: On the Art of Retreat at the Smart Museum Chicago (curated by Leslie Wilson and Berit Ness).
Exhibitions at Aspect/Ratio:
Thanks for not breeding (from a two-person exhibition with Laura Davis), installation image
Platform for Acts of Boyhood Divination, 2019, birch, oak, and walnut wood, sand from Rainbow Beach, 'Restoration Toile': ink on upholstered linen and metal, 96 x 96 x 48 inches, 244 x 244 x 122 cm
Hannah & Eva | the distance between shore and sea, 2019, mounted & framed photograph, black and brown hair, shells from Seabrook, 'Restoration Toile': ink on upholstered linen in a wooden frame, 40 x 60 inches, 102 x 152 cm, unique
Sula (before Chicken Little) and after 'Shadrack', 2019, 19th C. Parian ware, Jim Crow era porcelain, North Carolina playground slip, Mississippi River slip (New Orleans), North Carolina Soil Deposit, and modified glazes, 8 x 8 x 3 inches, 20 x 20 x 13 cm
Excerpts from Acts of Boyhood Divination: Negation of Sight (Photographic Documentation of 2-hour durational performance on Lincoln Beach), 2019, piezo pigment print, 60 x 40 inches, 152 x 102 cm, edition of 4 & 2 AP
Lynell in Sand Trap II (Audubon Park), 2019, piezo pigment print, 40 x 26 inches, 102 x 66 cm, edition of 4 & 2 AP
Frederick on Lake Ponshartrain | after Lincoln Beach, 2019, piezo pigment print, 40 x 30 inches, 102 x 76 cm, edition of 4 & 2 AP
In Progress, stills from performance at MCA Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, April, 2019
Kendra at nightfall | facing Seabrook, 2019, piezo pigment print, 40 x 27 inches, 102 x 69 cm, edition of 4 & 2 AP
Pieces of Eight | from a half full Box of 64, 2018, Ceramic: Sand sourced from Fire Island’s Meat Rack, 8 Century old hand-built Chicago Common bricks salvaged from the George Washington Monument (circa 1904), and modified commercial glazes, dimensions variable, edition of 3
The Roach is Coming, 2018, still from single channel HD video, 15:01 min. TRT, edition of 4 & 2 AP, click here for preview
The closed bend in the Meat Rack @ Sundown, 2017, Ceramic, modified glazes & sand from Fire Island, 18 x 8 x 7 inches, 46 x 20 x 18 cm
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