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In this installation, Meleko Mokgosi examines formal and informal acts of resistance, placing equal emphasis on both. He defines resistance as any instance where a subject refuses to give in to the oppression of her spirit. While formal resistance takes aim at the state and institutional forces, informal resistance encompasses everyday acts, both conscious and unconscious.
Mokgosi’s paintings confront the politics and histories of representation. From a Eurocentric vantage point, black figures are almost always interpreted as representing difference. But in Acts of Resistance, Mokgosi compels viewers to give his subjects more complex consideration. Their beautiful attributes, emotional bearing, interrelationships and geographic contexts push away generalizing categories and marginalizing reactions.
Born in Francistown, Botswana, Mokgosi is an artist, assistant professor of practice at New York University, and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program. He took his BA from Williams College in 2007, participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s independent study program, and earned an MFA at UCLA’s Interdisciplinary Studio.
Admission is free. The gallery, located in William Rolland Stadium, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Image: Graase-Mans, Panel 3, by Meleko Mokgosi. Courtesy of Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.