Family and our community shape the way we see the present reality.
Whether it’s pride, character, the impact of endurance through the ages, or the desire to look forward to better opportunities, how do we handle the memories and encounters we make?
It is with the goal of answering this and focusing on these women of the shadows as heroes, that artist Helina Metaferia presents « Generations » at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from November 06, 2021 to April 03, 2022.
Helina Metaferia, while using collage, video, and installation to investigate how acquired wounds inform today’s encounters exploits oral histories and institutional chronicles of Black freedom ephemera to highlight the ways in which activists, particularly women of color can, and always have, made a significant impact on the future.
The artist consciously includes communities as associates in her practice, asking them to share their transformations, the ways in which they explore and arrange a world that tries to stand in their way.
Their responses are manifested in her work through media that explore how we carry on the traditions of our elders, the connections we find with our peers, and the many ways these connections advise and shape our worlds.
« Generations » is an essential exhibition that runs through April 03, 2022 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Who is Helina Metaferia?
Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist who works through performance, video, installation and social engagement. Through a mix of mediums, she tells untold stories that compose bodies in frames of strength and weakness.
Helina Metaferia regularly uses her own body as a medium in her creation, as well as those of members of her community. She is interested in how documentation and relics protect the art without the artist, expanding the existence of the work beyond the ephemeral minutes and becoming the art itself.
As an Ethiopian-American, her work draws on the sensibilities of traditional African art, where visual art and custom frequently intersect, and where objects are imbued with an encounter or taste that can give them meaning. It also draws on composed and oral documents, writing, dialogical work, and real and tactile encounters.
Helina Metaferia investigates complex narratives of organized and foundational abuse, and questions their impact on our own encounters and relational connections.
Her work ranges from examining the predispositions in art norms that support fantasies of Western male excellence, to protecting the ignored work of women activists, to reconsidering thoughts of citizenship corresponding to forced migration, and the sky is the limit from there. In this difficult political environment, where people of color continue to fight for rights and women stand valiantly against sexual savagery, her work attempts to accommodate complex logical inconsistencies.
Helina Metaferia received her MFA from Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.
She has had various exhibitions at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, The Gallatin Galleries at New York University, Smack Mellon of Brooklyn, Modern Art Museum Gebre Kristos Desta Center in Addis Ababa, and many other venues.
She has also participated in numerous art residencies including MacDowell, Yaddo, Bemis, MASS MoCA and Triangle Arts Association.
Her work has been included in publications such as Hyperallergic, Artnet News, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle and is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow and then Assistant Professor at Brown University.