Closing Reception: Friday, April 27 from 6pm to 8pm
Gallery 102 presents A Transnational Struggle: Truths and Transitions. The MFA Thesis Show by Laylaa Randera explores how protest movements form and deteriorate, how the culture of resistance spreads across nations, how participants, activists, and advocates interact and respond through gesture and expression, as well as how the opposite—censoring, disenfranchisement, exploitation, commodification—is signified and negotiated over history. I am interested in the many parallels between the political and social landscapes of South Africa and the USA as a catalyst for a transnational dialogue. I draw on an archive of images as well as my own photographs. By using everyday materials such as cardboard to replicate canonical high-brow artwork, repurposing the triptych form, I relocate the subject’s place in history. Working with cardboard makes me think about the degradation of things. The themes of memory and remembrance become essential to the trajectory of culture, and the uncertainty of how long it will last. These materials also allude to the “DIY”, immediate, and urgent creation of protest apparatus. I am interested in the way the archive, myth, iconography and symbolism reoccur in protest movements, and the transnational dialogue that has developed through gestures, settings, faces, figures, and actions.
Laylaa Randera looks at the immediate urgency of current political and social issues while reflecting on transnational histories. She is interested in the way the archive, myth, iconography and symbolism relate to the contemporary world. As a photographer, she turns her lens on the unseen side, explores the notions of visibility and invisibility, and tropes of gender and race. She aims to subvert and obscure the “status quo”. Her image-making process has expanded from primarily social documentary photography to include abstraction, diaristic photography, and multimedia artworks. Although her themes and subject matter are diverse, her focus is largely geared towards contemporary social disturbances—from protests and rallies to underground music events. She participates in groups that are part of her direct environment, and creates visual conduits to conversation. Also, being native to South Africa, she looks for ways to bring its social climate into a global dialogue.
- Monday through Friday: 9am to 5pm
Gallery 102 is located at 801 22nd St. NW.