Works Gallery
Artist Information

Tosha Stimage

“I am fascinated by the negotiation of historical and present black existence and it’s mediation thru symbols. Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, describes blackness as ‘irresolvable abjection’, and suggests that we navigate this space of blackness and death not by trying to define them but rather to live being cognizant. This show grapples with themes of death, violence, color, nation, and citizenship in a suggestive manner. These objects give voice to a collective social reality, question the shared relationship to space, and reveal the problematic breakdown in their attempts to coexist.” – Tosha Stimage

Columbus, Ohio-based artist Tosha Stimage uses a rich symbology to explore themes surrounding the ways in which language often falls short, and how this relates to our concepts of race, history, and self-identification. The exhibition’s title, ‘A’ and ‘Op’ Position to Nation functions much like Tosha’s visual works, with a fluidity in meanings based on the relationships of one thing to another, and the larger effects and significances this shares within our histories and present state of reckoning. Stimage’s impactful exhibition hinges on larger questions of belonging: who does and who doesn’t, how we build meaning and gravity through context as it relates to color and thereby race, and how the pitfalls of language serve to narrow our experiences and understandings not just of one another but ourselves.

Sitting quietly on glossy black shelves affixed to the wall are 8 translucent black glass heads, a monumental wall-painting sits on an opposite wall consisting of a google image search of Moor’s heads floating adjacent. What began for the artist as a simple search on ebay for “black heads” resulted in a deep dive through algorithmic logic and the ways in which it’s defined by and defines our cultural rationale and approximations. The combination of readymade glass mannequin heads and disembodied Moor’s heads floating on crests and flags of European countries strikes an immediate yet unforeseen connection, speaking to a long history of the black body’s depiction, exoticization and malleability throughout European cultures and beyond. The gnashing jaw of a German Shepherd adorns a circular canvas on the opposite wall, with the stark text “Beware”–the aggressive yet simplistic ambiguity hinting to a perpetual state of caution and potential danger.