Rianna Jade Parker and Jessica Lynne
Research as Practice
Géza, 306 Maujer
Our Spring 2022 Studio & Research resident Rianna Jade Parker brings together a collection of materials, from books, magazines, photographs, prints, posters, to video essays. Amidst this curated display of material and artistic references, Rianna talks about research as practice with New York-based writer Jessica Lynne.
Rianna’s practice-based research is informed by original principal questions and concerns in relation to Black feminist thought, Black/Caribbean studies, and underwritten art histories. Her investigations are exploratory and embedded in a creative practice that is as integral as the traditional scholarship undertaken. Through rigorous analysis of archival and primary sources, Rianna contests and concurs with canonical accounts to acknowledge the significant gaps in our knowledge of Black cultural production.
Typically, Rianna demonstrates her findings and makings in a direct and intimate sphere for critical reflection through artistic outcomes such as moving images, photography, digital media, printed matter, and exhibitions. Over the last five years, her self-initiated practice has been sustained, at times with and without: widened access to depositories/archives, support for independent workers and a small but dedicated circle of peers.
This event is part of our For Your Reference series. It is free and open to all, but prior registration is recommended.
Still image of Us an’ Dem (2021), dir. Rianna Jade Parker, ed. Daniel Amoakoh, 13 min., English, Photo credit: Mark Blower
Us an’ Dem (2021), a nine-screen video installation by Rianna Jade Parker links journalistic moving images of protest and civil unrest with the sharp voices and fresh faces of those whose resistance was so maligned in Black Briton. The video, spanning 1981 to 1988, opens outside of Cherry Groce’s home in Brixton the morning after her shooting and closes with Stafford Scott calling for collective action following the Broadwater Farm Uprising. This video-essay is part of an ongoing research project but was specifically made for the ICA London’s War Inna Babylon: The Community’s Search for Truths & Rights in 2021, which she co-curated in 2021. War Inna Babylon was created for a general audience and is one of the most successful exhibitions in the ICA’s 75-year history, more than doubling daily attendance records.
Jessica Lynne is a writer and art critic. She is a founding editor of ARTS.BLACK, an online journal of art criticism from Black perspectives. Her writing has been featured in publications such as Artforum, The Believer, Frieze, The Nation, Oxford American, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2020 Research and Development award from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and a 2020 Arts Writer Grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation.
Jessica is a student in the MFA Writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. She is slowly at work on an essay collection about love, faith, and the U.S. South.