FOUR-D Presents Brittany Tucker: Studied
In keeping with its commitment to showcasing emerging multidisciplinary artists, FOUR-D will host a solo presentation by Brittany Tucker, an artist and writer from New York City, and a recent Bard College graduate.
In two murals, Tucker depicts herself dancing. Ostensibly a depiction of the psychically fraught space of the school dance, the formal differences between Tucker’s self-depiction and that of her partner turns the image in an even more complex emotional direction. Where Tucker is painted in realistic grayscale, she grinds, poses with, and rests in the arms of a cartoonishly rendered white man, outlined in black. Tucker is vulnerable around the cartoon, one painting depicting Tucker with her arms wrapped around the figure, obscuring her face in the action of a tender kiss on his neck. Tucker questions the ways in which she has found herself in bed with whiteness, writing in her poem “America Set Me Up” that “I’m never gon be right because of that/ And I’m fucking you cause of the book list”. In so sketching this relation of difference, Tucker reverses the iconography of the minstrel show, with its reduction of blackness to a limited cast of hideous caricatures, switching the terms of what previously constituted as
“real” (the white experience) and “fake” (the black body).
In using achromatic color, the color of newsprint, of an old photograph, Tucker inscribes herself in history. She become a fact, while the white man becomes the empty figure of stereotype. While Tucker reduces whiteness, she also discloses her intimate relationship to it, writing in the statement that accompanies this project that, “Slavery in America began in 1619, it’s four hundred years later and I’m in love but it’s hard to forgive you. You didn’t do anything. Yet you benefit. Yet I wade through it. I was taught but I could’ve been told, I could’ve been told or I could’ve remembered. I could have lived and died in it but I was taught instead. It’s complicated. But I love you. I love you three-fifths. It’s a compromise.”