Tiona Nekkia McClodden, an artist and curator, has looked critically at intersections of race, gender, sexuality and social commentary through an interdisciplinary practice that includes documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installation, over the last two decades. McClodden is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them the 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and the 2016 Pew Fellowship in the Arts in Philadelphia. She has exhibited her work at many venues internationally, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the Whitney Museum of American Art, MOCA LA, MCA Chicago, MOMA PS1, the Kansai Queer Film Festival in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan, and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. She was one of six American artists selected by CFC Media Lab, the National Film Board of Canada, and JustFilms/Ford Foundation for the inaugural “Open Immersion” project, fostering experiments with virtual reality storytelling around questions of inclusion and racial and social justice.
McClodden’s research at Bard College will continue her ongoing exploration of key black artists, the poets Essex Hemphill and Brad Johnson, and the composer Julius Eastman, all of whom produced influential but presently understudied works at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Her extensive notes, audio interviews, and ephemera on these artists, gathered amidst the absence of official archives or estates, will lead to a publication on their work.
McClodden is the curator of the exhibitions A Recollection and Predicated, both featured within Julius Eastman: That Which is Fundamental, shown in Philadelphia in May 2017 and in 2018 at The Kitchen in New York, where the black, gay minimalist composer and performer appeared many times before the end of his life. Her current performance installation, CLUB, explores what she calls “the liminal potential of night clubs, their ability to temporarily dissolve rules that govern our everyday lives and allow people from different backgrounds to interact more freely.” It ran from May 3-26 at Performance Space 122 in Manhattan, the space in which Keith Haring had his first studio exhibition.
McClodden will take up her one-year appointment in September 2018, and spend the spring semester of 2019 teaching at the College.