Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

Interdisciplinary visual artist, performer and writer, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle’s current body of work “The Uninvited” focuses on re-constructing the narratives that took place within late 19th century and early 20th century West African ethnographic photography taken mainly by French colonialist. The photo documentation and, sometimes exploitive constructions were mass produced on postcards and carte-de-vistes and distributed globally. She uses the metaphor of disease as a mediation on colonialism and postcolonialism interpreted through poetically drawing the act of a virus entering the body in question and rendering the body as a host, in which several mutations occur for the survival of the virus. She links this relationship to the French occupation of Africa and the black female body as a charted territory. Through manipulating the scale of the images and creating interventions with drawing and painting on top of the photos, Hinkle interrogates the power dynamics between the gaze, the subject and the viewer through a term that she has coined: “The Historical Present.” This term is a means to navigate the residue of history through examining the exotification, and the perception of the black female body when taken out of context through the view of the Other.

Hinkle was born in the West End of Louisville, KY in 1987. She is a descendant of Kentifrica and is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She received a dual MFA in Art and Critical Studies/Creative Writing from the California Institute of the Arts and her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Painting. Hinkle was the youngest artist to participate in the Made in LA 2012 Biennial and has performed and presented her work at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA, Project Row Houses in Houston, TX, and The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York.

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