Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle

Occidental College's 2017/18 Wanlass Artist in Residence: Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is an interdisciplinary visual artist, writer and performer. Her practice fluctuates between collaborations and participatory projects with alternative gallery spaces within various communities to projects that are intimate and based upon her private experiences in relationship to historical events and contexts. A term that has become a mantra for her practice is the "Historical Present," as she examines the residue of history and how it affects our contemporary world perspective. Hinkle received her MFA in Art & Critical Studies Creative Writing from CalArts and BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Her work and experimental writing has been exhibited and performed Fore at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, Project Row Houses in Houston, TX, The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA and The Museum of Art at The University of New Hampshire. Hinkle was the youngest artist to participate in the multi-generational biennial Made in LA 2012. Hinkle’s work has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Artforum, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Hinkle was listed on The Huffington Post’s Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know. She is also the recipient of several fellowships and grants including: The Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award, The Cultural Center for Innovation’s Investing in Artists Grant, Social Practice in Art (SPart-LA), and The Jacob K. Javits Full Fellowship for Graduate Study. Hinkle is a recent alumna of the US Fulbright Program in which she conducted research at the University of Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria.

Course: Art Outside the Bounds (ARTS290)

This fall, Visual Artist, Writer and Performer Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle will be teaching Art Outside the Bounds: Wanlass Artist in Residence (ARTS290). The emphasis of the course will surround the theme of the Historical Present – the residue of history and how it affects our contemporary world perspective. Work will include collaborating with the artist on her long-running and multi-layered educational and research project: Kentifrica.

Many people do not know that Kentifrica exists, or even refute its existence, while some are fascinated by this unknown continent and have devoted their lives to researching its culture and inhabitants. Both a physical and theoretical space, Kentifrica is a geography/continent of collective creation, and is constantly shifting and open to various forms of interpretation. Through re-creating artifacts, sharing narratives and customs, and research activities, students will work collaboratively with the artist to build upon and reconstruct a Kentifrican identity that invites a critical engagement with the intersections of collective vs. personal histories, Diaspora, migration, immigration, cross-culturalism and issues of geography.

Through the class, students will shape and express their own consciousness in lieu of interpretations that have already been shaped and defined for them. This is a rare opportunity to collaborate with a renowned artist in the creation of an artistic nation.

Spring Exhibition| Kentifrications: Convergent Truth(s) and Realities 

February 8 - March 11

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 8 from 5-8pm in the Weingart Gallery

Wanlass Artist in Residence Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle will present work from her long term Kentifrica Project in the Weingart Gallery from February 8th- March 11th, in which she will continue to explore convergent histories, truth(s), imaginings and interrogations. For the duration of the show the Weingart Gallery will be turned into a Kentifrican study and research room in which visitors can have tea, research the Kentifrican archives, read books related to Kentifrica, and view Kentifrican objects and items from the College's Special Collections. Inspired by the artist's Art Outside the Bounds field trip to The Museum of Jurassic Technology in fall 2017 and extensive conversations about amassed personal archives from prompts pertaining to personal narratives and images that haunted, challenged and provoked students, this exhibition implements interrupting the aesthetic of the didactic as a colonial tool of codifying.

Interested in the books featured in the exhibtion? Click here to view the comprehensive reading list!

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Kathryn Caine Wanlass Charitable Foundation.

Download directions to the Weingart Gallery.

Public Event: Opening Reception | Oxy Arts and the Center for Digital Liberal Arts present: "New" World(s)

Thursday| December 7, 5-8pm reception on the Academic Commons Patio. Free & open to the Public. 

Convergent histories, truth(s), imaginings and interrogations. Wanlass Artist in Residence Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and students from ARTS290: Art Outside the Bounds collaborated with media artist Keith Skretch for the inaugural Ettinger Projected Poetry and Art Project: “New" World(s), which activates the south-facing wall of Herrick Chapel with video projection throughout reading days and finals of the fall 2017 semester. Students conducted research at Special Collections at Occidental College and amassed personal archives from prompts pertaining to personal narratives and images that haunted, challenged and provoked them. Students implemented interrupting the aesthetic of the didactic as a colonial tool of codifying. They also interviewed one another, and the residue of these questions and answers flicker in and out of the imagery. The context of the questions were formed by what roles we play within our family histories, how we absorb information as forms of truth and what does it mean to be an instrument of interruption, remixing, and restructuring narratives and historical and contemporary storytelling. Utilizing found imagery, objects and images from Herrick Chapel, these investigations weave in and out of one another, reminiscent of collage or a palimpsest of multiple interrogations and considerations of the truth. 

Click here for directions to the South Wall of Herrick Chapel. 

Public Event: Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: Navigating Ain'tness: Exploring the Kentifrica Archive

Wednesday| October 25, 6-7:30pm workshop followed by a reception. RSVP strongly encouraged, but not required. 

The Kentifrican proverb “Looking Where it Ain’t" serves as the basis for this performative lecture by Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle. Passed down to the artist by her great-great-uncle, the saying suggests that “things we are looking for can be found in the last place that we would expect them to be." These places where we refuse to look are continually determined by our own biases and fidelity to constructions of historical “truth." For the artist, Kentifrica has not only become a physical and theoretical place that blurs reality and fiction, but it also exemplifies an experimental practice of a collectively authored revisionist approach to historical issues in the present day. Conversations about perception, violence, and the authorship of history and power are overarching and timely themes, considering current events involving the black body and the forces outside of its control.

Click here for directions to the JSC Bengal Room. 

The Ettinger Projected Poetry and Art Project is made possible by the generous support of Jane and Bob Ettinger.

For more information about Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, visit her website.

Past Wanlass Artists in Residence recipients include Rafa EsparzaLiz CollinsLucky Dragons, and CamLab.