FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Davenport, Iowa (October 19, 2020) – What part of yourself must you hide or bury for another to survive? This question is at the core of the exhibition T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris opening at the Figge Art Museum on Saturday, October 24.
T.J. Dedeaux-Norris (pronouns they/them) is an artist, academic, daughter and partner who uses their art practice to explore performative identity. In their works Norris adopts different personas, such as Black academic artist Tameka Jenean Norris and pop culture-appropriating music artist Meka Jean. The distinction between artist and persona is frequently blurred in the resulting artworks, which are simultaneously autobiographic and dramatized.
In this exhibition, Dedeaux-Norris honors their recently deceased artistic persona Tameka Jenean Norris (pronouns she/her) by mounting a retrospective comprising of the persona’s estate. Tameka’s entire body of work will be on view, including fabric assemblage paintings, videos, music, photography, soft sculpture, site specific drawings and works on paper. Ephemera chronicling Tameka’s life and the legal documents preserving the estate will also be on display.
Nearly two decades into their artistic practice, Dedeaux-Norris unpacks the formation of their identity, unraveling their artistic legacy. Within the art world, academia, and their personal relationships, Dedeaux-Norris has responded to the prejudices found in these realms out of necessity and as a strategic choice. Through this persona and presentation, Dedeaux-Norris demonstrates how they have navigated layers of race, gender, and class-based perceptions throughout their life. The result is that for Dedeaux-Norris, the personal is not only political, the personal is performed.
“Norris’s artwork is a timely and poignant investigation of identity, prejudice, and personal legacy at a time when these concepts are at the forefront of many of our minds,” says the exhibition’s curator, Figge Assistant Registrar Joshua Johnson. “We are honored to be hosting this exhibition at the Figge and are excited to participate in the conversations these works provoke.”
T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris includes explicit content and will be on view in the third-floor gallery through January 31, 2021.
About T.J. Dedeaux-Norris:
TJ Dedeaux-Norris received their undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, before graduating with an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2012. Norris has participated in numerous exhibitions, including at Prospect.3 Biennial, New Orleans, LA; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX; and The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY; among many others. Norris has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Fountainhead Residency, Grant Wood Colony Fellowship, and The MacDowell Colony. Norris is the 2017 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and 2019 Pollock-Krasner Grant and is currently a tenure track Assistant Professor at University of Iowa.
Virtual Artist Talk: T.J. Dedeaux-Norris
Thursday, October 22, 6:30 p.m. CT
Join artist T.J. Dedeaux-Norris as they discuss T.J. Dedeaux-Norris presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris. This online program is free but advanced registration is required at www.figgeartmuseum.org.
Virtual Scholar Talk: David Bright, JD, in conversation with T.J. Dedeaux-Norris
Thursday, October 29, 6:30 p.m. CT
Join attorney David Bright and artist T.J. Dedeaux-Norris as they discuss estate planning for artists and other legal issues facing artists. This program will also explore the legal efforts taken to preserve the artistic legacy and estate of Tameka Jenean Norris. This online program is free but advanced registration is required at www.figgeartmuseum.org.
Virtual Panel Discussion: Queering Chronologies, Archiving Identities: A Conversation
Thursday, January 28, 6:30 p.m. CT
T.J. Dedeaux-Norris’s practice has recently examined the act and art of archiving and estate building and its implications for a queer, Black, woman artist navigating academia and the artworld. What agency does archiving provide? How is identity stitched together through materiality? If the body and identity are fluid, where are the past, present, and future situated? To explore, Dedeaux-Norris will be joined by two mid-Atlantic-based scholars and archivists whose work is centered on the Black, queer experience: Mel Lewis, PhD, Chair, Humanistic Studies at MICA and Associate Professor of Black/Ethnic Studies & Gender/Sexuality Studies at Maryland Institute College of Art, and Kerrie Cotten Williams, Manager of Special Collections at DC Public Library. This online program is free but advanced registration is required at www.figgeartmuseum.org.
Artist Performance: A Eulogy for Tameka Jenean Norris
Sunday January 31, 6:30 p.m. CT
Join us for the virtual video release of Artist T.J. Norris’s performative “funeral" for recently deceased artistic persona Tameka Jenean Norris. This online program is free but advanced registration is required at www.figgeartmuseum.org.
About the Figge Art Museum:
The Figge Art Museum is dedicated to transforming our community through the power of art by bringing art and people together. Located on the Mississippi River in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street, the Figge is the premier art exhibition and education facility between Chicago and Des Moines. Its landmark glass building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, is home to one of the Midwest’s finest art collections and hosts world-class traveling exhibitions, art classes, lectures, and special events that attract visitors of all ages. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursdays; and 12-5 p.m. on Sundays. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made at www.figgeartmuseum.org or bycalling 563-345-6632. Reservation times are available at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday; Thursdays there is also a 5:30 p.m. slot available for all. The 10 a.m. reservation period Tuesday-Friday will be reserved for those who are high-risk visitors. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and students with ID and $4 children ages 4- 12. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members and to all on Thursday evenings. The Figge Café is open for lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit www.figgeartmuseum.org.