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Chelsea Emuakhagbon, Theresa Newsome, Allison Hunter, and Abbey Hepner

Four Sight


April 1, 2021 - April 4, 2021 (at Paradice Palase)

April 1, 2021 - June 30, 2021 (virtual)

Office Space and Paradice Palase are pleased to announce the group show entitled Four Sight which includes four innovative womxn photographers: Chelsea Emuakhagbon, Theresa Newsome, Allison Hunter, and Abbey Hepner. All of the artists analyze the ontology and syncretism of the feminist photographic archive during an era marked by the legacy of the Black Lives Matter and the #Me Too social and political movements in an era of cultural unrest in the United States.

Emuakhagbon’s brilliantly conceptual black and white documentary photographs show the intersection between African, particularly from Nigerian culture, human bodies and Japanese architectural and craft techniques within the seigaiha pattern. Often found on kimonos and fabrics, the seigaiha pattern symbolizes both good luck and resilience against the harsh elements of life. The photographer utilizes this pattern as a backdrop as well as sculptural element within the works themselves to connote the Black survival strategy in a polarized world marred by the increased police brutality against BIPOC communities and the growing anti-Blackness within mainstream American politics. Emaukhagbon analyzes also the hybridity of African and Asian cultures within multiple cultural intersections such as fashion and philosophical ideology such as RZA’s fascination with Buddhist practices as mentioned within Wu-Tang Clan lyrics or the bold genetic identity combinations influenced by 1970’s radical leftist African and Asian politics within Octavia Butler’s novels. Emuakhagbon’s subtle portrayal of this hybridization between West and East tests the viewers’ ability to look very closely, to recognize that figure and ground have a democratic relationship with one another.

Newsome’s reinvention of the visual encyclopedia as codified by the earlier incarnation of Gerhard Richter’s Atlas focalizes on the photographic archive as a critique and trace which looks at an alchemy of seemingly ordinary objects associated with fatal incidents of police and racist brutality of Black Americans. Just as the burning crosses of the Ku Klux Klan have become anti-talismans for asserting white supremacy, the artist’s collection of objects, such as a 20 dollar bill found with George Floyd’s body which provide the police and the American military-industrial complex their unchecked justification for their countless murders of innocent African-American folx, have become both dangerous as memento mori for a collective body of suffering. The artist’s documentations of these deceptively innocent artifacts demonstrate the stark contrast between the perception of the environment by Blacks versus the viewpoint by non-Blacks. After all, why should the police be justified in pulling out guns on a Black male holding just a pill bottle? Newsome also points out the deficiencies with the artificial intelligence of current surveillance systems; her list of these objects behave as a dataset of commonplace threats to Black folx that point out the utter absurdity of these increasingly violent confrontations between oppressive authorities and the ordinary Black people surviving to thrive in a hostile milieu. Just as predominantly white-owned defense systems have surveillance systems that target minorities, the Black ontology that surveils the white-controlled judicial system provides a list of objects which act as stand-ins for grievances and markers of the oppressed.

Hunter’s perceptive and fascinating photographic installation combining elements from her examinations of feminist sleepwalking and stark floral arrangements that challenge notions about American ageism and sexual/beauty capital. Her complex installation superimposes a self-portrait where the liberated artist with her raised arms sleepwalks in clothes designed for younger womxn against a background of floral cuttings arranged in a minimalist array. Like a punk rock shaman dancing in vigorous passion, Hunter shows that the postmenopausal era can become a reinvented Age of Aquarius where personal nonconformity and body liberation punch against late stage capitalist advertising tropes of the older female. The photographer’s deconstruction of youthfulness as a concept demonstrates that age which is just a number does not correlate necessarily with the individual’s flow of energy; the viewer can see that the fashion industry combined with science fiction concepts of age and time point to a new paradigm where creativity is not tied down to the value of perceived labor measurements of the artist.

Finally, Hepner’s group of aerial photographs extracted from her Monument Plinth series is a feminist examination of the scientific archive and the nuclear industry complex within the United States landscape. Her depiction of the uranium disposal cells illustrate the growing threat of these radioactive sites during the Anthropocene era; the laser engraving technique that is combined with photographic traces creates a scarred and blackened tattoo upon the epidermis of both rural and urban landscapes shown in the images as well as the physical artworks themselves. For example, like the Kesh tribe within Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home, inhabitants who live near these checkpoints of communal danger perceive the alien as familiar and the tenuous boundary between life and death; one could envision the photographers in the air like Erich von Däniken’s fictional extraterrestrials who see these foreign intrusions as archeological blotches within verdant fields. Also Hepner’s exploration of the photographic and sculptural worlds becomes a scientific demonstration of how geological and manmade formations collapse one onto another like cascades of encyclopedias turning into crumbled dust. These land maps like Janus point backwards to the future and forward to the past of shared ecological timelines.

All of these four womxn photographers adhere to an individualized visual language while sharing a common vision of a more positive future during a fraught historical moment after the Trump era with its anti-progressive tactics where womxn’s rights were eroded. Whether it be Newsome’s sharply chiseled warnings about the disease of police brutality against the Black community or Hunter’s joyful celebration of a new, futuristic paradigm of personhood, the feminist photographic archive acts a counter ballast against the white privileged official annals that supports the fascism of traditional gender politics. Michel Foucault states in Confessions of the Flesh: The History of Sexuality, Volume 4 that “the life of individuals, in what it may have that’s private, quotidian, and singular, thus became an object, if not a takeover, at least of a concern and a vigilance that were doubtless unlike those of the Hellenistic city-states or those exercised by the first Christian communities.” With the looming threat of Christian Nationalism and alt-right philosophies within the domain of our mainstream political dialogue, the power of the photographic (and video which is photographic too) archive becomes a flashpoint of social contention and control. This group of powerful voices show the varied directions that the viewer can dismantle the lingering and damaging effects of patriarchy and white supremacy while pointing out the slim possibilities of the womxn-centric Utopia.

Chelsea Emuakhagbon is an artist living and working within the Dallas, TX area. Her work explores and uses conceptual ideas of home to trace lost and unknown histories of immigrant and migrant cultures. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States as well as at the 2020 Setouchi Triennale. Her work has received multiple awards and publications which include a spotlight in the Chicago Reader. She holds a BA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Theresa Newsome (b. 1993, Lancaster, Pennsylvania) is an interdisciplinary photographer whose work explores the concepts of racial identity, history, and gender. She explores significant instances of African American history and its underlying effects on contemporary black culture. Her work has been exhibited at 500x Gallery in Dallas, TX, multiple institutions throughout the United States, and has been featured in the 2019 FotoSeptiembre Photography Festival. Her research and work have been published in the 2018 edition of Focal Plane Magazine, Photo Emphasis, and Dallas Voyage Magazine. She is currently working as a fine arts photographer in San Antonio, TX.

Allison Hunter is a multi-media artist working primarily in video and photography, which she uses to uncover beauty in the everyday and to highlight marginalized subjects. Hunter attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (MFA 1997, Electronic Art) after graduating from the Ecole Cantonal d’Art de Lausanne, Switzerland (Diplôme, 1990, Drawing/Photography). She has won four Individual Artist Grants and a large-scale commission from the Houston Arts Alliance since 2006. Hunter had solo exhibitions at the North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh), Women & Their Work (Austin), DiverseWorks (Houston), and 511 Gallery, (NYC). Collections holding her work include the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Art Museum of the University of Albany, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston among others. Over her thirty-year career as an artist, She has participated in residencies such as the Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; Open-Air Art Museum, Pedvale, Latvia, and the Hermit Center for Metamedia, Plasy, Czech Republic, among others. Her recent participation in art residencies include the NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, New York (April – June 2019), the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont (July, 2018), The Ayatana Research Residency, Ontario, Canada (September, 2018), the Sculpture and New Media Residency at the School of Visual Arts, New York (June/July, 2017), and at La Porte Peinte Centre Pour les Arts, Noyers, France (December, 2017). From 2012 to 2020, Hunter was the Humanities Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Rice University where she taught courses on digital photography, experimental video, and video installation. She relocated from Houston, Texas to New York City as a full-time artist in 2021.

Abbey Hepner is an artist and educator interested in health, technology, and our relationship with place. She frequently works at the intersection of art and science, questioning systems of power and the use of health as a currency. Her practice ranges in execution from art intervention to performance, from coding to biological experimentation, but the artwork almost always lives in and through the photographic medium.

Hepner received degrees in Studio Art and Psychology from the University of Utah and her MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited widely in such venues as the Mt. Rokko International Photography Festival (Kobe, Japan), SITE Santa Fe, the University of Buffalo Art Galleries, Noorderlicht Photofestival (Groningen, Netherlands), and the Newspace Center for Photography (Portland, OR). Her work has been recently highlighted in Hyperallergic, Lenscratch, Ars Technica, Artillery Magazine, Aint-Bad Magazine, and Fraction Magazine. In the summer of 2018, she was an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. Hepner is a 2020 presenter for the Yuma Art Symposium and the Society for Photographic Education in Houston, Texas. She currently teaches at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as an Assistant Professor of Art and Area Head of Photography.



Chelsea Emuakhagbon, always on time (Bianca + Jr. in mama's home), 2018

c-print, 20” x 16”


Chelsea Emuakhagbon, home, at last (Cj in mama's home), 2019

c-print, 16” x 20”


Theresa Newsome, Breonna Taylor, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, Cornelius Fredricks, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, Darius Tarver, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, Eric Garner, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, George Floyd, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, Mike Brown, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, Rumain Brisbon, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, Tamir Rice, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, Atatiana Jefferson, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Theresa Newsome, Trayvon Martin, 2020

c-print, 12” x 12”


Allison Hunter, site-specific installation mockup, 2021


Abbey Hepner, Durango, Colorado, 2020

laser-engraved archival pigment print over black acrylic, edition of 5, 12” x 20”


Abbey Hepner, West Valley, New York, 2020

laser-engraved archival pigment print over black acrylic, edition of 5, 12” x 20”


Abbey Hepner, Savannah River Site, South Carolina and Georgia, 2020

laser-engraved archival pigment print over black acrylic, edition of 5, 12” x 20”


Abbey Hepner, Monticello, Utah, 2020

laser-engraved archival pigment print over black acrylic, edition of 5, 12” x 20”

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