Episode 6: Indira Allegra with Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen

Notes from MoAD

Episode 6: Indira Allegra with Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen

By Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen February 12, 2020

Notes from MoAD is dedicated to the Museum of the African Diaspora’s Emerging Artist Program, giving the exhibiting artists an opportunity to discuss their featured exhibition at MoAD and how their art practice is in dialogue with contemporary art as it considers themes of the African diaspora.


Welcome to Notes from MoAD: Emerging Artists and Critic Series, dedicated to the Museum of African Diaspora’s 2018-20 Emerging Artist Program. For our sixth episode of this series, multidisciplinary artist Indira Allegra and curator Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen discuss an expanding of world and experience, the interplay of consent and complicity, exhaustion of identity-based inquiry, and the temperature of colonialism. Indira’s faceted explorations of weaving through performance, textile, video/new media, and performance have documented and deconstructed physical, psychological, historical, social, and practical tensions. In conversation, Allegra and MacFadyen deliberate on these vectors of power and the reality that nothing is neutral.

BODYWARP was a solo exhibition by Indira Allegra exploring weaving as performance requiring a unique receptivity to tensions extant in political and emotional spaces. BODYWARP explores looms as frames through which the weaver becomes the warp and is held under tension, performing a series of site-specific interventions using her body. Like the accumulation of memory in cloth, looms and other tools of the weaver’s craft become organs of memory, pulling the artist’s body into an intimate choreography between maker, tool, and the narrative of a place. BODYWARP was presented at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco as part of the Emerging Artists Program, from September 19 through November 4, 2018.

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Indira Allegra is re-imagining what a memorial can feel like, the scale on which it can exist and how it can function. Deeply informed by the ritual, relational and performative aspects of weaving, Allegra explores the repetitive crossing of forces held under tension be they material, social, or emotional. Their work has been featured at the Museum of Art and Design, Museum of the African Diaspora, the Arts Incubator in Chicago, John Michael Kholer Art Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA and the de Young Museum, among others. Allegra has been the recipient of the Artadia Award, Tosa Studio Award, Windgate Craft Fellowship, Jackson Literary Award, Mike Kelley Artist Project Grant and MAP Fund. She is the 2019 Burke Prize winner, Eureka Fellow and a triennial 2019-2022 Montalvo Art Center Sally and Don Lucas Artist Fellow.

Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen is a curator, consultant, and project-based artist going on several decades in the performing and visual arts. Born and based in San Francisco, Rhiannon is moved by "productive discomfort." Her curatorial practice focuses on projects that push formal and contextual boundaries and poke at imperialist formats, and her cross-discipline art practice engages symbols, identity, communication, and the unseen. Founder of A Simple Collective and Black & White Projects and Director of Emerging Arts Professionals SFBA, she is passionate about equity, experimentation, and independence in the arts. She is currently serving on the board of SOMArts Cultural Center as Interim Co-Chair and sits on curatorial and advisory committees for Root Division, Sites Unseen, and Pro Arts.

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