Visual and performance artist Shawanda Corbett (b. 1989, New York, NY) multifaceted practice spans ceramics, visual art, dance, film, and performance. Her work explores the question of what is a “complete body,” looking at the different cycles of a human’s life through cyborg theory.
Cyborg theory envisions breaking down the distinction between organic and synthetic, human and animal, physical and non-physical, pointing to a post or transhuman chimera that utilizes technology to subvert patriarchal, capitalist, and essentialized systems, categories, and lives.
Shawanda Corbett uses her perspective as a woman of color with a disability (she was born without legs and an arm) to root theory into reality.
For To the Fields of Lilac, her first solo exhibition in the United States at Salon 94 in 2022, Corbett has produced a series of ceramic vessels of different heights, shapes, leans and glazes with violet hues.
“I named the show ‘To the Fields of Lilac’ to signal a continuation or a further narrative that thinks about what happens beyond ‘Wade in the Water’, the spiritual originally sung by slaves on their quest for freedom and thinking about how water became a signifier for protection for the enslaved on their road to freedom,” Shawanda Corbett said recently.
“Shawanda Corbett: To the Fields of Lilac” is on view by appointment at 3 East 89th Street from January 12 to February 26, 2021. Please go to salon94.com/visit to schedule your appointment.
Forthcoming projects include a solo exhibition at Tate Britain as part of its “Art Now” program and a wordless, dance-based eight-act film inspired by Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadisches Ballett in which Corbett and other performers explore elements of the Black experience wearing wearable architecture.
About the Artist
Born in New York in 1989, Shawanda Corbett spent much of her life in Mississippi and is currently pursuing her practice led doctoral degree in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art and Wadham College, University of Oxford, England.
Corbett was awarded the Turner Bursary from the Tate in July 2021.
She lives and works in Oxford, England.Black artistFemale artist