March 19 | Thursday | 6–10 pm ET
March 20–22 | Friday–Sunday | 2–5 pm ET
ICP-Bard MFA Studios
24–20 Jackson Avenue, 3rd Floor, Long Island City, Queens
The first thing you see when you enter Extra Tasty, ICP-Bard MFA 2015 candidate Tracie Williams’s thesis show, is a large print of a girl jumping, caught mid air, upside down, and with her open legs as making an arrow towards what is written in her shirt: “Future”.
“I consider the space a lot and I think about how people would move through it. How I want them to move back and forth and how I want them to experience. I want them to have fun, to not be bored, to not even expect the next thing.” says Tracie about her work, a show consisting solely of nine pieces of different sizes, colors and shapes: light boxes, large black and white prints, a mural made by the mosaic of prints, double exposure c-prints and a video projected to a plexi-glass hung very high. “I think you should think about an image in the best way you can show it but also use everything that is available to you.”
And not only the formats are varied, but also the subjects of the images. From Tracie’s playful brothers to satellites in the dessert of New Mexico. The show’s different themes makes you want to draw similarities: a lot of them are about light, about obstructing the subjects, about authority, about violence, about Tracie’s immediate surroundings… but finding a common threat is not what this show is asking. “I don’t know if I could define in a word what ties the images together, and I don’t think I want to: It’s not fair. That’s what you get away with in documentary, there projects have to be a bout a thing, ‘this is this essay about this person in this situation’. But in art school I’ve learnt you don’t have to do it that way. There is a reason behind everything I’ve done. But I’m not telling you that, because I want you to experience it apart from that. I would prefer for you to take something, whatever it is you want, than for you to just read the reasons I want and go away with nothing”
“You have to look within yourself but you also have to look outside your own bubble.” Before entering the program, Tracie did two big projects documenting issues with the U.S. intervention in Laos and Occupy Wall Street. This documentary background feeds this work in many ways. “There is the art world and there is the journalist world. When you are documenting something you are not really stating what you think, while in art you are. And I think I have a natural cross-over of the these worlds in my thought process, even if I have not fully met my potential.” Tracie is more aware than most about her surroundings and is very interested in the sociopolitical context she is submerged in.
Being so few pieces, every one is very important. The size and the amount of details, as well as the empty space must of them have around them, make you experience every one for a long time. Tracie does a lot of research for each project she makes, but in stead of making it all easy for the viewer, she makes it so you have to also investigate is image. “Everything has layers to it, and making it too obvious would make it boring”.