Multimedia artist Leila Weefur is collaborating with West Oakland-based Aggregate Space Gallery to create a large-scale sculpture and media works titled “Between Beauty and Horror,” investigating the imposed beauty standards that affect the perception of Black bodies.
The installation will be divided into two long corridors on opposite sides of the gallery, separated by constructed walls. “Each side will depict poetic narratives of perception and manipulation of Black bodies,” the artist writes, “examining the horror in the things we consider beautiful in juxtaposition to the beauty and elegance of horror and pain.” Panes of reflective glass installed along the exhibit walls simulate for viewers the discomfort of watching and being watched. Weefur also will create six letterpress prints to accompany the video installation.
Leila Weefur creates video installations, prints, and writings, and gives lecture-performances that investigate the phenomenology of Blackness. She is the creative director and co-curator of The Black Aesthetic, an Oakland-based artist-run organization that promotes the understanding of Black visual culture.
Aggregate Space Gallery is an artist-run gallery that prioritizes exhibits of challenging artwork that cannot be seen elsewhere. Aggregate Space Gallery and Weefur will select and meet with the collaborating artists, sound designers, actors, and writers who will assist in producing the work. The exhibition is scheduled for February 15 through March 21, 2019.
Photo by Mollie K. Underwood