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(Never) As I Was
Studio Museum Artists in Residence 2020–21

L to R: Widline Cadet. Photo: Bradley Ogbonna; Texas Isaiah. Photo: Texas Isaiah; Genesis Jerez. Photo: Bradley Ogbonna; Jacolby Satterwhite. Photo: Bradley Ogbonna

Nov 18, 2021Feb 27, 2022

(Never) As I Was marks the third year of the multiyear partnership between The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1, and features new work by the 2020–21 Artist-in-Residence cohort: Widline Cadet (b. 1992, Pétion-Ville, Haiti), Texas Isaiah (b. Brooklyn, NY), Genesis Jerez (b. 1993, Bronx, NY), and Jacolby Satterwhite (b. 1986, Columbia, South Carolina).

With practices spanning new media, painting, sculpture, and photography, each artist proposes dynamic ways of experiencing time, space, and locality set into this current moment of complex transformation. In response to the seismic impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time in the Museum’s history the artists participated entirely in remote form for the duration of the residency. Communication was deeply mediated by the digital—this way of collaborating presented new modes of being, bending and recharting the territories of domestic, social, and studio space.

Widline Cadet’s photo and video works examine intergenerational memory, selfhood, and erasure within the diasporic experience. Texas Isaiah offers a space for mourning, celebration, prayer, and remembrance, asserting the significance of imagination in the abolition of gender while exploring the healing capacity of rest as a place of connection. Genesis Jerez’s collaged paintings layer family photographs, oil paint, and charcoal to create works that interrogate her own personal histories and reckon with questions of diasporic fracture. Jacolby Satterwhite’s refocus on painting during the residency marked a shift inward: across these paintings, he engages fantasy as a mechanism for healing and a veil for trauma, flaying open a psychic space for transcendent possibility. Each artist took on the challenge of thinking critically and durationally about the ways the tensions and possibilities of private vs. public and interior vs. exterior can be expanded, reimagined, and renegotiated through and beyond their work. The outcomes are tender and lyrical explorations of family histories, memoir, spirituality, and memory. In reflecting on their private pasts, these artists have created works that look toward what collectively lies ahead, to a world that is at once achingly the same and never as it was. 

(Never) As I Was is organized by Legacy Russell, former Studio Museum Associate Curator, Exhibitions (now Executive Director and Chief Curator, The Kitchen), with Yelena Keller, Curatorial Assistant, Exhibitions, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and Josephine Graf, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1. Exhibition research is provided by Angelique Rosales Salgado, former The Studio Museum in Harlem and MoMA Curatorial Fellow, and Elana Bridges, former Mellon Curatorial Fellow, The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Support for (Never) As I Was at MoMA PS1 is generously provided by the Tom Slaughter Exhibition Fund and the MoMA PS1 Trustee Annual Fund.

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Artist-in-Residence program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; Joy of Giving Something; New York State Council on the Arts; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; and by endowments established by the Andrea Frank Foundation; the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Trust; and Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Events

Artists in Residence 2020-2021 Roundtable

Join us for an online discussion with 2020–21 Studio Museum artists in residence Widline Cadet, Texas Isaiah, Genesis Jerez, and Jacolby Satterwhite, moderated by Legacy Russell, former Studio Museum