Bethany Collins (b. 1984) is a multidisciplinary artist whose conceptually driven work is fueled by a critical exploration of how race and language interact. Collins was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the MacDowell Colony and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. Her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationwide, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the High Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, and the Flint Institute of Arts. She has received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, Artadia award and the Hudgens Prize, while her work has been included in Artforum, Art Papers, Modern Painters and The New York Times.
View more of Bethany's work at: bethanyjoycollins.com
I am interested in the unnerving possibility of multiple meanings, dual perceptions, and limitlessness in the seemingly binary. Drawing repeatedly allows me to fully understand objects in space, while defining and redefining my own racial landscape.
For me, racial identity has neither been instantly formed nor conjured in isolation. Rather, identity entangles memory: actual and revisited, cultural and historical, individual and collective. Through the dissolution of dichotomies and exploration of language, this work recalls moments in the formation of my racial identity as Black and Biracial. And each re-worked mark is yet another attempt to navigate the binary paradigm of race in the American South.
From my earlier White Noise to more recent Southern Review series, each new body of work borders on an obsessive preoccupation with language- it’s ability and inability to negotiate a way of being in the world. But I have found in my practice a delight in these obsessive preoccupations. And in the solutions they slowly, ever so slowly, but inevitably offer.