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Artist: Toisha Tucker
Title: Orlando
Year: 2015
Materials: Digital Print


The striking profile of “Orlando” (digital print, ed. of 3, 2015) posits the equation of combining two portraits (author Virginia Woolf and conceptual artist/creative writer Toisha Tucker) to make a third masculine-appearing merge. In her image-based and recorded contributions to “Words on Paper,” Tucker contemplates identity in relationship to others – a lover or a historical figure such as Woolf or a family member. Her stream-of-consciousness MP3’s, sent from the east coast where she was working on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and played at each reading event, lent urgency and longing to the exhibition space. The constructed portrait was the only uninterrupted figure in an exhibition filled with intimations of bodies and the magnetisms between them. While “Orlando” served as a grounding mechanism for the show, the complexity in the act of gendering the figure (two beautiful female profiles blending into a masculine read) created a politically charged tone. Tucker’s willful sincerity deepened her absence/presence into an irrefutable force in the exhibition.

-Sara Ellen Fowler

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