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Student Interventions @RISD Museum

Student Interventions @RISD Museum

This year's Dorner Prize goes to an outdoor installation critiquing institutional bias and a performance piece meditating on slavery, the civil rights movement and the beauty of black people.

Since 1995 the RISD Museum has been inviting students to engage with its physical spaces via the Dorner Prize Competition (formerly known as Sitings), an annual call for proposals for temporary, site-specific installations and other new work.

This year two teams of students got the green light for their projects: White Wall, an outdoor installation by Cameron Kucera BArch 19, Makoto Kumasaka 18 FD and Vuthy Lay BArch 19; and Strand, a performance piece developed by Printmaking graduate students García Sinclair MFA 18 PR and Nafis White MFA 18 PR.

Kucera, Kumasaka and Lay conceived of White Wall in response to invisible but very real socioeconomic barriers to museum accessibility. The 12-foot screen of white bamboo they’ve constructed blocking the museum’s Benefit Street façade and directing visitors to its door is meant to both critique unintended institutional bias and promote dialogue.

In Strand White and Sinclair – a powerhouse couple who also won the museum’s student competition as undergraduates in both 2013 and 2014 – meditate on slavery, the civil rights movement and the inherent beauty of black people.

A performance piece and installation, Strand weaves together traditions of hair braiding and twisting with horrifying accounts of racism and marginalization. Daily performances by the artists and guest weavers will take place in the Chace Gallery from Tuesday, April 27 through Sunday, May 7.

Simone Solondz

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