Nashville, Tennessee
Contemporary Art Gallery


 
237 Rep. John Lewis Way N. 37219
Tuesday–Saturday 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.

615.255.7816



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Tinney Contemporary is proud to present SoveREIGNty: Acts, Forms, and Measures of Protest and Resistance, a solo exhibition featuring works by multidisciplinary artist Amber Robles-Gordon.  

This exhibition features Amber Robles-Gordon’s large-scale, mixed-media quilts–assemblages incorporating paint, textiles and hand-stitching–in an interrogation of U.S. policy towards–and governance of–its populated territories and the District of Columbia.

Robles-Gordon creates a communal visual language; one rooted in shared cultural experience and geographical references, drawing upon manifold contexts and traditions: indigenous art, the Washington Color School, personal symbolism, domestic yet culturally essential rituals such quilting and much more.

Textiles, geometric forms and calculated markings accompany the deconstruction of the national seals and flags of current US territories on the front–or “political”–side of each piece, in order to give critique to the Ill and unequal treatment of the US Citizens that reside in the territories. While the “spiritual” sides are the inverse: colorful and prismatic; arranged to reflect the visual light spectrum. These abstracted, meditative portals are suspended in black and white planes, a juxtaposition which serves to ground the viewer.

The front of each quilt features a centralized circular rainbow gradient, mimicking Doppler radar, a gesture towards the disproportionate impacts of climate change on U.S territories. In addition, these gradients mirror the ways pain and pressure is depicted within the human body.
Fossil fuel consumption in the mainland U.S. leads to extreme weather patterns and superstorms, destroying infrastructure on territories, leading to a cycle of debt which is only the latest chapter in a legacy of colonial expropriation of territorial wealth. The annexation of indigenous lands within territories severs communities from their sustainable agricultural practices with dire consequences, adversely impacting both land and body. Robles-Gordon parallels barometric pressure with (post)colonial political pressures, yielding an incisive and nuanced discussion of environmental racism.

The quilts are suspended from the ceiling, beckoning viewers to engage with each side: challenged by the political, comforted and enraptured by the spiritual. There is a spatial rearrangement instigated by these objects, which are simultaneously assuring and imposing. The positioning of the quilts is intentional and centralized, a rallying cry against divisions of land and peoples externally imposed under colonial rule. Each piece becomes a physical barrier; the quilt, signifier of comfort and motherhood, is elevated, transformed into a shield. The language of abstraction–form and color and gesture–allows the possibility of liberation, a disruption of state monopoly over language and meaning. The objects are talismans of resistance, of hybridity, of humanity and of intersectional identity.


May 4, 2022 - July 9, 2022


︎︎︎ Exhibition List
︎︎︎ On the US Territories