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Press Release

My Labor is my Protest openly explored historical and personal narratives that charge my work. The exhibit was built upon three key ideas: that of the Civil Rights struggle in the United States during the 1960s, Black Paintings, and the Johnson Publishing Archive + Collections. This project was the first time I publicly articulated my now deep association with the Johnson Archive, a collection of over 16,000 books given to me by Linda Johnson Rice, the heiress to the Johnson Publishing Company, and the first time I introduced use of tar in my practice. Conceived of as a conversation between myself, laborers, and “those who marched,” My Labor Is My Protest knitted together  nuanced moments of my studio practice as well as my interest in contracts, collections, and logistics. By moving the entire collection of books to White Cube and rendering the books not for sale, I attempted to flatten the hard divisions between gallery and museum, art for the people and art for the market, radical platforms of inclusion, and radical platforms of inclusion and spaces of social exclusion.