Diedrick Brackens: a slow reckoning
September 9 – December 10, 2017
Ulrich Museum of Art
Wichita State University
1845 Fairmount Street
Wichita, KS 67260
In his textile-based practice, Los Angeles artist Diedrick Brackens explores issues of race, representation, sexuality, and engagement. His works, which take shape as wall hangings, sculptures, and installations, often make use of found items that collapse the distance between “high” and “low” culture. Operating outside of the realm of traditional weaving methodologies, the works reveal their origins as fabrications that are handmade on a loom. Through the incorporation of a diverse range of materials, Brackens creates dynamic and thoughtful works that provide layered reflections on intimacy and being.
Installed in the Grafly Gallery, a slow reckoning will feature ten new textile works by the artist. The weavings result from the revisitation of an earlier piece, he brings all parts of himself everywhere he goes(Seth), from 2013. Created in part as an homage to a friend who was steadfast in an ongoing celebration of his queer and racialized self, the work also speaks to the ways in which self-love is a critical component of resistance. The new works share this ethos. Bearing fragmented reflective surfaces that reference mirrors, they too touch on notions of self-care and revelry. However, they also address the notion of “the gaze”, the harm that can be caused by the act of looking, and how gestures of deflection are often necessary in the goal of self-preservation.