Kiyan Williams (b. 1991) lives and works in New York. Working across a range of media, their distinctive artworks make visible the fissures and dissonances within dominant narratives of history and American identity. Through an irreverent process of recreation, Williams appropriates symbols of hegemony and invites the viewer to witness gestures of material and conceptual transformation. Vastly referencing source materials from science fiction cinema to archeological sites and extreme geological events (all of which speculate how the world is made and unmade), William’s utilizes cracks and fragmentation as a visual language of what scholar Jack Halberstam call “the grammars of unbuilding.” Employing dense earth as a sculptural material, they call attention to the fractures, the ruptures, the interstitial space, which “inhere to queer negativity, to abolitionist projects, to queer failure and trans-anarchy… and oppose the language of repair that can be deployed for liberal purposes to shore up the status quo.” Appearing in states of erosion and eruption, their sculptural body of work simultaneously evokes scenes of an ancient past and dystopian future, simmering with an undercurrent of social upheaval and burning rebellion.

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