hidden figures: unveiling selfhood
Curated by Teyjhana Barton-Neal, Curatorial Intern Summer 2023
On view: July 31–November 10, 2023
Reception: Friday, November 3, 5:00–8:00 pm
Tandem Press is pleased to host hidden figures: unveiling selfhood, guest curated by our Summer 2023 Curatorial Intern Teyjhana Barton-Neal. Teyjhana will be a senior at Spelman College this fall and is pursuing her BFA with a double minor in curatorial studies and Spanish. She came to us through a partnership between the IFPDA and Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective that connects undergraduates with curatorial internships around the world.
During her internship, we challenged Teyjhana to curate an exhibition under the conceptual theme of her choice from a limited number of available artworks from the Tandem Press inventory. hidden figures: unveiling selfhood explores how our minds perceive and interpret what we experience, with a particular focus on how identity can be witnessed from the outside.
This exhibition includes artworks by: Robert Cottingham, Jim Dine, Gronk, David Lynch, Maser, Ed Paschke, Sam Richardson, Alison Saar, Joan Snyder, and Swoon.
hidden figures: unveiling selfhood is an exhibition that explores how our minds interpret and perceive what we experience. In this exhibition, I ask how identity can be witnessed from the outside. Thomas Reid, an 18th century Scottish philosopher believed that the identification of self is derived from memory. Being able to recall moments individually or simultaneously where one was a witness to oneself allows one to have an identity of self. In other words, through experience and retaining that experience we can know ourselves. Cartesian theory argues that the perception of reality lies in the perception of self, with the phrase. “I think, therefore I am.” With these ideas in mind, people find identity through the experience of life.
This exhibition asks the viewer to consider what experiences in their life helped define who they are. The goal of this exhibit is to guide viewers on a journey of self-introspection. The selection of works in this exhibition are based on self-identifying categories that I use to deconstruct my own identity. They fall into the categories of age, race, physical body, occupation, and state of mind. For the curation of this exhibition, these five self-identifying signals will be named as: BLOOM, KIN, CORPORIS SANCTUM, ALMA, and IKIGAI, respectively. I think that these five separate categories break down most of what makes each person who they are. As the search, construction, and manifestation of identity becomes a surging concern for the new generation, my hope is that the viewer can look deeper into themselves through the windows of memory that these works create for me.
Teyjhana Barton-Neal is a contemporary mixed media artist from Boston, Massachusetts. Artistic practice for Teyjhana started in the art program at Boston Trinity Academy in high school. During this time she also sought mentorship from the non-profit organization Artists for Humanity starting in 2017. There, she was able to explore different mediums such as collage and digital art. Her portfolio has evolved to include poetry, traditional art, digital art, dance, tattooing, and curation. Starting in 2021, Teyjhana began to pursue a career in art in her undergraduate college years at Spelman College. Her art has evolved beyond just the dimension of its composition to become symbolic representations of the concepts she learns inside and outside of her classes.
Teyjhana states that, “As an artist, my interests lie in the occult or undeciphered. I create art based on its symbolism in the hope that members of the audience will recognize whatever symbol resonates with them the most. I create symbolic mirror images of myself and aspects of my life. I want my art to pull viewers in through its recognizable visuals and to intrigue viewers with its unconventional concepts. There is a chaos that enters a space before understanding comes.”
This exhibition is supported by the Anonymous Fund.