Jamee Crusan and Richard- Jonathan Nelson

August 10- September 13, 2019
Opening reception : Saturday, August 10, 7-10pm
Closing reception: Friday, September 13, 7-10pm


CTRL+SHFT Collective is pleased to present Betwixt: Queer midnight /Indigo multiverse, by Jamee Crusan and Richard- Jonathan Nelson. On view from August 10th until September 13th, 2019

The exhibition Betwixt: Queer midnight/ indigo multiverse investigates the transmutational catharsis present within Afro-pessimism, Queer grief and minority mourning strategies. Featuring the work of Jamee Crusan and Richard-Jonathan Nelson the gallery space allows one to explore various states of non-hegemonic grief possess. Queer, trans, and PoC bodies have existed continuously in intersectional midnight caught between cycles of flourishing creative abundance and burdensome emotional decay. When bodies and lives are introduced early into the place of midnight, the soul is rooted in feeling powerless. This nonplace of grief inherited by generations of minority bodies transforms loss into strength.

Now, the reality of inequality has begun to creep into the lives of the majority and affect their daily stability. Through art, we show this "new feeling" of loss is not new, but an existence that Women, Femmes, PoCs, and Queer bodies have borne continuously; while being critical, pragmatic, and humorous about its existence.

Chromatically symbolic sculpture, textiles, and video all tinted with the Blue of mourning and the Black of grief speaks to various ways of negotiating grief, queering materiality, and to the metaphysical, spiritual, mythological stories around our shaded emotions.


Hopeless Act of Mourning
A Workshop lead by Jamee Crusan
August 24, 3-5pm, CTRL+SHFT Gallery, Suggested donation

How do you survive and protect against loss and mourning as a body on the margins? Survival and protection are what is explored within this workshop. This workshop is intended for those whose bodies are continually in negation of safety and survival. Participants are invited to bring in anything they feel offers them protection to discuss while also creating and making their own protective artwork. During the workshop I show each participant how to create a monkeys fist and two additional knots that when combined can act as a talisman infused with protective intentions.

Let me tell you something they was wrong for that (and other declarations overheard during diaspora grief)
A Performance by Richard- Jonathan Nelson
Friday, September 13, 7-10pm, CTRL+SHFT Gallery

What do we say during moments of grief and loss when we think no one is listening, how do we cope with the realization of an end? This performance of grief, comedic catharsis, and group artwork is to create a space for minority bodies to express their frustration around daily grief work. By referencing the accidental honesty found within Black funeral receptions, those moments where small talk makes way for confessions of emotional slights, airing of grievances, and reconciliation. Through the staging of a funeral reception with refreshments and comedic eulogies, viewers will create anonymous epitaphs for an Instagram memorial to mock out frustrations concerning the nature of loss and powerlessness.

Jamee Crusan is a transdisciplinary artist and scholar based in Oakland, Ca, and their practice encompasses sculpture, video, photography, and performance. Much of Crusan’s practice involves contentions found between their east coast heritage and west coast ideals. By creating sculptural installations and performances, which encourage viewers to re-examine their relationship to loss, grief, mundane tools, fabric, and even guns they explore the intersections of emotional and physical labor within relationships of self and other. There is a specific focus on industrial and domestic materials to create objects of unpractical use and futile actions. Crusan's objects are often hidden with political latency and can be an unlikely object for the provocation of tragic beauty, self-reflection, and controversy. Crusan's current project Hopeless Acts of Mourning examines individual and collective ideas of survival and protection by transforming objects from a passive state to an active one. Done through workshops where individuals are invited to bring and create objects that are protective discussions about surviving violence and loss begin to occur.
Crusan graduated from the California College for the Arts in 2017 with a MFA in Studio Practice and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies and the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2013 with BFAs in both Photography and Graphic Design.

Richard-Jonathan Nelson is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses textiles, video, and digital manipulation to create alternative worlds of speculative identity. Their work is multi-layered, chromatically intense and mixes images of the natural world with reference to hoodoo, queer culture, and Afro-Futurism. They use constructed worlds to examine the overlapping spheres of culturally perceived identity and the emotional memory of what it means to be a queer and black. Thereby creating a limbic space free from the weighted excepted western cultural reality, and able to examine the unspoken ways systems of power persist. Born in Savannah, Georgia (1987) and working in Oakland, CA Nelson received his MFA from California College of the Arts in 2017. His work has been exhibited at Southern Exposure, Embark Gallery, Root Division in San Francisco, and Aggregate Space in Oakland.

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