Lorna Simpson: Momentum @ Frieze Los Angeles, Paramount Backlot P10

Of all the work I saw at the Frieze Fair LA, the video billboard by Lorna Simpson was by far my favorite. The piece features en pointe ballet dancers of color, sporting afros and golden uniforms, looking slightly bored and more than qualified, on what might be audition or practice floor of a traditional dance space. They chat with each other a little, and facing front, while intermittently, performing a perfect twirl. It made me think, immediately, about how much we lose of ourselves when we are forced to fit into other people’s expectations about how we should act; especially when that act is supposed to be one of personal expression. While not exactly a piece about representation, the piece questions what happens when histories of art and culture have rigid boundaries.

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