Visual Arts Program

Friday, November 11, 2016 — Friday, December 23, 2016

Wayne Hodge

Skin Like Distant Stars

Wayne Hodge - <em>Skin Like Distant Stars</em>
Wayne Hodge - <em>Skin Like Distant Stars</em>
Wayne Hodge - <em>Skin Like Distant Stars</em>
Wayne Hodge - <em>Skin Like Distant Stars</em>
Wayne Hodge - <em>Skin Like Distant Stars</em>

Opening Reception
Friday, November 11, 8 to 11pm

Hallwalls is pleased to present a new exhibition by artist Wayne Hodge, conceptualized around his collage imagery while building on its visual language and expanding it through incorporating sculptural elements. On a trip to Germany a few years ago, Hodge was able to see two different working Kaiser panorama. The Kaiser panorama is a late 19th century optical device that predates cinema. It can best be described as a large stereo-optic device that many can view at once. The viewer looks through a binocular and images rotate every few seconds. Hodge will design and build three devices based on the Kaiser panorama's designs and scale, creating a sequential narrative of images viewable through the machine. The imagery will be a continuation of the steampunk/Afrofuturist imagery developed with his previous collage work.

Hodge's practice has always been fascinated with media, genre, and subgenre, with an interest in how these forms develop both historically and visually. His chosen imagery is utilized to represent the foundation of how we order contemporary visual and cultural language. Within this order, there is a conflict between fantast and representations of a racialized other.

Accordingly, Hodge's work has developed as a kind of mash-up, inspired by the Surrealist collage work of max Ernst and, in particular, his novel Un Semain De Bonté (A Week of Kindness), a work that derives source material from 19th century popular media such as the penny dreadful and illustrated newspapers. Hodge employs work from the same era, using the most prevalent depictions of the Black subject (blackface, minstrelsy, slavery, etc).

As Hodge describes:
"As Surrealism was also to give way to the fantastic, I have also incorporated early Science Fiction illustration. What results from these retro Science Fiction elements is a reverse-engineering of the subject, an analog prototype for the current dialogue around Afrofuturism. For me, the question is this: How do I as an artist of color contend with unsatisfactory and inadequate forms of representation? What I create is an alternative narrative that is fantastic, novel, and defies an easy categorization. It gives me a context to critically challenge the perceptions of and exclusions between high and low, modern and vernacular."


Wayne Hodge is an artist whose work combines elements of collage, performance and photography. His practice explores the relationship between history, media and fantasies of race and desire. He received an M.F.A. from Rutgers University and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program and the Skowhegan School. His work has been shown at The Bronx Museum, MoMA P.S.1 and he has shown internationally in Germany, Brazil and China. He was recently featured in 'The Radical Presence' at the Walker Center for the Arts and 'The Shadows Took Shape' at the Studio Museum in Harlem.