Tiona Nekkia McClodden at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Art Basel Miami Beach, 2021.
b. 1981, Blytheville, AR
Lives and works in Philadelphia, PA
Tiona Nekkia McClodden is a visual artist, filmmaker, and curator whose interdisciplinary approach traverses documentary film, experimental video, photography, sculpture, and sound installations. Her work addresses and critiques issues at the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and social commentary, exploring shared ideas, values, and beliefs within the African Diaspora, or what she calls “Black mentifact.”
McClodden spent her formative years in the American South. In Georgia, after withdrawing from Clark Atlanta University, she ventured into filmmaking, working largely within the punk and club scene before moving to North Philadelphia in 2006. In 2017, her seminal work, Brad Johnson Tapes, X-On Subjugation, was included in Meg Onli’s Speech/Acts at ICA Philadelphia and would go on to enter the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. That same year, McClodden won the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award ahead of her critically reviewed curation of Julius Eastman’s work for the Slought Foundation in 2017, which traveled to The Kitchen in 2018. A year later, she received the 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts, and debuted an ambitious new video installation entitled, I prayed to the wrong god for you, at the 2019 Whitney Biennial, for which she was awarded the Whitney's $100,000 Bucksbaum Prize.
Her works have shown in major exhibitions, including most recently in Prospect 2021, New Orleans; New Grit: Art & Philly Now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Owkui Enwezor’s Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America at New Museum, New York. Other presentations of her work have been on view at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and MoMA PS1, New York. Work by McClodden is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Rennie Museum, Vancouver.
In recent years, McClodden has won prestigious grants and fellowships, including a 2021 Warhol Foundation Arts Writer Grant, Princeton Arts Fellowship and Pew Arts Grant, while running Conceptual Fade, a project gallery and library she founded in 2020 that hosts micro-exhibitions centered on Black art and conceptual practice. Her writing has been featured on the Triple Canopy platform, in Artforum, Cultured Magazine, ART 21 Magazine, and many other publications.
All images © Tiona Nekkia McClodden.