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Mary Kelly & Tiona Nekkia McClodden at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The Condition of Being Addressable is a group exhibition that brings together an international and intergenerational roster of 25 artists whose work constitutes an ongoing exploration of bodies in exposure and the ever-evolving performance of language. The participating artists situate the body as a site of address—one to name, to call, to speak toward, to challenge, to redress—and question how the exchange between viewer and subject impacts the social and physical movements of bodies and how they are seen in the world. Further, in their respective practices, each artist interrogates power relations as experienced through the dynamics of race, gender, and sexuality, the limits of spoken and written language to articulate these experiences, and the agency of constructing a self-image.

The exhibition borrows its title from a passage in Claudia Rankine’s critically acclaimed 2014 book, Citizen: An American Lyric, in which the poet and essayist outlines the ways in which written or spoken language can frame and impact perception and lived experience, particularly for marginalized subjects. Part poetics, part cultural criticism, Rankine’s “lyric” is an urgent meditation on race, language, the body, and the occasional pain of visibility.

Featuring works in painting, photography, sculpture, video, and installation from the 1970s to the present, The Condition of Being Addressable centers diverse disciplines and perspectives in a rich creative discourse rooted in the legacies of Black, feminist, post-colonial, and queer theory. The exhibition situates significant works by established artists in an active dialogue with those by emerging and mid-career practitioners.