Adee Roberson

Humidity is a water form that holds a series of contradictions. It can be healing, at times oppressive; enveloping yet invisible; and at moments terse, but also gratifying. Enabled by heat, humidity allows for visible water to evaporate and attach itself to porous bodies and wall interiors. The matter lends itself to the growth of lush environments and many living things. In this presentation, Los Angeles based artist Adee Roberson takes up Humidity as a complex, though generative, form to think about the spectrum between expansion, and contraction, weaving and unweaving, binding and unbinding.  The artist extends on her interdisciplinary practice of abstract compositions, sonic offerings, and healing work to consider ways of coming together, in an effort to create opportunities for relation, interdependency and regeneration.

In abstract paintings, Roberson paints modular, seemingly agile circular shapes, fused together to make one mass. In a similar neon-colored palette, the artist makes screen prints from refashioned images belonging to personal family archives. The act gathers, and immortalizes ancestral and living familial figures across time, space and geographical distance into one picture plane. In addition to the screen prints and paintings on view in Humidity, Roberson shares her film, Waterways, which documents the artist with friend, writer and curator Ade Omotosho, binding their respective  limbs while wading in the Atlantic Ocean off of the Miami, Florida coast.  Using a singing crystal bowl, Roberson pairs the performance with a meditative sound score in the F key, commonly associated with the heart chakra in Hindu Yogic, Shakta and Buddhist Tantric traditions.  Also included in the short film is an audio excerpt from the 1996 interview with Dosey Nunn, of American fugitive–and to many, a patron Saint for Black female liberation–Assata Shakur. In it, she discusses the desire to live on earth without oppression, and cites marronage histories of the Caribbean, where African people escaped enslavement, and built their own communities on the margins of colonial societies.

The binding and unbinding perhaps signals the messy practice of gathering, and liberating oneself and others across geography in the wake of intersecting oppressions. Traversing frequently between Los Angeles, her childhood home and birthplace, South Florida, and her familial origin-place Kingston, Jamaica, Roberson considers often, the forced separations between Black Atlantic descendants, and how we may engender and benefit from more opportunities for encounter. Suspended within her own Caribbean genealogy, Roberson’s work invokes Omise'eke Tinsley’s naming of the contradictory relationship Black people have with Atlantic waters (in all its forms), an experience that is “…brutalized and feeling, connected to the past and separate from it, divided from other diasporic migrants and linked to them.”  Let us consider the bluntness and complexity of humidified space as extensions of Black Atlantic maritime realms, that embody a desire to coalesce, to bind and to be together after forced bifurcations. As tenuous as the practice may be, we trust that a suturing is imminent, and thus, so is healing.

– Taylor Renee Aldridge, November, 2022

November 18 – December 17, 2022
Opening Reception; November 18, 6 – 8pm

Closing Sound Bath
with Adee Roberson and Anna Luisa Petrisko
December 18, 2022