The Underground Museum

Fund: $45,000

The Undergound Museum will present a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian, known for his multimedia sculptural installations of found and sometimes crafted domestic objects, live performance, and video. Co-curated by filmmaker Kahlil Joseph and the Museum’s Director Megan Steinman, the exhibition will open in late 2019 with a focus on McMillian’s performance-based videos, which feature characters created and portrayed by McMillian to explore topics of race, gender, class, and belonging. Like his sculptures, the source material for McMillian’s onscreen performances are “found objects,” such as political speeches, historical events, science fiction, popular music, and people on the streets. These materials form the psychological and social conditions of each character, who serve as archetypes to explore, among other concepts, black identity as a form, a color, a politic, a people, and as a construct to be projected either outward or upon. The Museum’s late founder, Noah Davis, once said that McMillian could take over "his whole damn museum.” McMillian’s works will, indeed, occupy all of the Museum, transforming it into a space that integrates the viewer’s physical presence with the building’s domestic past. Public programming for the exhibition will include performances and lectures by artists and writers who are central to McMillian’s research process.