Pomona College Museum of Art (PCMA)

Fund: $40,000

Pomona College Museum of Art (PCMA) will present the ambitious large-scale exhibition Todd Gray: Euclidean Gris Gris. Occupying the Museum's gallery through the entire academic year, this exhibition will include a site-specific wall drawing and an evolving selection of photographic works from the artist's ongoing examination of the legacies of colonialism in the United States, Europe, and West Africa. Gray recombines photographs from his own archive, mounting them in found antique frames as structuring devices. In recent installations, he paired images of Michael Jackson (Gray was Jackson’s photographer in the 1980s) with photographs of rural Ghana (where Gray maintains a studio) and formal gardens in Europe. He explores the historical constructs of the “logical” and geometrical gardens of Europe—an aesthetic manifestation of the idea of disembodied reason—with the “unpredictable” nature found in African landscapes. The exhibition title, Euclidean Gris Gris, combines contrasting language to frame the work within a broader cultural critique. Gray’s project pushes beyond these binaries, referencing the Euclidean (Western influences) and Gris Gris (African animism and poetics). Critical to Gray’s year-long, in-depth residency and exhibition is an ambitious series of public programs, Longing on a Large Scale, curated by Dr. Nana Adusei-Poku. Both the exhibition and public programs will provide college students and faculty, local elementary students, and the general public with the opportunity to initiate a dialogue on Gray’s work as a means of examining broader colonial paradigms and strategies of resistance.