What Lies on the Table Series

Lead 2019 © Oriana Gatta / Giclée Print / 20″ x 16” (unframed)
Flax 2019 © Oriana Gatta / Giclée Print / 20″ x 16” (unframed)
Wedgwood 2019 © Oriana Gatta / Giclée Print / 20″ x 16” (unframed)
Ink 2019 © Oriana Gatta / Giclée Print / 20″ x 16” (unframed)

I began the What Lies series in 2019 after visiting Dr. Fahamu Pecou’s exhibition, Do or Die: Affect, Ritual, Resistance and the ancient Egyptian art collection at the Michael C. Carlos Museum and the Amy Sherald exhibition and Presence: Meditations on the Spelman College Collection at Spelman College’s Museum of Fine Art.

I was blown away by so many powerful combinations of realism, symbolism, and materiality, and I wanted to capture some of my own understanding of and feelings about historical and ongoing intersectional oppressions of race, class, gender, and sexuality these works of art prompted me to consider.

The pieces in this series share a design meant to resemble a lacy tablecloth, which western capitalist culture traditionally uses to signal some level of formality, formality that requires covering up the every-day to create an appearance of perfection.

The tablecloth design also alludes to the table metaphor used in many conversations about social justice, and, in contrast to its traditional concealing function, works to reveal the problems with the construction of the table itself and why western capitalism will never be a table to sit at if the goal is eradicating institutional racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism.

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