Nikita Gale, "Untitled", 2011, from the series 1961, archival pigment print, edition 1 of 1, 8 Ω x 11"

Nikita Gale, “Untitled”, 2011, from the series 1961, archival pigment print, edition 1 of 1, 8 ½ x 11″.

Nikita Gale

In the vast landscape of human knowledge, both historical and contemporary, the information within this landscape can be separated into three broad categories. I refer to the first category as Public. This is information that is publicly available and publicly acknowledged, such as news and current events. The second category is Intimate. Intimate information alludes to any type of information that is known and acknowledged by a smaller fraction of the population ñ any sort of information shared by a group of family members or friends. The third category of information is Secret. This refers to any information that is known by a small group of individuals and is intentionally withheld from the Public and Intimate categories of information ñ sexual or social taboos, for example.

1961 is a body of work that reimagines a volatile period of time in the American South, in which I create tableaux that visualize the divergence and intersection of these three categories of knowledge within a specific time and space. In considering the relationship of past and present, one can say that the present is omniscient in that it always knows the “future” of the past and will always be responsible for applying meaning to the past. I created a body of diptychs that synthesizes ideas of racial, sexual and social tensions present during the Civil Rights Movement. By using found color slides and text from two pro-segregation texts (a letter addressed to Malcolm X from the grand wizard of the KKK and a transcript of a speech by the Lt. Governor of Georgia) and combining them with re-photographed and re-contextualized mug shots of the Freedom Riders (a civil rights group that rode through the South to promote the desegregation of buses), I created what can be viewed as a romantic or suggestive narrative wherein the white masculine addresses a non-white or black feminine.

Nikita Gale (Atlanta, GA) is a self-taught conceptual artist and photographer. Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Gale earned her BA in Anthropology at Yale University, where she specialized in Archaeological Studies. Her first solo exhibition took place at the Mint Gallery (Atlanta, GA) in 2010. She has also been featured in numerous group shows in Atlanta, Georgia; Santa Fe, New Mexico and New York City, New York. She was selected into the Studio Artist Program at The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Gale serves on the executive board of non-profit Atlanta arts publication, BurnAway. She has been featured in several publications and in 2012, was ranked #4 on Oxford Americanís ì100 Under 100: Superstars of Southern Artî issue. Her solo exhibition, 1961, was presented at {Poem88} in Atlanta in 2012. Nikita Gale was an artist-in-residence at CPW in June and July of 2011.