Rezenet Moges-Riedel

Trouser 2, Dress 1, 2018

Video art

From the artist:

The aim of these artworks is to present a representation of my love, commitment, idiosyncrasies, and intersectionalities. Frequently, people erroneously take the word “intersectionality” as a simplified term or as a single identity, or interchange it with the term “multi-identity,” which does not mean the same thing. For the purpose of presenting these artworks, I borrow one of De’VIA’s objectives of “affirmative” art, celebrating my deafness, queerness and various backgrounds as a Person of Color.

“Ol’ School Lesbians” is designed as a deck of cards as a self-portrait, meshing up with a portrait of my wife, Rani Riedel. Her name means “Queen,” which is befittingly self-evident as “Q” while I do not necessarily represent as “K” in this particular series, but as “B” for Butch. We are opposite in many ways, yet similar in other ways that connected our intersectional love together bindingly.

Second, “Tree of Love” carries a similar theme, reflecting the connection between our bodies and our transformation as a part of nature. After meeting my wife, I learned so much about relationships, about how we need to invest in each other and commit to each other’s growth. To beat homophobia, we need to nurture and support each other to eliminate any negative energy from our lives together.

Third, “Pipe Dreams” comes from a portfolio that never had the opportunity to be shown publicly. Fitting the theme of this exhibition, this lithograph serves as a representation of a combination of multiple Deaf lesbians’ different walk of lives. However, it is a bit outdated, containing an ignorant statement misusing “Love is Blind” while using a disabled term as a metaphor. I made this print eighteen years ago, so it shows how much things have changed in my journey.

Finally, a renga, a type of collaborative poetry, “TROUSERS 2, DRESS 1,” serves as a witness of an instantly-arranged and -composed piece by three Black Deaf Queer poets (2 South Africans—John Meletse and Daline Maasdorp—and 1 Eritrean-American, myself). We were amazed about how we essentially agreed what life means as a Deaf Queer Black person: a struggle due to being a unique person, a search for unconditional love or a support group, and a fight for our rights. It is so important that we need each other and have resources for our healing journeys, our healthy selves, and our mentality.

SIGNed, Rezenet Moges-Riedel, BFA, Doctoral Candidate