Media

Drawing on Art and Ritual to Connect with Lost Ancestors - Hyperallergic

Drawing on Art and Ritual to Connect with Lost Ancestors - Hyperallergic

 

Laila Pedro

"A film, an installation, and an act of art and ritual, Muse’s work creates a “portal for participants to cross a boundary between the imagined and the biographical, the physical and the spiritual, the living and the ancestors.”

Laila Pedro

TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT ME: THE RATED PG BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL - Bmore Art

TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT ME: THE RATED PG BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL - Bmore Art

Angela Carroll 

Dodd uses black portraiture and still-life to document her personal explorations into Afrodiasporic divine feminine traditions. In “Offerings for Oshun”, Dodd photographs images of altar offerings to the Yoruba Orisha of sweet waters, love and fertility, Oshun/Osun/Oxum/Ochun.

The juxtaposition of the sacred altar items, with Dodd’s self-portrait, recall histories of black portraiture, specifically representations of black women in portraiture, and queries the authorship, agency and mythologies that have shaped Black women’s imagery around the world.

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An Exhibit Celebrating Black Women Exclusively Arrives In A D.C. Suburb - Essence

Ashley Stoney

An exhibit dedicated entirely to celebrating Black women and girls — through pictures that show off our gravity-defying manes, old school hair dryers and wide tooth combs, beauty supply store wigs and doorknocker earrings — is running at a tiny gem of a museum in a Washington, D.C. suburb.

Monique Muse Dodd, DCAC 2019 Curatorial Fellow

The Curatorial Initiative reflects DCAC’s commitment to curatorial practice as an integral part of supporting emerging and under recognized artists. Each year an apprentice curator is selected to gain experience in the process of planning and mounting an exhibition by working with an experienced mentor curator. The program results in two exhibitions each year: in the spring the mentor curator selects artists and plans the exhibition and accompanying catalogue with the assistance of the apprentice; in the autumn, the roles are reversed and the apprentice plans and executes an exhibition with the assistance and advice of the mentor.

By nurturing new curators DCAC hopes to bring fresh perspectives into our own programming while assisting a new generation of curators who will take the knowledge they gain into our arts community and beyond.



QUEER(ING) PLEASURE

JORDAN AMIRKHANI OCTOBER 1, 2018

“ However, the explosive and dynamic condition of queerness and bodily pleasure is articulated the most magnanimously in the examples of queer women of color represented in the show. Monique “Muse” Dodd’s luminous photographs of take on the quieter (but no less radical) conditions of self-care, healing, and spirituality to construct an image of queerness that is open and inclusive, yet attentive to the specific needs and histories of black persons within white heteronormative patriarchal culture. “

East City Art Reviews: Queer(ing) Pleasure At District of Columbia Arts Center

This ongoing battle for physical and emotional autonomy is made crystal clear in Monique ‘Muse’ Dodd’s video Undoing (2018) where we see the protagonist slowly strip hair extensions from her scalp as she speaks frankly to an unknown paramour. At times she faces the camera, while at other moments we glimpse the growing pile of discarded hair filling a small basket. “Through a veil, I became a filter for others’ opinions, hurts and lies,” she proclaims. While physical violence or control is not necessarily alluded to, it is clear from the tone of her voice that her history includes the subjugation of her personal self-determination in the quest to meet the needs of others. The stripping of the extensions can be understood on multiple levels–shedding artifice or imposed standards of beauty among them–but they all lead to the acknowledgement that personal autonomy is a critical component of self-love. Snippets of overlaid text that occasionally frame her face are superfluous; the tone of her voice and the slightly unnerving drone in the background convey the unease of her revelations in a more nuanced manner, ending in her acknowledgement that, “… I trusted myself more.”

ENTANGLEMENTS: 002 - MARTINA AND MONIQUE DODD

“MA: Why was it important for you to involve our family in the film?

MO: As I was showing the film to a few different people they asked me what did my family feel about the project, and at that point I hadn’t really talked that much about the film with anyone, but mom and dad had seen the first part and were lowkey freaked out.

Including my family was another way for me to connect myself with my ancestry, they are leading the way, Grandma Shirley is featured and the sound behind her says remember who you are, Grandma reminds me who I am, where I come from and that as a granddaughter of Shirley Mae Ross Gibson, I am not one to mess with, ok?”