Friday, April 12, 2024


5:30 pm

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Event Details

States of Becoming” exhibiting artist Helina Metaferia will perform a newly commissioned live work from her “Refiguring the Canon” series. In this series, Metaferia transforms history into mythology, and interrogates its emphasis on western male exceptionalism. Transforming iconic abstract artworks from museum permanent collections into backdrops for performance interventions, Metaferia uses simple gestures to assert her Ethiopian-American female body into a cannon where women and people of color have historically been negated, while being appropriated (i.e. the “primitivism” influence in Modernism). Previous performances from this series have taken place for the camera or a live audience at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and National Gallery of Art. Documentation from those performances, as well as a large-scale collage, are on view as part of the exhibition.

Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist working across collage, assemblage, video, performance, and social engagement. Her work integrates archives, somatic studies, and dialogical practices, creating overlooked narratives that amplify BIPOC/femme bodies.

Learn more about the artist HERE.

This event is free; registration is required.

Generous support provided by Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All programs.

Helina Metaferia, “Making Marks” (2018)
Archival inkjet print, 16×20
Courtesy of the artist, Kate Rothko Prizel, and Christopher Rothko.
Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York

“States of Becoming” is a traveling exhibition curated by Fitsum Shebeshe and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. Lead funding is provided by the Hartfield Foundation as part of an initiative to support ICI’s commitment to new curatorial voices who will shape the future of the field, and ICI’s Curatorial Intensive alumni as they move through the stages of their career. “States of Becoming” is made possible with the generous support of ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum. Crozier Fine Arts is the Preferred Art Logistics Partner.

Additional support for this exhibition is provided by the Harriet S. and J. Locke Macomber Art Center Fund.


Des Moines Art Center
4700 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312 United States