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I Was Born With a Silver Spoon in Your Mouth by Candice Davis

Opening Reception Saturday July 24th, from 6-9PM

Exhibition Runs: July 24 – September 5, 2021


The past lives in our bodies, we are an extension of those that came before us, knitted into our unique DNA. In I Was Born With a Silver Spoon in Your Mouth, Candice Davis visualizes the intersections of labor, enslavement, and inheritance of trauma. 


Davis focuses mental illness within the context of a communal personhood comprised of one’s ancestors. What does it mean to have formed an identity as a legacy to violence, dehumanization, and forced labor under capitalism? History is a context that informs our current circumstances. Her exhibition examines this concept through a multimedia approach in three parts; Deaccessionings, Epigenetics and the exhibitions namesake I Was Born With a Silver Spoon in Your Mouth. Each part intertwines her body with that of her ancestors.


In Deaccessionings, Davis dyes pre-civil war cotton textiles using her blood as a proxy for the blood of her ancestors. Connecting her own existence with the violence against enslaved Black people for the cotton industry during the 19th century, her blood becomes the bridge to a violent colonial past, a history that still impacts the present. Epigenetics is a product of years of research into the stories of her direct ancestors, culminating in a filmed performance of her collecting soil from the burial sites of her relatives. Then the journey concludes for now with I Was Born With a Silver Spoon in Your Mouth, where Davis transforms the soil samples from these burial sites into pieces of clay serving ware.


“My conceptual practice holds a mirror to White violence and complacency. I primarily focus on digital media, installation, and performance as a means of witnessing for the trans-generational experiences of marginalized people. As a Black woman in the United States, I recognize my existence as the result of centuries of displacement, trauma, exploitation, and propagation for the benefit of Western capitalism. My work explores an identity formed by generational survival of and resistance to imperialism.” –Candice Davis


Candice Davis is a conceptual artist from San Antonio, Texas, working in Minneapolis. Davis graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2018 with a BFA in Web & Multimedia Environments. She is the recipient of a 2019 Art(ists) On the Verge Fellowship and a McKnight MRAC Next Step Grant. She is currently a Northern Lights Artist on the Verge 11 fellow and a resident of the Weisman Art Museum’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration. Davis most recently had a solo exhibition at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, along with numerous exhibitions throughout the US since 2015.  


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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