Anastacia-Reneé: (Don’t be Absurd) Alice in Parts

January 30 – April 25, 2021

Through her writing, performances, and installations, Anastacia-Reneé counteracts the erasure of marginalized identities in American society with an unflinching gaze directed toward collective liberation. She plumbs the depths of everyday experiences and emotions, charting the messy intricacies and difficulties that too often go unspoken as a way of transforming silence into language and action. In this exhibition, Anastacia-Reneé offers a rageful mediation on gentrification—of neighborhoods and its insidious effects on the body—as seen through the eyes of her multilayered and witty character Alice Metropolis.

Alice has appeared as a multidimensional character in Anastacia-Renee’s literary and interdisciplinary work for the past seven years. (Don’t be Absurd) Alice in Parts takes the shape of an immersive installation that guides museumgoers through the various rooms of Alice’s soon-to-be gentrified home. Through constructed tableaux incorporating poems, objects, personal effects, audio, and video, the exhibition charts the ways Alice strives for wholeness and transcendence against intersecting forms of systemic oppression that relentlessly fracture her sense of self.

Alice’s home is a place of refuge and nightmares, where she has built a spiritual sanctuary dedicated to "The Lorde"—as in the Black lesbian feminist writer and activist Audre Lorde (1934–92)—as a source of strength amidst the past tragedies and present traumas that haunt her. Through Alice’s lived experience, Anastacia-Reneé provides an unsparing window into the world of an individual attempting to (permanently) stay one step ahead of the many forces that seek to erase her essence and existence. As Alice writes, “in what life is a black woman allowed to be her own spin & her own chair? in what life is she allowed to sit as long as she likes & still be moving forward without being a moving target?”

Anastacia-Reneé (American, b. 1972, Kansas City, Missouri) is an award-winning writer, TEDx Speaker, Deep End Podcast co-host, and interdisciplinary artist. A 2020 Arc Fellow (Artist Trust) and 2020 Jack Straw Fellows Curator, Anastacia-Reneé was the Seattle Civic Poet (2017–19), and Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House (2015–17), she has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Mineral School, Hypatia in the Woods, and The New Orleans Writers Residency. Anastacia-Renee's work has been published widely.

Anastacia-Reneé received the 2018 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award, which is funded by the Raynier Institute & Foundation through the Frye Art Museum | Artist Trust Consortium. The award supports and advances the creative work of outstanding artists living and working in Washington State and culminates in a presentation at the Frye Art Museum.

Anastacia-Renee: (Don’t be Absurd) Alice in Parts is organized by David Strand, Associate Curator. Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the Raynier Institute & Foundation through the Frye Art Museum | Artist Trust Consortium. Additional generous support is provided by ArtsFund, the Frye Foundation, and Frye Members. Media sponsorship is provided by The Stranger.

Anastacia-Reneé. Photo: Darya Husak.

Anastacia-Reneé. “The altar” from 9 Ounces at the Annex Theater, Seattle, 2017. Courtesy of the Annex Theater.

Anastacia-Reneé. Installation view of Alice in Parts, 2016. Digital video (black and white, sound); 30:36 min. Courtesy of The Alice Gallery, Seattle.

Anastacia-Reneé. Photo: Darya Husak

Anastacia-Reneé. “The altar” from 9 Ounces at the Annex Theater, Seattle, 2017. Courtesy of the Annex Theater.

Anastacia-Reneé. Installation view of Alice in Parts, 2016. Digital video (black and white, sound); 30:36 min. Courtesy of The Alice Gallery, Seattle.