A performance by 2023 Lunder Institute for American Art and Colby Arts Office visiting fellow, performance art fellow and Summer Think Tank 2023 participant Tsedaye Makonnen as part of the Taking the White Gloves Off Performance Art Series in Honor of Lorraine O’Grady, a partnership with the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the Colby College Museum of Art’s Lunder Institute for American Art, and the Colby Arts Office.
Tsedaye Makonnen is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, researcher, and cultural producer. Her practice is driven by Black feminist theory, firsthand site-specific research, and ethical social practice techniques, and manifests in solo and collaborative site-sensitive performances, objects, installations, and films. Her studio primarily focuses on intersectional feminism, reproductive health, and migration. Tsedaye’s personal history is as a mother, the daughter of Ethiopian refugees, a doula, and a sanctuary builder.
In 2019 Tsedaye was a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow and staged two interventions at the Venice Biennale titled When Drowning is the Best Option feat. Astral Sea I. In 2021, her light sculptures were acquired by the Smithsonian for their permanent collection and she published a book entitled Black Women as/and the Living Archive. Tsedaye is the recipient of a permanent large-scale public art commission for the city of Providence, RI. In Fall 2022, she performed at the Venice Biennale for Simone Leigh’s Loophole of Retreat and was the Clark Art Institute’s Futures Fellow. In 2023-24, Tsedaye is exhibiting at The Metropolitan Museum, Bard Graduate Center, UT Austin, and The Walters Art Museum, where she is guest curator of contemporary works. She is currently represented by Addis Fine Art, and lives between Washington, D.C. and London with her partner and children.