Ashley M. Freeby
Emerging from recurring conversations about access, authenticity and authorship, artists Ashley Freeby and Jesse Meredith make artwork around and through one another’s experiences, from outside of their own cultural backgrounds. Over the course of a year, they have worked in one another’s studios, traded primary research sources and conducted a series of structured conversations about their own personal experiences. Non-Constants presents recent work that has stemmed from this exchange.
Freeby constructs truth-telling works to reveal how injustices against people of color inform our understanding of society, identity and culture. Meredith makes work interrogating and undermining structures of white masculinity and simplified narratives of belonging. Many of their collaborative artworks hinge on a technique of doubling: one artist produces a piece of work through synthesis of conversations and research, and the other re-makes it, displacing its context.
Other works tackle specific topics situated in each of their practices. A pair of soft sculptures questions what it means to “camouflage.” One set of clothing, made by Meredith, addresses a racialized experience in the United States, and the other, made by Freeby, focuses on survivalism and defensive preparation.
Non-Constants features traditional and nontraditional print methods to ask viewers to consider the impact of their own presence in the environments they inhabit. At a time of polarization and broken lines of communication, Non-Constants asks viewers not to be afraid to look, to reclaim permission to be inquisitive and open, and to think outside of individualized experiences.