The AP Questionnaire: Eleanor Kipping

MFA Art Practice welcomes 2019 Artist in Residence Eleanor Kipping! Eleanor is a socially engaged artist and educator working to increase dialogue, understanding, and healing surrounding U.S. race relations and history. To get to know her, we asked her to complete the AP Questionnaire.

What was the last thing you made?

A 20-foot braid...and I recently wrote this poem:
Black love. Ache for it.
Ache with it. Ache without it.

What was the last thing you read?

A text from my friend Reed. He told me that he loved me.
Last book? The Art of Seduction. *imp emoji* Just started The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein.

What was the last exhibition you saw?

Queens International 2018, Queens Museum...
before that...Disappearing Acts, Bruce Nauman at MoMa...
before that, Journey’s with the Initiated at Participant...
before that, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power at Brooklyn Museum.

Who do you most admire?

Women – they know something that the rest of us don’t and they have to live with it.

How has your practice changed?

Since when? It changes every day, every month, year, decade. It also remains the same. The variable that changes is me and my supposed understanding of the world in which we live (and the way(s) in which it changes too). I respond to my societal experiences, my aging body, my sexuality and gender, my fears, my gains and losses, my frustrations. My attractions to different tools, methods, and techniques sometimes change, but I usually return to the things I love – photo, video, word, and the body. The one thing that doesn’t change is my desire to discover what it’s all going to tell me.

What motivates your practice?

The desire to communicate.

Your favorite artwork made before your lifetime?

Lady Godiva strolling through town naked on a horse so her husband would let up on taxes. No doubt the performance of the decade. Even if it didn’t happen – we’re picturing it. Anything Frida, but her self-portraits with cropped hair are fire. Oh, and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Your favorite artwork made during your lifetime?

All critique aside, seeing Marina perform “The Artist is Present” was a turning point in my life and career and literally changed my life – so I feel it’s worth mentioning. But my favorite…? Hmmm, I think it’s too soon to say. We’re all still working.

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Images courtesy of the artist, Mia Caballero (top) and Maxwell Bennette (bottom right).