(born 1979 in Agana, Guam; lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana; New York, New York; and Los Angeles, California)
Through her work in performance, video, photography, and installation, Tameka Norris critiques the invisibility of blackness in cultural forms built upon the appropriation of black cultural expression and idioms. By inserting herself–a black woman–into the dialogue about painting she all but forces a critique about the presence of the black body in the history of painting. In the work Untitled (2012), Norris paints a wall using her body as both tool and medium. Dressed in coveralls, Norris runs a knife through a lemon before cutting her tongue. Pressing her body against the wall, she uses the trail of blood and saliva to create a minimalist landscape upon the gallery walls. The residual painting disrupts the notion of a pristine institutional space, implying the presence of a body and its experience of violence and pain. Untitled builds on a long legacy of performance art by women, recalling such important performances as Ana Mendieta’s Body Tracks (1974), a performance, documented as a wall-drawing, in which Mendieta dragged her blood-covered arms and fingers down a wall.
After receiving her BA from UCLA in 2010, Tameka Norris attended Yale University for her MA. She has participated in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2009) and the Hermitage Artist Retreat (2012). Her group exhibitions include Gifted and Talented, Third Streaming Gallery, New York (2012); Prospect.2 Biennial, New Orleans (2011); Queer Sexing, Human Resources, Los Angeles (2011); Prospect.1.5 Biennial, Good Children Gallery, New Orleans (2010); Open Projector Night, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2009); True Diva Biennale, Skowhegan, Maine (2009); and Dissent! 1968 to Now, Laband Gallery, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (2008).