In the fall the Moody presented Kapwani Kiwanga: The Sand Recalls the Moon’s Shadow, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Houston, which consists of two new site-specific installations and a video work. Focusing on aspects of two nations’ economies—the instrumental role the cultivation of sisal played in Tanzania’s independence and the impact of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Texas—the installations, Maya-Bantu and Dune, reflect on processes of extraction and the exploitation of natural resources. Alongside these monumental commissions, the video piece Vumbi underscores the importance of human care for the environment, while concurrently grappling with nature’s inexorable forces.
The Dimensions Variable series for the fall exhibition was initiated by the award-winning singer/songwriter, researcher, and educator Lisa E. Harris with Import, a commissioned performance that responded to Kiwanga's exhibition. This was followed by an original performance by Jasmine Hearn, Houston native and a three-time Bessie Award winner and 2019 Jerome Foundation Jerome Hill Fellow. Additionally, this fall, The Moody Center for the Arts launched a new collaborative project, Moody Project Wall, with the goal of fostering cross-campus student engagement with Houston-based artists. Centered on creating original artwork for a wall inside the Moody’s award-winning building, the first iteration of this project was ¡Displaced Mundo! The artist, Gerardo Rosales, worked closely with Rice students and community members to create a temporary large-scale wall painting. Aligning with his larger body of work, the inaugural artist used this opportunity to examine issues of class, race, gender, and sexuality through bold images infused with playfulness.
Kapwani Kiwanga: The Sand Recalls the Moon’s Shadow was curated by Ylinka Barotto, Associate Curator, Moody Center for the Arts. Video by Walley Films.
Moody Project Wall: Gerardo Rosales, ¡Displaced Mundo! is made possible by the Rice University's Arts Initiative Fund and the Moody Center for the Arts Founders Circle with additional support provided by the Nyquist Family. It was curated by Frauke V. Josenhans, Curator at the Moody Center for the Arts and included Rice students Emily DeAnn Peña ’25; Athenea Perez ’24; Alejandra Jimenez ’25; Javier Parada ’24; Jennifer Penaloza ’22; Laurel Chen ’22 and Sophia DeLeon-Wilson ’23.