© 2019 Anna Van Lenten

Performance Review / Endia Beal

May 2017

Exhibit opening and talk

Sunday May 21, 2017, 7 PM

Moderated by New York Times photo editor Whitney Richardson

Performance Review comprises two projects: "Am I What You're Looking For?" and "Can I Touch It?" 

 

“Am I What You’re Looking For?” focuses on the experiences and fears of young women of color who are transitioning from the academic to the corporate world, capturing their struggles and uncertainties on how to best present themselves in the professional workspace. As the young women pose in front of an office backdrop, they recall how employers would tell them that their natural hair was unprofessional or their name too difficult to pronounce, suggesting they alter themselves for the job.​

For her series “Can I Touch It?” Beal gave white women in their forties a hairstyle typically seen on black women. The revamped women posed in corporate portraits, suits and all, donning their corn rows, braids and finger curls. The photos' most compelling aspects are not the physical discrepancies between a white woman and her black hair, but the complex histories, assumptions, silences, and transformations that make such discrepancies apparent to the viewer.

Talk moderated by Whitney Richardson, New York Times Photo Editor

ENDIA BEAL is a North Carolina-based artist, internationally known for her photographic narratives and video testimonies that examine the personal stories of marginalized communities and individuals. Beal currently serves as the Director of Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University and Associate Professor of Art.​

 

In 2013, Beal graduated from Yale School of Art, with an MFA in Photography. Her work has been exhibited in such institutions such as the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture in Charlotte, NC, the Aperture Foundation of New York, and the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.