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Nikki Darling

Dessert Table

Los Angeles | March 25 - April 2 2017

The title, Desert Table, a subtle nod to Judy Chicago’s seminal work, addresses the domesticated sphere of baking - professional male chefs versus mothers who bake for the family; one becomes an authority the other remains a novice in the work-related sphere. Over the course of the show the cakes will begin to decay, a physical manifestation of the thwarted attempts of women to assert their creative, political and emotional presence in a culture that continuously and regularly undermines these efforts. The installation acts as a direct address of the private life or perhaps it’s disappearance in a neo-liberal framework and the travails of Darling, a feminist attempting to present women’s lives as worthy of introspection, reflection and focus.

As a mixed race Latina who ‘passes’, raised by a single brown mother in a culture of white supremacy, Darling grapples with her own quest to locate interiority within her body and through the quagmire of the Southwest. Occupied illegally since the1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the inhabitants of the Southwest have endured the attempted erasure of an estimated 80,000 Mexicans who were absorbed into the US as a result of the Treaty and the continued disenfranchisement of it’s indigenous communities. Finally, the cakes and additional works investigate trauma and it’s inheritance, both personally and trans-historically, particularly how it’s internalization begets new rage and violence against others and the self, and the ways in which we learn to cope with it. The hope is that by addressing this violence we as a culture can slowly come to terms with our true history, before doomed, we endlessly repeat it. Let them eat cake.