in Frieze Seoul | 31 AUG 22

LaRissa Rogers: We’ve Always Been Here, Like Hydrogen, Like Oxygen

Rogers washes her body as a ritual of labor and self-care, a metaphor for healing from the repercussions of white supremacy 

in Frieze Seoul | 31 AUG 22

2020 / single channel video / 7min 22sec 

I wash my body as a ritual of labor and self-care. I do this on the Richmond Slave Trail and the African Burial Ground in Richmond, VA, and place my body in these locations to comment on notions of safety within public and private spheres. The spaces in which Black people and their bodies should be safe and cared for, yet are vulnerable and exposed. The use of oranges stems from the Latasha Harlins Murder of ‘92 but becomes a metaphor for talking about the erasure of women of color throughout time and space. I wash my body with oranges and oranges cast from orange juice in one shot, while slowly caressing and subsequently melting a frozen orange in the other. The text alternates, at times speaking to the physical and psychological repercussions of white supremacy and in other moments reflecting upon the need for love, safety, and restoration to expand the spaces and possibilities for Black and Brown people to exist without being under a constant state of threat.  

I am interested in the relationship between survival and self-care.  During the repetition of washing myself on the slave trail, the oranges and landscape become implicated in the ritual of memory, commemoration, identity, and self-realization. Commenting on the connectivity of time, and how the past and present exist simultaneously, the performance becomes an act of self-care while imagining a place where Black and Brown women and girls are protected and cared for. Washing becomes synonymous with care as a labor of resistance, love, and healing. Bathing my body in oranges attempts to make the invisible labor of self-care more visible as the oranges stain my clothes. — LaRissa Rogers 

About LaRissa Rogers

LaRissa Rogers (b. 1996) is a visual artist based between Virginia and California. She holds a BFA in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University, and has exhibited work in institutions such as ICOSA (Texas); Fields Projects (New York); Welcome Gallery; Target Gallery; 1708 Gallery; Second Street Gallery; The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative (all Virginia); Black Ground (Colombia); W Doha (Qatar); The Fronte Arte Cultura (California); Grand Central Art Center (California), Documenta 15 (Kassel) ; and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (VA) among others. She is the 2021-2022 Visual Arts fellow at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a 2021-2022 Black Spatial Relics artist-in-residence, and a 2021-2022 grant recipient of the Black Artists and Designers Guild Creative Futures Grant. She is currently pursuing her MFA in New Genres at the University of California Los Angeles, and is a 2022 summer artist-in-resident at BEMIS Center for Contemporary Arts. 

Screened as part of Frieze Film at Frieze Seoul 2022