mothership in Malvern
cameron clayborn

Mar 19 - May 7, 2022

Opening: Saturday, March 19: 4 – 8PM

In short, this show is about growth, pain, and love.

mothership in Malvern, is an homage to my late grandmother’s home in Malvern, Arkansas. Most will not know of Malvern, making it akin to a planet you’ve never heard of.

The house was built c. 1950 by my mother’s grandfather and my father’s father. My late grandfather worked at a brickyard.

When my parents divorced, my grandmother’s home became a place for my sister and I to escape them both. I felt free at my granny’s house. The three of us would sleep together in the same bed. My grandmother’s home felt like a vehicle or portal into another world – a mothership. One where I could be Black, femme, Southern, and ultimately boundless.

As I’ve grown older, I have felt more and more placeless, no matter where I physically reside. I know I am not alone in this feeling. We wonder who we are and what we will be. What are we, actually? I feel that I have departed from the mothership, and landed in the year 2022 in the United States of America. I am not nostalgic. I do not long to return to where I came from. I only want to know my origin point. To start from zero, zero and go from there. To know my origin point is to know myself.

The process of making these works gave me that chance, or at the very least, to see myself in the form of naked honesty. I am neither this nor that, but all of it, simultaneously and all at once.

February 16, 2022

My art could be a way to build a real relationship with myself. An honest one. Which at times could be hurtful, depending on what ends up being said.

The pods are single-celled organisms... Shapeshifting, shapeshifting, shapeshifting... February 18, 2022 Where is the location where I can actually be myself – totally, fully, and completely?

March 1, 2022

*about a drawing

Contained inside this vessel are my fingertips. I say this not in a violent or grotesque way, but to mean that it contains my promises, hopes, and fears. It’s full of energy. I place these vessels underground - giving them a moment to mature.

cameron clayborn was born in 1992 and was raised in Memphis, TN. They live and work in New Haven, CT. Solo exhibitions include: Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany (2022, forthcoming); mothership in Malvern, Simone Subal Gallery, New York, NY (2022); Art Basel Statements, with Simone Subal Gallery, Basel, Switzerland (2021) where clayborn was awarded the Baloise Art Prize; Through the Wrong Tongue, Simone Subal Gallery, New York, NY (2019); and Bawdy, Boyfriends, Chicago, IL (2017). Group exhibitions include: Hand to your ear, curated by Gabriella Nugent, Emalin, London, UK (2022); Art Basel Miami Beach, with Simone Subal Gallery, Miami, FL (2021); Entrainment, Someday Gallery, New York, NY (2021); Soft Allergy: Claire Ashley, Judith Brotman, cameron clayborn, Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago, IL (2021); Good to know, Bradley Ertaskiran, Montréal, Québec (2021); Tense Conditions: A Presentation of the Contemporary Art Collection, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (2021); As Far as You Can, Tell the Truth, Casemore Kirkeby, San Francisco, CA (2020); FIAC, with Simone Subal Gallery, Paris (2019); Phallacies, Mildred’s Lane, Beach Lake, PA (2019); A Detached Hand, organized by Nicole Will, Magenta Plains, New York, NY (2019); White Columns Benefit Exhibition, White Columns, New York, NY (2019); Strained States, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL (2019); Performance Interventions, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL (2018); Superficial Paradise, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL (2018); Defibrillator Inaugural, Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL (2018); Hide and Go Chic, Rover Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); SEX, Lawrence & Clark Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); and Sweet Creature, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL (2017).