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Meet Me At The Double Crown is a tribute to karaoke’s power to find transcendence in the performance of ourselves. Dodd MFA candidate, Ronika McClain, presents a series of videos that uses confessional storytelling to discuss the importance of coming together as a community and the recent disconnection wrought by the pandemic. Named after her favorite karaoke (and otherwise) bar in Asheville, North Carolina, the exhibition presents videos that approximate the intimacy of a friend telling you a favorite story in a dark booth. Yet, McClain is mostly alone, performing for herself or a bored audience of two. Throughout the works. she riffs on ideas of womanhood, of assuming a newfound identity, and of the complex mapping of queer communities. In another video, she stitches together a karaoke megamix crowdsourced video taken from a list of prompts she sent to friends and lovers inviting viewers to sing along. Meet Me at the Double Crown will feature a research lounge; an installation of McClain’s research that contributed to her thinking while making the work.
Ronika McClain (b. 1992) is a performer, writer, artist and amateur archivist. She grew up in California, was raised by New York City, nurtured by Asheville, North Carolina and currently lives in Athens Georgia. She works with and through history and popular culture, drawing connections between our constructions of self and our collective experiences of cultural production. She believes we make things that mirror our conditions and that our conditions mirror our productions in an infinite loop. As a biracial woman, she tells her own story to illuminate the spaces glossed over by a white supremacist hetero-patriarchal historical narrative of art. She is primarily concerned with how we construct the idea and category of “woman”. She has a passion for cinema, fashion, camp, sex, and deep intimacies between friends. She identifies as a leatherdyke, former barista, sexual assault and abuse survivor, singer and gay divorcée. She works primarily in video, but writes just as much. She earned a BFA in Photography at Parsons School of Design in 2014 and is currently an MFA Candidate at the Lamar Dodd School of Art.