Photos by Joe Freeman

Mario Lemafa
Feb 13 - Apr 2, 2016

Download Exhibition Text

last_resort sees Mario Lemafa's investigating themes of erasure, whiteness, colonization and the physical/metaphorical qualities of cleansing through an indigenous digital Dasein (felt presence). Brutal and tender, the exhibition poses the question of whether or not the death of inequality would render vacations obsolete. Envisioning tropical locals as utopian space, _last_resort_ generates new visual elements towards a radical, futuristic redefinition of the travel lifestyle.

A Seattle-based indigenous artist who works in multiple mediums, Mario Lemafa makes art that employs a campy hacker's sensibility to investigate notions of diaspora, queerness, and environmental issues. He describes his work as "funserious, rigorously low key gestalt." Mario's recent projects include performances at the Henry Art Gallery's Summer series and group and solo exhibitions at the Jacob Lawrence gallery, Vermillion gallery, gallery 4Culture, and MOHAI. He also contributed text to the Wing Luke Asian Art Museum's Tatau Tattoo's exhibition.

View Artist's Website

March 19, 2015

island_timeis a talk-story with fellow indigenous creators Mario Lemafa, Roldy Aguero Ablao and Sia Figiel

Urban Dictionary's most liked definition of island timeis: "The time vacuum created by the ocean's presence. Similar to stoner's time, everything moves nice and slow. This carefree aura even has the ability to travel with islanders and can engulf you in their presence."

Join Mario Lemafa for a relaxed, contemplative, and critical talk-story with fellow indigenous creators Roldy Aguero Ablao and Sia Figiel on matters including but not excluding: indigenous art practices, digital interaction, queerness, ecologies, colonialism, Resort culture's affect on island life.

last_resort is presented by visiting curator Elizabeth Spavento

As an independent curator and human being Elizabeth Spavento is interested in identity politics (particularly as they relate to race and gender), the untapped potential of space, altered states of consciousness and unstructured time. Her practice seeks the fringe as a way to push back against hegemony, and her work tends to favor alternative spaces and community-driven practices. She has curated exhibitions for Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, OR and Open Source Gallery in New York, NY in addition to exhibiting her own work in Buffalo, NY. Spavento's most recent project, ALL RISE, was a two year series of temporary public artworks punctuated by performance, video and music on a 90,000 sq. ft. gravel lot in downtown Seattle. She currently lives nowhere in particular and works everywhere she is.