View this post on Instagram
‘I believe in vulnerability. In telling your story. In true connection. I also believe in boundaries. In withholding. In treating your deepest knowings and heart like the tension of guitar strings. The inhale and exhale. The opening and closing. The pulling back and going forth. The natural rhythm. You do not have to express everything to everyone. You do not have to give all detail. You do not have to be an open book. Walk the tender line between raw sharing and mystery. Master your intuition. Build your containers. Practice graceful discernment.’ — Victoria Erickson Performance Piece RSVP, 1977 by Senga Nengudi.
Senga Nengudi is an African-American avant-garde artist who rose to fame in the artistic community in the 1960s. Her specialty is in combining visual art and sculptures with performance art, often using found objects as the tools for her pieces. She has been featured in some of the most influential museums and galleries in the US, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and more.
What makes Nengudi important as an artist is that she also ties in feminism and intersectionality into her work. Some of her most famous pieces have been made with pantyhose, which she has also used as a prop during her performance alongside those pieces. The significance of the pantyhose lies in the metaphor of them being the constraints of gender norms in society. Nengudi has performed many times alongside other performance artists but also has used the installations of pantyhose as her counterpart in the performance, tangling her body into the hose to further the message of the entrapment of women and her experience as a woman.
Although her pieces range back for more than 40 years, Senga Nengudi is still relevant today.