Several images over a yellow background
dana washington-queen, Untitled (Desktop Collage), 2022-23, vinyl. (artwork © dana washington-queen, image provided by artist)

ICA at VCU presents fall premiere

Kickoff event will unveil three new exhibitions and include performances by Ouri and DJ Ohbliv

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The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University kicks off the fall 2022 season with the unveiling of three new exhibitions and a premiere event on Friday, Sept. 9, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, although attendees are encouraged to RSVP at

Galleries will open and a reception with a cash bar and food trucks will begin at 6 p.m. DJ Ohbliv will provide music. At 7 p.m., Cuban American artist Rafael Domenech will introduce a new commission, “The Medium is the Massage,” in Gallery 4. Ouri will perform in the Royall Forum at 8 p.m.

“The Medium is the Massage” is a year-long pavilion for self-publishing, collective reading and programs at the ICA. With a nod to the eponymous book by Marshall McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore, this project considers the forms, standards, conventions and errors that are part of exhibition making. Interested in publishing as a methodology for making exhibitions, “The Medium is the Massage” is a publication that the public can inhabit as a book-in-space.

Rounding out the new exhibitions are Naima Green’s “I Keep Missing My Water” and dana washington-queen’s “Resume At The Point of Interruption.”

Curated by ICA Curator Amber Esseiva, “I Keep Missing My Water” continues the artist’s ongoing investment in documenting intimacy within Black and queer communities. At the center of this exhibition are photographs taken on and around multiple bodies of water across the United States. The water functions as a metaphor for fluidity and vitality as they relate to sexuality, the body and our relationship to everyday life; but also as they relate to the energy pulsing throughout Green’s multimedia installation.

Curated by Adjunct Assistant Curator Enjoli Moon, “Resume At the Point of Interruption” explores the lexicon and form of basketball to fuse personal and political histories, and considers the linkages between performance, labor and spectatorship. Across a range of digital media, collage and installation, washington-queen highlights new works through their study of “black noetic” — a term used to describe figurations of blackness and being through the body’s expressed response to certain stimuli.

The exhibition takes its title from the National Basketball Association rulebook, Section XIV: Suspension of Play, which allows officials to suspend game play for unusual circumstances. After a suspension of play, the game must resume where the basketball was at the point of interruption.

This exhibition is supported by the Ellsworth Kelly Award, made possible by The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

In addition, the redesigned ICA Shop + Cafe will open later this fall. Joseph del Pesco, curatorial consultant and restaurateur, is designing a new space and an alternative approach to the idea of a cafe and forms of consumption. The cafe will be self-run and bring together both the ICA Cafe and ICA Shop under one operation. Richmond's Afterglow Coffee Collective will supply the coffee, which will be served in cups handmade by regional ceramicists. Visitors will get to choose their mug from the selection. The menu will feature savory and sweet toasts made with locally grown ingredients on locally made bread.