“Reality Is Not Good Enough,” is a radical, Black woman-centered, reality television-inspired film that will be openly edited with the public through social practice and social media. Following my family in Atlanta, the project deals with themes of mental health, family conflict, exploitation, and sexuality. This sponsorship supports my interests of working with the public in video instead of performance. Audiences interested in queer theory, racial politics, family dynamics, and mental health will find the series relevant.
In three workshops per episode, I will make storyboards with the community in my sponsorship and also online. In the workshops, I will give audiences a general sketch of the narrative, and they will choose storylines they want to explore further. We will discuss the merits and pitfalls of each story line, and make inspiration boards of characters’ motivations.
Through this project, I am challenging assumptions about media creation using a form that most people are familiar with but don’t create themselves. I am also occupying a role of Afrofeminist cultural theorist who challenges mass media as a cultural producer. There are not many Black directors, and I wish to remedy that with this project.
Lauded as a Breakout Artist in New City and ARC Magazine, artist/scholar Rashayla Marie Brown (RMB) manages a living studio practice across an extensive list of cultural production modes. Exploiting the role of the artist as both an agent and an object of desire, her work spans camera-based image-making, performance and social engagement/disruption, curation and installation, and theoretical writings infused with subjectivity and spirituality. A lifelong nomad who has moved 24 times, her journey as a professional artist began as a radio DJ and poet performing research in London, and as founder of the family-owned design company, Selah Vibe, Inc., in Atlanta. RMB currently serves as the inaugural Director of Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), fostering queer Afrofeminist narratives across institutions.
RMB holds degrees from Yale University and SAIC, advised by Paul Gilroy and Barbara DeGenevieve respectively. Her work has been commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and Yale University, New Haven, CT. Her work has shown at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL; Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL; INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, New York, NY; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA; Centro Cultural Costaricense Norteamericano, San Jose, Costa Rica; and other venues. She has received numerous awards, including the City of Chicago’s Artist Residency, the Hyde Park Art Center Flex Residency, the Roger Brown Residency, and the Yale Mellon Research Grant. Her work and words have been featured and published in Art Forum, Blouin Modern Painters, Chicago Magazine, Hyperallergic, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, the Radical Presence catalog, and the cover of the Chicago Reader. RMB’s essay “Open Letter to My Fellow Young Artists and Scholars on the Margins: A Tribute to Terry Adkins” was shared over 4,000 times online as of 2016.
3Arts is proud to partner with High Concept Labs by connecting artists supported through 3AP (3Arts Projects) to HCL’s Sponsored Artist Program. In 2017, Rashayla Marie Brown was selected as an HCL Sponsored Artist to continue developing her project, “Reality is Not Good Enough,” which was successfully funded on 3AP in August 2015.