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Malik Gaines

Assistant Professor, Combined Media

Malik GainesMalik Gaines is an artist and writer whose practice includes performance and video installation work, writing and criticism, and curatorial projects. 

Gaines is a member of My Barbarian, a collaborative group with Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade, founded in Los Angeles in 2000. My Barbarian's performance, video, music and installation projects playfully reenact serious artistic, political, social and historical situations. My Barbarian's solo exhibitions include "Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse" at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 2013; "PoLAAT: Together Forever?" at Yaffo 23, Jerusalem, Israel, 2013; "Flat Busted Window Beauty Fatale," Transformer Gallery, Washington DC, 2012; “Broke People's Baroque Peoples' Theater,” Human Resources, Los Angeles, 2012; “Ecos de los Ecos” at Museo El Eco, Mexico City, 2010; “The Night Epi$ode” at Participant Inc., New York, 2009 and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2010. The group has been included in the 2005 and 2007 Performa Biennials, the 2006 and 2008 California Biennials, the 2007 Montreal Biennial, the 2009 Baltic Triennial, and the 2014 Whitney Biennial.  Their PoLAAT collaborative workshop project has been performed with different interdisciplinary groups of participants at Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporaneo, Trento, Italy, 2008; Townhouse Gallery / Rawabet Theatre, Cairo, Egypt, 2008; Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2009; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida, USA, 2009; El Matadero and ARCO, Madrid, Spain, 2010; American Repertory Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 2010; Rhubarb Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2011; CalArts School of Theater and REDCAT, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2012; Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2012; and Yaffo 23, Jerusalem, Israel, 2013 Other performance sites have included MoMA, The Kitchen, New Museum, Whitney Museum, and Joe's Pub (NYC), LACMA, MOCA, REDCAT (LA), Power Plant, (Toronto), De Appel (Amsterdam), El Matadero (Madrid), Peres Projects (Berlin), Torpedo (Oslo), Townhouse Gallery (Cairo) and many others. My Barbarian has participated in group shows at the Studio Museum in Harlem; ICA Philadelphia; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; MOCA Miami; ICA London; Den Haag Sculptuur, Netherlands; CCA, Tel Aviv; Anton Kern Gallery in New York, and many others. My Barbarian has received grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Art (2013), Creative Capital (2012), City of Los Angeles Cultural Affiars (2010), and Art Matters (2008). Their work has been discussed in the New Yorker, New York Times, LA Times, Artforum, Art in America, Frieze, Texte zur Kunst, Bomb and various international newspapers, and in José Muñoz’s book “Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity.”

Apart from My Barbarian, Gaines has written essays and articles for Art Journal, Women & Performance, e-flux; contributions to books and exhibition catalogues for the Studio Museum in Harlem, Danspace, the Whitney Museum, the Hammer Museum, the 1st Moscow Biennial; and monograph texts for artists including Andrea Bowers, Mark Bradford, Sharon Hayes, Glenn Ligon and Wangechi Mutu. He has organized exhibitions and programs independently, including "Fade: African American Artists in LA" for the City of Los Angeles (2004) and "Quadruple-Consciousness" at Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2010); and exhibitions and programs for LAXART, where he was a curator from 2005-2012, having curated solo shows by Anna Sew Hoy, Kalup Linzy and Colter Jacobsen, performances by Eleanor Antin and The Bodacious Buggerrilla, and serving as a co-curator of the Hammer Museum's biennial exhibition Made in LA (2012). Gaines holds a PhD in Performance Studies from UCLA and an MFA in Writing from CalArts.