April Bey

Made in Space is the brand or label we see on clothing and space helmets used by gender fluid universe travelers focused on anti-colonizing adventures.

Made in Space includes works from the AfroFuturist Womanism series, which explores female afrofuturistic millennial entrepreneurialism via social media and the Internet. Blerdy in nature, juxtapositions of Star Trek and hip-hop culture also manifest in this series. Looking to the future acts as a therapeutic excretory practice in dealing with current day issues around race and discrimination globally.

West African knock-off Chinese wax fabric is hand sewn as text to connect black celebrity women with equally real women selling the fabric in the markets up and down the West African coast (Senegal, Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana)—AfroFuturist memes.

This work is a focus but is part of a generalized exploration of the actual resilience of women as they navigate through high-impact experiences of the body, psyche and demands of womanhood. There’s an ironic hypocrisy in the expectations of women and specifically black women to be sovereign and robust while at the same time inept and emotionally weak/unpredictable when leadership roles are sought.

Material matters and process is essential—the process in all of the work directly emulates the labor women execute on a daily basis to persist—it is uniquely and defiantly “feminine” executed in aggressively “masculine” ways.

There is sewing but into wood and resin. Each hole is hand drilled. Rule-based, all materials that intersect with the Hitarget wax fabric are MADE IN CHINA referencing Chinese neocolonialism currently rearing its head in parts of West Africa and The Caribbean. The needles, thread, fabric, needle threaders are all low-quality products MADE IN CHINA but that market to a target audience of souls living in poverty.

Made in Space occupies the space often taken and exploited offering up fictitious worlds where labels are non-existent and we are allowed to float within our self-defined identities—smoking cigarettes in 0 gravity.