Come play Check Point, Chelsea A. Flowers' game show/art installation, in the gallery throughout the month of June.
Detroit-based Flowers' practice explores subversion to popular culture and how “otherness” is created, and social and cultural critique of her environment. She explores these ideas through comedic troupes, physical play, nostalgic memorabilia, and participatory performance. In her exhibit, Check Point: An Introduction to Child's Play, she will seek to answer the question, “Can we build communities through Play?” She has created a game that tests social, cultural, and emotional knowledge. By questioning “Did O.J. do it?” “What day did Beyonce turn Black?” “Can you walk like an Egyptian?” the game also wants to know if you can “list seven young men and/or women who were murdered by police in the past four years.”
A Player will be challenged in various means. The game will ask them to be okay with not knowing an answer, and to feel even more comfortable with knowing how to ask for the answer. That’s the functionality of a community. We create our own communities based on what we share and how we care for one another. Participants will be able to show their care through play (verbal discussion), dance (intellectual conversation with one’s body) and investigation (openness to learning).
Lauren Leving writes about Flowers’ work:
"Flowers’ work is also a form of activism, using humor to shape a safe environment in which she educates others about oppressive institutional structures.... the artist is removed yet present in these potentially uncomfortable dialogues. The visitor shifts into the role of performer, which creates a unique situation in which audience members are simultaneously speaking to and confronting themselves."