Lewis Center Fellows

Tiona Nekkia McClodden

Tiona Nekkia McClodden headshot

Photo by Gioncarlo Valentine


Tiona Nekkia McClodden [she/her] is a visual artist, filmmaker, and curator whose work often employs a citational practice exploring and critiquing issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and social commentary. Her interdisciplinary approach traverses documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installations. Her work has explored the themes of re-memory and narrative biomythography through her four-part epic experimental film and video series Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, 2014 — in progress.

McClodden has exhibited and screened work at the Institute of Contemporary Art-Philadelphia, the Museum of Modern Art (New York); the Whitney Museum; Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) – Berlin; MOCA LA; MCA Chicago, and MoMA PS1. Her work has shown at the Kansai Queer Film Festival in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan; and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, among a range of international film festivals and film programs.

She attended the 2016 Sommerakademie Zentrum Paul Klee as a nominated fellow, and the 2015 Flaherty Film Seminar as a Philadelphia Fellow. McClodden was also selected as one of six American artists selected by CFC Media Lab, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and JustFilms | Ford Foundation for the inaugural OPEN IMMERSION: A VR CREATIVE DOC LAB that brought together diverse creators from both the US and Canada to learn about, explore and experiment with VR storytelling, in particular as a form they can use to draw attention to issues of inclusion, racial and social justice.

Most recently she is the recipient of a Bucksbaum Award for her work in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts (2019), Arts Matter Foundation Grant 92019), Magnum Foundation Fund (2018), a Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism from Bard College (2018-2019), the 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and a Pew Fellowship (2016), among others.

In 2017-18 she curated A Recollection. + Predicated. featured within Julius Eastman: That Which is Fundamental, an interdisciplinary, multi-artist project that examines the life, work, and resurgent influence of Julius Eastman, a Black, gay minimalist composer and performer who was active internationally in the 1970s and 80s but died homeless at the age of 49, leaving an incomplete yet compelling collection of scores and recordings. The culmination of more than three years of research, this first iteration of this project took place in Philadelphia in May 2017 and the second in 2018 at The Kitchen in NYC where Eastman performed many times before the end of his life. Events included several concerts — including several modern “premieres” of recently recovered works — and a multi-disciplinary exhibition featuring archival materials and work by emerging contemporary artists who engage with Eastman and the fragmented nature of his legacy.

In 2019 McClodden curated There Are No Shadows Here: The Perfect Moment at 30, part symposium and part exhibition related to Robert Mapplethorpe’s The Perfect Moment exhibition in 1989 which includes a series of lectures, roundtable discussions, a photographic exhibition, and an experimental exhibition brochure. The exhibition featured the presentations by scholars Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Mia Kang and Alex Fialho. The exhibition also placed the work of photographer D'Angelo Lovell Williams in conversation with the works of the late photographer George Dureau.

Her writing has been featured on the Triple Canopy platform, in Artforum, Cultured Magazine, ART21 Magazine, and many other publications.

Tiona lives and works in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is the Founder + Owner of Philadelphia based Conceptual Fade, a micro-gallery and library space centering Black thought and artistic production.

News + Links

Conversation with Tiona Nekkia McClodden and curator Margot Norton — May 3, 2021, virtual event through New Museum exhibition “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America

Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement III: The Triple Deities — June 23-28, 2021, @ 12-6 PM, at Globe Dye Works (4500 Worth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19124). RSVP required

“Tiona Nekkia McClodden Is Not Running Away” | New York Times, August 2022

Exhibition: MASK / CONCEAL / CARRY — from July 13 – October 8, 2022, at David Zwirner Gallery at 52 Walker, New York, NY

Exhibition: The Trace of an Implied Presence — from August 3 – December 11, 2022, at The Shed, 545 West 30th St., New York, NY

Work on display: The Brad Johnson Tape, X – On Subjugation — in 2022 in MoMA collection, Floor 2, 11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan, NY

MASK / CONCEAL / CARRY Exhibition Review: “Her Art Comes Without Trigger Warnings” | New York Times, August 2022





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