In his practice, Los Angeles-based video/performance artist Ulysses Jenkins uses storytelling as a tool to examine questions of race, history and power. On the occasion of the exhibition Maren Hassinger: The Spirit of Things, Jenkins will discuss his diverse body of video and performance work and historical past collaborating with artist Maren Hassinger, as part of Jenkins involvement in Studio Z, a collective of artists that included Hassinger, Barbara McCullough, Franklin Parker, David Hammons and Senga Nengudi, and others in the 1970s.
Ulysses Jenkins (b. 1945 Los Angeles, CA) is a widely recognized video/performance artist, whose work has been shown in a number of national and international venues. He holds an MFA in intermedia-video and performance art from Otis College of Art and Design. He also holds a BA in painting and drawing from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
His 1983 video “Cake Walk” is currently on view as part of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which originated at the Tate Modern and is on view at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Jenkins’ work was also featured in America Is Hard to See (2015) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Watch This! Revelations in Media Art (2015) at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, A/wake in the Water (2014) at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (2012) at the Hammer Museum, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (2012), at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and _California Video _(2008) at the Getty Center.
Jenkins was the recipient of the California Arts Council’s Multicultural Entry Grant as artistic director of Othervisions Studio, an interdisciplinary media arts production group. He is a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ individual artist fellowship and was awarded the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame first place award in the experimental video category in 1990 and 1992.
Jenkins is currently a professor in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine, and continues to show his work nationally and internationally.