by Mikki Yamashiro
This June, Leiminspace very proudly presents to you Herstorical Fictions, a solo exhibition of works by mixed media artist and performer Mikki Yamashiro. The opening reception will take place on the evening of Saturday, June 8th, 2019 from 7 - 10 pm at 443 Lei Min Way, Los Angeles. In addition to the usual festivities, this reception will feature a gallery walk through in which hand-picked docents will present lectures elucidating the characters of their respective expertises. The show will remain open to the public during gallery hours Thursdays through Saturdays 1 - 6 pm until July 6th.
Herstorical Fictions presents a culmination of the multifaceted works produced by Mikki Yamashiro over the past three years. Without the help of major physically alterations, Yamashiro elevates the space from the status of “art space” to that of “Museum”. Situated within the environment of serifated wall text, pristine white pedestals, and custom framing, Yamashiro’s work assumes the air of both rare archaeological finds and Modern Art objects. The artist employs a variety of eco-friendly mediums including papier-mâché, crocheted yarn, ceramics and salvaged cardboard. Yamashiro populates these seemingly-aged works with various well-known cartoon characters, an act which provides the typically esoteric discourse of institutional critique with a more accessible footing. Marge Simpson, Cathy Guisewite, and Garfield are just some of the faces that shine with familiarity from the works. Attired in comfortable clothes and alternative styles, the subjects stare back at their viewers with the characteristic glimmer of a person living their authentic reality. In the words of CJ Miller, Yamashiro depicts these characters "as theirtruest selves - not watered-down, palpable for cisheteronormative audiences representation that often is the only way for queer and trans folx to get any access to mainstream media and the financial renumeration we deserve. Garfield has to do what they have to do to survive ya know?" Thus, in Herstorical Fictions, Yamashiro does not so much rewrite the past, rather, she mines it and brings light to the splendor of queer womxnhood that has existed since the dawning of time.