Artist Statement

“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”  ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

As a filmmaker and visual artist, narrative within social realism, re-memory, and more recently biomythography, are themes explored in my work.

My work explores shared ideas, values, and beliefs within the African Diaspora, or what I call, “Black mentifact”. I’m interested in Blackness and traversing nostalgia; and how the past, present, and future can intersect visually and thematically within time based work. I’m invested in exploring intersubjectivities within Black communities as a tool for creating insider perspectives within film, time based works, and objects.

Artist Bio.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden is a visual artist, filmmaker, and curator whose work explores, and critiques issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and social commentary. McClodden’s interdisciplinary approach traverses documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installations. Themes explored in McClodden's films and works have been re-memory and more recently narrative biomythography.

McClodden has exhibited and screened work at the Institute of Contemporary Art-Philadelphia, the Whitney Museum, Vox Populi Gallery, MOCA LA, Esther Klein Art Gallery - Philadelphia, PA, Art Toronto’s VERGE Video program, MCA Chicago, @RAUMERWEITERUNGSHALLE in Berlin, MOMA PS1, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; Kansai Queer Film Festival in Osaka and Kyoto, Japan; and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, among others in a range of international film festivals and film programs. In her  exhibition, Dreaming of Kin (2016) curated by Ladi’Sasha Jones at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, McClodden exhibited the full installation her personal and familial biography epic Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic, Movement I – The Visions. In 2015, she created Af·fixing Ceremony: Four Movements For Essex, an online project commissioned by  Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art, commemorating poet Essex Hemphill on the 20th anniversary of his death. Her 2008 film black./womyn received the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Philadelphia Qfest and has been screened at film festivals around the country. 

McClodden has been awarded the 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and the 2016 Pew Fellowship in the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She was a 2016 Ossian Arts Research Fellowship under the Jain Family Institute in New York, NY, attended the 2016 Sommerakademie Zentrum Paul Klee as a nominated fellow, attended the 2015 Flaherty Film Seminar as a Philadelphia Fellow, been awarded the 2007 Leeway Foundation Art + Change Grant, the 2009 Leeway Transformation Award, the Philadelphia Film and Video Association Finishing fund grant for both Bumming Cigarettes (2014) and black./womyn (2009). She recently received a 2015 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant for her ICA-Philadelphia commission Af·fixing Ceremony: Four Movements For Essex. McClodden more recently 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. 

McClodden is currently the curator of the exhibitions 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 who died homeless at the age of 49, leaving an incomplete but 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. 

She has held residencies for Leeway Foundation Art + Technology as a Nextfab Studio resident, and a sound residency for Sanctuary at the Rotunda where she produced her first sound installation The Chills, and the 2016 Center for Afrofuturist Studies, Iowa City, IA. McClodden has also produced and directed experimental music video works for Sub Pop record label artists THEESatisfaction, Sony Records music artist Natalie Prass, and independent artists SassyBlack.

Tiona lives and works in North Philadelphia, PA. 

Using Format